At Mockingbird Farm, we strive for sustainability, not only as stewards for the land but as stewards for the animals, too. We decided to raise heritage breed chickens because they were bred to be good for both meat and eggs, which we feel makes for a more sustainable farming system. Raising dual-purpose heritage breeds, such as Delawares, Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons and Barred Plymouth Rocks allows us to utilize cockerels for meat, while raising a few roosters as flock protectors and to continue growing the flock, and of course the hens to lay eggs.
Heritage breeds are excellent foragers, which means that they will roam the pastures chasing insects and eating grass and worms. They fly, and play in the trees and brush. Because they exercise daily, their muscles are oxygenated, filling their meat with flavor and texture, unmatched by any commercial meat bird. Because the bulk of their diet is made up of forage, insects and whatever they find that is tasty to a chicken, and supplemented by certified organic, soy-free feed, our chicken is leaner while maintaining great flavor.
Our laying hens lay lovely eggs in varying shades of brown - from very pale tan to rose to dark nutty brown. Because their diet is rich in forage most of the year, our hens lay eggs with deep orange yolks. These types of eggs are found to have higher levels of vitamins and minerals.
Cornish X chickens, the kind you will find if you buy your chicken at a grocery store, or from nearly any commercial chicken operation, grow to processing size in just 8 weeks. If left much longer than that, they generally die of heart attacks, or because the skeletal system can't support the weight of their bodies.
At Mockingbird Farm, we have chosen a different route, and we urge you to support this more sustainable system of raising chickens. You will be rewarded with rich, flavorful meat, like no chicken you've ever tasted. But your great-grandmother would recognize it.
We are continuing our experiment with crossbreeds, as well as heritage breeds for meat birds. We hope to find something that will please our customer's palates, as well as allow us to continue our mission of sustainability.
If you are interested in purchasing a whole chicken from us, please fill out the form below.