Why should you buy pasture-raised chicken?
Our regeneratively grown pasture-raised chicken is better for the chickens, the farmer and the planet, is unsurpassed in flavour and is worth every cent. Here are the core reasons why:
What is Pasture raised chicken?
Pasture-raised chicken literally means that. The chickens are raised outside, in mobile shelters on pasture (grass) and moved onto new fresh pasture every day. They have access to insects, soil, diverse regenerative pastures, and sunshine.
How is pasture raised different to commercial chicken?
Pasture-raised is different to almost all other chicken that you see on your supermarket shelves. Most chicken farming happens in large sheds, producing tens of thousands of chickens per batch. Some of these systems allow the chickens access to the outdoors (which is what ‘free range’ means) however, there is usually limited pasture as these sheds are stationary, which means the birds have access to bare dirt rather than actively growing green pasture.
Supporting Local farmers
Dirty Clean Food have partnered with Jeff and Michelle from Southampton Homestead, Steph and Sam from Rosa’s Ridge, and Ewen Nettleton to bring you the best tasting regeneratively grown pasture raised chicken in Western Australia.
Lower Intensity farming = better animal welfare
Ours is a lower intensity production system, which we think is much better for the chickens. They are still protected from weather and predators, while being able to forage and express their natural behaviours, in mobile coops or chicken chalets that house between 50 - 600 chickens, like these chalets at Rosa's Ridge, rather than 40 to 60 thousand in one shed.
Slower Growth - you are what you eat
Lower intensity farming means slower growth, and as a result, our chickens are processed at between 10-12 weeks old, rather than 4-5 weeks as per commercial chicken farming. This is also because the chickens are fed a fermented grain mix, as well as all the bugs and grass they can forage for in the pasture, rather than only a high protein formulated feed.
Amazing flavour and texture
We find this approach means much more flavour, great texture, and really rich in colour, especially the leg meat. We love hearing stories from our older customers who grew up eating farm-raised chicken - about “how it reminds them of what chicken used to taste like''. Pasture raised chicken really does taste like a meat all of its own - where commercial chicken is a carrier for other flavours (think lemon pepper or paprika), pasture raised chicken IS it’s own flavour.
Dirty Clean Food partnered with Southampton Homestead to renovate their on-farm micro-abattoir, opening up processing to pasture raised chicken farmers across the south west of WA. This makes it the first on-farm micro poultry abattoir in the south west region of Western Australia. The renovation included fully enclosing and joining the abattoir, coolroom and lading ramp, expanding the rooms and improving efficiency and functionality.
From an animal welfare perspective, this on-farm micro-abattoir is an infinitely more compassionate facility. The birds are handled by people, with the harvest being conducted entirely by hand. Each bird is thanked, and this work is carried out respectfully by Jeff's small team. The attention they provide also enables a superior level of hygiene and food safety through this handling and inspection.
It is definitely more labour intensive, however this facility is also about regenerating rural communities and rural economic webs. It is about bringing people back to the regions, through employment and farming opportunities.
Due to the longer time the birds are growing, the smaller scale of the farms, and the fact that they are hand raised and hand slaughtered, this growing system does cost the farmers more to produce the chicken, which is why pasture raised chicken is more expensive. We are actively working with our farmers to improve efficiencies on both the farms and through our supply chain to keep the cost as low as possible. We believe that our pasture raised chicken is a completely different product to commercial chicken, from both an animal welfare and meat flavour and quality perspective.
Do your own research
How can you find out how conventional chicken is raised? Look for the word ‘pastured’ to describe their farming system - ‘free range’ is no guarantee that the chickens actually have access to pasture at all, or for their entire lifetime. What kind of life does a chicken have that is on your supermarket shelf? Look up the brand’s website or social media account, and look for photos of how the chickens are being raised - Are they showing you the lives that the chickens live, or just recipes? Can you see their living conditions? Are they showing you their farming system? Are they living on fresh grass or in a shed? If they are writing about the good things that they are doing for the chickens, but not actually showing you photos of their farming system, then they are not being transparent about how the chickens are being raised.
Say Yes to a Healthier Planet and Food System
Purchasing pasture raised chicken through Dirty Clean Food is saying yes to a healthier planet and a healthier food system, where healthy farms, healthy farmers and healthy pastures produce healthy chicken that is full of flavour and good for the planet. Switch to regenerative and help regenerate our food systems today.