Pasture-raised chicken will be available soon!
Mark your calendar—our delicious pasture-raised chicken is coming back to VG Meats the week of June 13th! We can’t wait to get this limited quantity product back in the fresh counter and online just in time for Father’s Day, backyard BBQ season and those amazing summer long weekends.
In case you’re not familiar with pastured chicken, here’s a quick overview—trust us, you’ll want to give them a try this summer!
Raising poultry the regenerative way
If you’re familiar with VG Meats, you know that regenerative farming is a huge part of our work, passion for farming and commitment to future generations—you can read about that here and then keep going, if you’re interested. We also have posts on regenerative food and this great video about the relationship between cattle farming, pastured chickens and the environment.
The VG family didn’t always raise chickens, but in 2014, we introduced them to the family farm in Norfolk County. We started with a heritage breed that was ugly and tough—we’ll admit there was a learning curve!—and then found our match in the White Rock chicken breed, which has been fantastic.
While part of our motivation was to offer a wider range of products in store, we also had environmental reasons for introducing pastured chicken. It’s fairly simple: when you take a regenerative approach, raising chickens on land shared with cattle is beneficial to the animals and the environment. As they graze on lush, green pastures, the chickens add nutrients directly to the growing grass which promotes more vigorous growth without the addition of commercial fertilizer (yes, we’re talking about manure). Our chickens aren’t confined to a small coop or a patch of dirt—instead, they’re on healthy fields that they help nurture and grow. You’d be amazed how much compost a group of 60 birds can produce! This method takes a bit of extra work, of course, but we believe it’s worth it.
Now, more about how we raise these birds. VG Meats invests in a high quality GMO-free feed for our pasture-raised chickens. We keep them outdoors under a portable shelter that protects them from local predators like foxes and coyotes. The shelter is moved onto new grass every day—something that supports a healthy farm environment while keeping the chickens happy. This was inspired by the research and work of Joel Salatin and reflects the small herd, high care method we use for raising cattle. We were also inspired by the recommendations of animal welfare expert Temple Grandin, giving the chickens ample space to move around so each bird can control their proximity to other animals. In addition to fresh grass on the pasture, our chickens have access to fresh water, fresh feed and of course, fresh air.
These methods take time and energy but they raise a better tasting chicken—something our customers can confirm. And, we know this approach also benefits our cattle and is better for the health of the land we live and work on. These things matter to us, and we know they matter to our customers. It’s not the easiest way to farm, but more importantly, it’s the right way.
Shop in stores or online
Our pasture-raised chicken will be available in stores and online the week of June 13th, 2022. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates, or give us a call to learn more about this exceptional product. Thanks as always for reading and wanting to learn more about our regenerative practices, and for supporting our local, family-owned business. We’re honoured that you’ve given us the opportunity to feed your family and look forward to many great meals ahead.