On Farm Pickup

Our broilers are raised on pasture in movable pens, rotated daily. In addition to the greens and grubs the chickens forage for, they are fed local, non-GMO feed from a fifth generation farm in Hardwick, MA, Clover Hill Farm. We buy the grains from the farm and bring a mix of kelp, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals to create a balanced feed. This feed is as fresh as it gets, which is important when feeding animals. Once grain is ground it becomes more susceptible to moisture, heat, and oxygen, which affects both its nutritional value and its digestibility. You can literally smell the difference. If Clover Hill doesn’t have part of the ration we need, we buy it non-GMO from Green Mountain Feed.

To pick up your pasture raised chickens at the farm, choose from any of the five available dates below. Pick-up Times are 3:30pm-6:30pm. We cannot hold your bird for you beyond the pickup time. Your birds will be picked up from the processing facility that morning and we do not have the storage space to hold them. The dates are dependent on the slaughterhouse, and while we don’t expect them to change, we will give as much notice as we can if the pick-up date changes.

Chickens are sold whole and weigh 3-5 lbs on average. We’re offering them at a sliding scale for  $5-7/lb. Please see below for a note on pricing. We also plan on selling stew birds during our last pick-up date. Please include your interest in either on the form below.

Please send $5/bird to reserve your birds. This a non-refundable deposit. You pay the balance upon pick-up. If you’re not at the farm by the end of the pick-up time, we reserve the right to sell your birds elsewhere and you forfeit your deposit. You can send a check payable to Ryan Richards at 35 Ball Lane, Amherst, MA 01002, or you can pay it here.


A note on pricing

Here are some of my thoughts: Compared to most of the rest of the world, Americans are used to spending very little of their money on food, due in part to our subsidized food system and the “get big or get out” policies of our government over the years. The current cost of food is completely dependent on cheap oil. Check out this article for more info on how other countries compare.

Because of the small scale of my farm, because I’m using local, non-GMO custom feed, and because I’m raising heritage birds who use their energy not just to grow meat but to be active and grow strong bones and organs, I spend at least twice as much on feed as the big confinement places.

Estimated Feed and Slaughter for 1 four pound dressed bird:

Feed:$6.50

Slaughter:$5

Total: $11.50

I’m not going to go into the other costs but just give you a sense of what we’re working with. However, I think it’s very important to offer something that is affordable to most and not some specialty product that only a few can buy. I want to offer something that I myself would pay for. I also want to be able to continue this and have the farm produce a modest living. To that end I am continuously looking at how to farm smarter, increasing the health of the place while finding ways to bring costs down that contribute to the health.

To that end I’m offering our birds at a sliding scale. You get to decide what you can afford, anywhere between $5/lb and $7/lb. Please consider your financial situation and ask yourself what you’d be happy to pay for what we’re offering. You might also consider how many birds you’re buying when thinking about price.

Thank you for joining me on this open exploration of money and our food system.