It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that we will not be raising any more pasture raised heritage chicken for you to eat this year. I've worked 6 months this year to raise some of the best tasting poultry you will ever eat. Hours and hours of care have gone into these birds to make sure they are raised as naturally as possible and fed non-GMO grains without any chemicals or antibiotics to contaminate you and your family.
Two weeks ago, I took the first batch of birds to be processed. These birds were all spoken and paid for before I even left for the processor. The birds were dropped off without any problems. The following day when I returned to pick up the processed birds, I was informed by the processing facility that they will no longer be processing any heritage or dual purpose breeds. They will only process birds under the age of 11 weeks. This makes it impossible for me to have birds processed at the nearest USDA poultry processor in the state of KY. I will not raise cornish-cross chickens. I also really don't want to raise Freedom Rangers. I really want to stay with the heritage breed birds as they have the most flavor.
The next closest facility in KY to process poultry USDA is in Paducah. I do not have the time to drive that far and make an 18 hour day once a month to get birds processed. This alone would drive up the cost of the birds and that's not fair to you as the consumer.
We have other options, but there is no way that they will or can be implemented this year. We really don't have the desire to do on-farm processing nor do we have the facilities or equipment to do so. In the long run, it may be our only option if we want to continue to raise heritage poultry to eat. If we were able to purchase the equipment and get an area set up, then the issue is the labor. We can't process the amount of birds that we would need to process on our own. We would need help. Anyone that would be interested in helping process in exchange for meat, please let us know as it will help guide us to our final decision on what to do.
Having to make this decision has made me furious. All we want to do is raise livestock and poultry in a sustainable, healthy way for our family and yours. The processing facility that we have used for 2 years since they opened preaches that they are for the family farmer. The following is directly from their website: "locally owned, Butchers Shop, Farm Market,and Processing Facility.We partner with local farmers who share our commitment to sustainable, humane, and natural production methods." They say this - but they won't process anything but Cornish-cross which AWA won't approve as humane because the birds grow so fast that it is detrimental to their health (and I agree with AWA - the birds are gross to even look at alive). Cornish-cross are NOT sustainable. You can't have a breeding flock of cornish-cross and breed your own birds.
This is taking a turn that I probably shouldn't get into today. It makes my blood pressure go up.
Anyway - we have a large amount of birds for sale at the moment. The more you buy, the better the price (and they are going at bottom dollar to begin with). I don't need to be feeding birds that I don't have an outlet for. If you want to purchase birds and finish raising them out, there is a local place that will process them for you. They are not USDA certified - so I can't take birds there to be processed and then sell the processed birds to you
Rising Phoenix Farm
14093 Madison Pike
Morning View, KY 41063