New Product Alert
We are so excited to announce that we have a new product in the farm store! We are now selling Red Ranger chickens. You may ask, “What is that and why should I be excited?”
Our modern-day chicken is not the chicken our grandmothers ate.
When our grandparents (or maybe great-grandparents) were young there was one “type” of chicken: layers. You had chickens in your backyard that laid eggs. Occasionally you would butcher one and cook it for dinner.
By the 1950’s a new type of chicken was becoming popular: fryers. These chickens were selectively bred to grow fast and only be used for meat. Since these birds took only 1/3 of the time to reach “full size” they were cheaper to raise. (They were not genetically modified.)
So now there were two types of chickens: layers for eggs (pictured below) and fryers for meat.
What do we raise?
We’ve been raising pastured poultry on this farm since the mid 1990’s. My husband, Daniel, and his siblings started raising fryer chickens in the summers as a way to earn some extra cash. The majority of the time we’ve raised fryers that are the Cornish Cross variety.
Cornish Cross are the iconic white chickens that grow large quickly. At Jako Farm all our chickens are fed chemical-free grains and live the majority of their life on pasture. (The exception to pasture life is when they are still chicks in the brooder house.) They are able to scratch in the dirt, eat bugs, and enjoy the sunshine. Yes, this is the same breed of chicken you’re buying at the grocery store, but their diet and lifestyle yields meat that is nutritiously and palatably far superior than chicken meat produced by large companies.
What We’re Offering Now
We are excited to now offer a hybrid of a fryer and a layer. Red Rangers are a slower growing variety that does an excellent job foraging. These genetics and foraging characteristics give Red Rangers a higher omega 3 fat and a lower saturated fat compared to other fryers.
We recently did a side by side taste test of the whole chickens we usually offer in Jako Farm store (Cornish cross) versus a Red Ranger. The Red Ranger meat has far more depth and flavor. I am sold.
You can now purchase Red Ranger chickens in the farm store, in addition to the Cornish Cross. For this season we are only offering Red Rangers as whole birds. You now have the opportunity to decide which you prefer!
We Want Your Feedback
We are going to rely on you for feedback for what fryer chickens you want us to raise on the farm. Would you like us to continue offering Cornish Cross or perhaps switch to only raising Red Rangers?
About eight years ago we raised Red Rangers and called them “Foraging Chickens” in the store. We listened to your responses at the time and continued raising Cornish Cross.
Since the Red Rangers take twelve weeks to grow instead of eight weeks, they do cost more to raise. They also do not have as much breast meat.
We are excited to offer a different variety of chicken in the farm store that is a hybrid of a fryer and a layer. We can’t wait to hear your feedback!
Here’s to enjoying the beauty of fall and changing seasons and experiencing connection with the earth and those around us.