KW Homestead

Pasture Raised Poultry from Our Family to Yours

Tag: free range

Pastured Poultry Delivered to Your Front Door!

We are excited to announce that we now offer delivery for our pasture raised chicken, duck and duck eggs to customers in the Greensboro, NC area!

KW Homestead at the Corner Market

We love seeing customers at the Farmers Market, but sometimes you just can’t make it!

We realize that sometimes it’s hard to get to the farmers market, but that doesn’t mean you want to go an entire week without your delicious, free range poultry fix. So, we decided to offer a delivery option to our local customers, both old and new.

Delivery Fees and Protocol

For now, until we get our new online store fully stocked and functional, we will be taking delivery orders by email. We’ll then let you know your delivery date, and ask that if you will not be home, to leave a cooler with ice packs by your front door, preferably in the shade.

  • Orders  $150 and over receive free delivery!
  • Orders $40  – $149 have a $7.95 delivery fee.
  • Orders $30 – $39.99 have a $9.95 delivery fee.
  • Orders $15 – $29.99 have a $14.95 delivery fee.
  • Orders under $15 have a $22.95 delivery fee.

The more you buy, the lower the fee! Of course, all orders picked up at the farmers market in Greensboro are always free.

These fees also apply to our Chicken CSA customers who would like to take advantage of home delivery. In this case, we will use your discounted price to figure out the delivery fee. For example, our Deluxe Chicken CSA is $4.99/lb, so if you order two 4.5 pound chickens, your product total is $44.91 (9 lbs x $4.99) with an added delivery fee of $7.95.  You could also add other items, like a dozen duck eggs, to this order if you like!

So remember, don’t feel down the next time you can’t make it to the farmers market, simply shoot us an email (ourochreway@gmail.com) with your order, and we’ll make sure you get your favorite humanely raised and harvested, duck, chicken, and eggs.

SPECIAL!!! This week enjoy 10% off all chicken parts! From boneless breast to juicy thighs! Expires after Saturday August 26, 2017.

 

Beware the Label “Free Range”

Everyone knows that poultry labeled as free range is better than poultry that isn’t, right?

Sadly, you might have to think again!

According to the USDA website, which controls and manages food safety and food labeling, all that is required of producers who raise meat labeled as “free range” or “free roaming” is that they must “demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.”

So what does this really mean? It means that producers can raise their birds with less than 1 square foot of space each, they can raise them on a concrete floor, under fluorescent lighting, living on layers of their own poop, as long as they have “access to the outside.” Access to the outside can mean a small door that leads to a parking lot, a fenced in concrete slab, or a lovely pasture. You can see the problem here…

Free range or organic doesn’t actually say anything about how humanely the birds are raised, or whether or not they actually ever go outside and enjoy the sunshine, grass, and bugs.

Industrial chicken porch

This is a “porch” in a commercial poultry operation that counts as “access to the outside.” Image from cornucopia.com.

Your best bet as a consumer is to buy locally, and get to know your farmer so you can really be sure of how your meat and eggs are raised!

So what does the life of a truly free range duck look like here at KW Homestead? Check out the video below to see how they live…

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Chatting with Ducks

It’s the middle of winter here, and even though it’s not very cold right now, we’re still dreaming of spring!

This video is a brief look at the enthusiasm our free range & pasture raised ducks show when they think it’s dinner time. When Jason says “duck, duck, duck,” they know good things are coming their way!

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What Do Chicks Need to Thrive?

For those of you raising chickens for the first time, or just for those of you who are interested in the way we do things around here, this video gives you a brief summary of what supplies you need to make sure that your little ones make it through the first days.

We just received our 204 Red Rangers in the mail (we ordered 200 but they often send extra), and they are all set up and safe in their brooder space. They have lights for warmth, food, water, and space to explore and interact with each other. They also have guard geese living outside their brooder, which is an old, truck camper shell with hardware cloth added. Check out the video below!

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Pekin Ducks: Pasture Raised and Having Fun!

We started raising animals for our family, and have since expanded to be able to offer meats to your family, too! But you can be confident that we still raise our animals the same way we did in the beginning; with our family and the highest health and nutrition standards in mind. When you eat one of our Pekin ducks, you should know that your product is the best of each batch! We eat our duck, chicken, turkey, and eggs right along side you, and we keep the funny looking (pin feathers or a funny packaging job) for ourselves. We feed ourselves and our most beloved family the meat we raise, and name you part of our farm family! Thanks for supporting our poultry-raising endeavors… We’ll be proud to offer you meat for many years to come!

This video shows you how we raise our Pekin ducks. Raised the right way, on pasture and in the free air (with a couple guard geese as allies!).

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Happy Turkey Day to All!

What a year it has been! It seems like just the other day that we sat around the kitchen table during a snow day and decided to raise a batch of heritage turkeys for Thanksgiving.

It’s hard to believe that the free range turkeys that we raised on our small farmstead are going to be at the centerpiece of so many family gatherings this Thanksgiving. It is a huge honor to be a part of so many Thanksgiving meals, and to know that our free range turkeys went to families that care about their food, how it’s raised, and where it comes from.

So, we decided to shoot a quick video thank you for all of our customers this year.

We hope that you have a great Thanksgiving, and that you share some of our turkey posts and videos with your guests this holiday to show them exactly where your turkey came from.

A few interesting ones are:

Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks again! And don’t forget to save those bones and make soup!

~Emma and Jason

*Don’t forget, you can reserve your turkey for Thanksgiving/Christmas 2016 right now! So even if you missed out this year, you can guarantee that next year you will sit down to a delicious, non-GMO heritage turkey. Just email us at ourochreway@gmail.com.

 

 

How to Cook Your Heritage Thanksgiving Turkey

Now that you’ve purchased your free range, non-GMO Heritage Thanksgiving Turkey, you’re probably wondering how to cook it! You may have noticed that your heritage bird looks very different than the average grocery store turkey. You are right to think that there is a different technique needed in cooking your heritage bird, but never fear! We have some recipe resources for you and your family to try this holiday season.

Heritage birds are smaller than an average grocery store turkey and they tend to cook more quickly. They have more dark meat, which is great for roasting the whole bird because it is less likely to dry out.

Heritage turkeys also taste different than your average Butterball turkey. They aren’t bland and actually taste like turkey. That’s because, well, they are turkeys. Heritage birds are closer to their wild ancestors and spend their free ranging days running around the land, building muscle for your Thanksgiving enjoyment. The flavor of the meat tends to pair well with earthy, aromatic spices like sage, rosemary, and thyme. This means you can get creative with recipes this holiday season!

turkey

A delicious, roasted turkey!

Here are a few recipes that your family might enjoy this Thanksgiving:

Here are a few of our tips for cooking your Heritage Turkey:

  • Make sure your bird is fully thawed before you cook it.
  • Take it out of the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before you begin cooking it.
  • Don’t overcook your bird!
  • These birds have not been injected with whatever gross flavor concoction the conventional grocery store birds have been, so be sure to season appropriately (salt, pepper, garlic, whatever floats your gravy boat).
  • The USDA recommends cooking your bird until the internal temperature (the meat in the inner thigh) reaches 165 degrees. However, many chefs recommend cooking your Heritage Turkey until it reaches 140-150 degrees.
  • When you take your bird out of the oven, let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes before you carve it. This allows for all of the moisture and juices to seep back into the meat instead of being released as steam.
  • Don’t cook the stuffing inside the bird. Because heritage birds cook quicker, the stuffing might make the bird cook unevenly. You can still add aromatics like part of an onion, apple, or carrot to the cavity to add moisture and flavor.
  • If you are cooking it at a higher temperature, you might want to skip basting the bird. This is because constantly opening the oven door lowers the temperature and might make the bird cook unevenly.
  • Heritage Turkeys do not need to be brined (they have their own delicious flavor). Some chefs say that brining enhances the flavor and others say that it is unnecessary and simply extra work.
  • Don’t forget to save your bones! Simmer them in a crock pot with water for hours to make a stock or broth. These birds were raised naturally on pasture and their bones, tendons, and joints will make a delicious and nutritious broth!

For more information and tips about cooking your Heritage Turkey, check out these articles from Rodale’s Organic Life about How to Cook the Tastiest Bird Ever This Thanksgiving and The Magic of Fire: Traditional Foodways by William Rubel.

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, from our Family Homestead to your Family Table! If you are interested in sharing your Heritage Turkey recipes or pictures from this year’s Thanksgiving, send us an email at ourochreway@gmail.com so we can add it to our website!

Also, it’s not too early too early or too late to reserve your free range, non-GMO Heritage Thanksgiving Turkey for Thanksgiving 2016. Check out our Heritage Turkeys page for more information!

turkeys

Happy turkeys!

Turkey Freedom!

The turkeys have had free range over the property for the last few weeks, since they are now big enough that we’re not worried about hawks attacking them!

Where ever you go, they follow you. Kind of like an annoying little sibling!!!

They follow you here...

They follow you here…

IMG_0884

… And they follow you there…

They follow you everywhere!

They follow you everywhere!

 

Don’t forget that we still have some of our free range, GMO free, heritage turkeys for sale for your Thanksgiving celebration! Check out this page for more information!

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Free Ranging Chickens (Going Everywhere From the Pig Pen to the Woods!)

We recently have set our chickens free!

And I mean REALLY free!

They are free to go anywhere on our land that they want to, except the garden (which is why we’ve electric fenced the garden out) and the carport (just because it gets on my nerves)!

fence

Electric fencing around the garden.

The reason we made this choice is because we were tired of having to move their house and pen every week or so, and our flock is growing and we don’t want to expand the size of their space.

So, we decided to set them free and move their house way across our front yard to the edge of the woods.

ducks

You can see the chicken house in the distance behind the duck fence!

They still get locked up in their house at night, since ground predators are a threat, but so far the aerial predators have not taken any standard sized chickens. A bantam has gone missing, but we expected that we might loose more chickens when we gave them free range of the whole property. We think it’s a risk that chickens would like to take, considering how much happier they are! We’ve kept 3 of our hybrid roosters, in addition to Rex, so that they can help protect the flock in the case of an attack. We’ve started calling these roosters the Musketeers, since they often stick together.

We are really happy with our choice to allow them to be completely free range, except for one thing… The eggs! Only a few of them are still laying their eggs in their house, and we have had a really hard time finding their other rouge nests. Even when we find one and replace some of the eggs with golf balls (so they don’t know that we found it) they still abandon that location and look for new places to lay eggs.

tree

An old nest spot was in the monkey grass under this oak tree.

At this point, we’re only finding about 5 eggs a day, and even though this isn’t enough to sell any, we still feel like it’s all worth it. Because they are free ranging we feed them so much less food, so they are almost free to keep around!

The funniest thing about having them free ranging everywhere, is seeing the places they choose to go. One hen always sleeps in a tree in the backyard, and many of the younger hens like to hang out with the pigs all day! The Musketeers high-tail it over to the backyard in the morning to get some of the leftover turkey food that the cleanup ducks missed! I just have to watch out for Rex when I’m outside, since he’s started attacking me again lately!

chickens

Two of the Musketeers are hanging out in the backyard with the turkeys!

Three cheers for free chickens!

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