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SimplyAbundantFarm - Question on your pasture birds. . .

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jfarm, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. jfarm

    jfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    I checked out your web page - wow what a great source of info!

    We have been raising certified organic beef and dairy feed for years and the DH has convinced me to make use of his beautiful hay fields for some meat birds and not just the pretty egg-layers. We are sold on the health benefits of organic, natural fed meat, but am wondering about the taste (embarassed to say we are used to the Costco birds now). Some post I've read say that foraging meat birds end up stringy. What's been your experience? Any heads up advice you can give for a newby?

    Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. WisconsinChick

    WisconsinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    y0u should PM SimplyAbundantFarm if you have a question directed towards them. You'll get a reply faster.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Pasture raised birds have a stringier texture which some people call 'tough'.

    The biggest issue is that all the poultry you buy at a grocery store has been 'marinated' in salt water prior to packaging. It therefore is 'juicy' by comparison to your own raised birds.

    I just tell my customers to find cookbooks pre 1950 and follow their guidance, as broilers weren't naturally marinated like they are today. Cooking times are shorter.

    After very few birds of your own, you'll find grocery store birds insipid, wet and having a strange "sheen" to them. They taste artifical and are soft compared to a flavorful and robust pasture raised meat bird.
     
  4. 1shelby1

    1shelby1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    whine cntry,ca.
    Whole Foods has 'air chilled' instead of 'marinated' and they are more 'real looking and taste better than any other chicken (grocery that is).When I was asking about their claim of 'air chilled',my 12y ds stated that the air chilled birds 'looked yellower',and they did indeed look healthier than any other-even other organic labeled ones.
     
  5. SimplyAbundantFarm

    SimplyAbundantFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    I think that, not unlike when you eat a piece of corn-fed beef (which is what I was raised on in a farm family in the Midwest) you ‘taste’ the flavor of the fat more than you do the flavor of the meat and that you can taste a big difference between grassfed beef that melts in your mouth and the tougher stuff you get at the supermarket. It, too, was an acquired taste -- at least for me. The first time I ate grass-fed beef, I realized that something was missing – and it was. I was only tasting the meat – and it had enough flavor on its own that it didn’t need to be masked by the flavor of extra seasonings.

    Likewise, there is a definite difference in the flavor between the grocery store bird and a fresh, pastured bird. I think you will find that the meat is much richer and more flavorful. The skin, at least in my opinion, tastes better and if you don’t overcook it, I don’t think that you will find it to be stringy at all. A friend of mine summed up the flavor of the breast meat on the pastured birds vs. the factory birds. He told me that eating the breast of a pasture raised bird reminded him of eating a well-cooked scallop. After he told me that, I had to agree. Now I just find commercial breast meat to be slimy to look at and tasteless – it’s moist, but it tastes like mush.

    You will have to chew a little more – but not in a stringy sort of way – more of in an ‘mmmm…this is delicious…I should chew it slowly to savor it’ sort of way. At least that has been my experience. Americans are used to the mushy tasteless factory raised chicken, though, so it does take some getting used to for some folks.
     
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    It's even worse in pork. In order to market it as a "white meat" for heart disease worried people, it's fed and raised in a manner to minimize the ammount of red (myoglobin) in the meat.

    My pork is dark, nearly like beef. And I'll tell you right now, homegrown pork is nothing like the dry, white crap you get at Safeway.
     
  7. bheila

    bheila Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    I didn't notice any tough or stringy meat with our first batch of meat chickens. The second batch was definitely tougher. I realized that because I raised our second batch in the pasture with our layers, our meat chickens started to act like real chickens. They were out in the pasture scratching and running after just as many bugs as my girls. I wouldn't change the outcome though. I like to see my meat as happy as can be.
     
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    I rejoice in "tough" birds. It puts them in the top 2% of broilers raised in the US. 98% of broilers never see the sun, felt grass under their feet, enjoyed a dust bath, or pecked at the earth.

    I'm selling chickens very well, my customers love them (reminds them of chicken when they were kids) and it's simply not a priority to me to try and maximize 'tenderness' in the meat.
     
  9. jfarm

    jfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I think we are going to try some rangers on the pasture and see how it goes.
     

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