Pasture-Raised Chicken: Some Lessons from the French
When we decided to add free-range chicken to our burgeoning farm, we had strict standards: the meat had to have superior flavor and moistness, the birds had to be from a diverse genetic stock, and the introduction of poultry would contribute to our sustainable farming methods.
The French, it turns out have a similar philosophy. In fact, 30% of the poultry sold in France today comes from pasture-raised chicken farmed according to Label Rouge, the strict standards developed to regulate free-range poultry.
To qualify as a Label Rouge farm, the chickens must be a slow-growing breed, raised primarily in pasture, fed an all-natural diet, and raised free of medications and antibiotics (unless prescribed). The result is meat that has deeper flavor characteristics, and a texture that surpasses conventionally raised chicken.
At Pasture Prime, our family follows the strict Label Rouge guidelines. We’ve chosen the Poulet Rouge and Red Ranger breeds. Our free-range poultry has intense flavor, due to the slow-growth method we employ. In addition to rich taste, slow-growing breeds have balanced growth of their organs, muscle, and bones. They’re hardy and can live outdoors, and because they come from a diverse genetic stock, their immunity is stronger. They love the early mornings and late afternoons when they pursue lots of tasty insects and weed seeds, helping us to keep our pastures well groomed and pest free. All part of the sustainable philosophy our family subscribes to.
Milk-Fed Chickens, Fresh Eggs & New Breeds
If you’re interested in milk-fed chickens, or if you have a free-range chicken breed in mind, contact us here. We’ll be offering milk-fed chickens from our next batch, as a number of local chefs have requested them.
Our granddaughter helps us with our Golden Nugget Laying hens and I am sure she would be glad to package up a dozen very fresh eggs for you, when you come to pick up your meat order.
To order our free-range birds, click here. At this time, we are only shipping poultry to addresses in Florida.
To read more about the French Label Rouge method and our breeds, click here.