Two varieties of broiler (meat) birds are available.
A slower growing chicken that is typically smaller, has more texture to its meat and a slightly different flavour. Sold as whole frozen chickens around 3.5- 4.5 lbs in shrunk poly bags that store well for months in the freezer. $5.50 per lb. This breed is a lot better suited to foraging and likely gets measurable input from the pasture they’re on.
Industry standard broiler. A White rock variety that grows like a bad weed. Very tender meat, can be grown up to 6 lbs really fast. Amazing uniformity and growth rate on these chickens. Sold as above, whole, frozen shrink bagged – $5.25 per lb. This breed is primarily concerned with water and feed intake. Pasture at least provides them a fresh place to be when they’re not eating or drinking.
Other cutting options are available if whole roasted chickens aren’t as convenient. Different processing options need to be noted before processing and can be easily emailed along with your order.
Ordering before May can assure that they will be available for you.
I use the “under 200” exemption provided by the Chicken Farmers of Ontario so the production is limited. The quota system that exists in Ontario for poultry is curious to say the least. It’s worth a Google. Some of the stipulations of using the exemption include, no advertising, sales must occur on the property that the chickens are grown(sales at farmers markets or deliveries not allowed), chickens can only be sold directly to the consumers, not brokers or restaurants.
For 2016 there are two breeds available – Standard White and Heritage Bronze.
Standard white that get upwards of 20 lbs.
Heritage Bronze – about the same size, potentially a bit smaller.
There is often more variation in weight with turkeys so just ask for the ideal size and there will likely be one available pretty close. Variation between 14 lb and 25 lb is likely.
All are sold frozen, whole, shrink bagged, just like the butterballs at the grocery stores (only the packaging method is the same).
Standard whites – $4.50 per lb
Heritage Bronze – $4.75 per lb