Each month seems to witness the arrival of yet another article, documentary, or exposé about the highly questionable practices used by the Factory Food Industry. In pursuit of profit, methods of food production that would seem unthinkable are evidently quite commonplace (e.g., the recent “Pink Slime” revelations with regard to mass-produced ground beef – “Yeah, bro, give me some extra ammonia in my burger, okay?!”).
To the extent possible, My friends and I are undertaking to consume only animal protein that is raised naturally. We buy local. We buy organic. We buy free-range/pastured/etc. And when we can, we raise our own. (Although this article is about broiler chickens, I also have friends raising goats for meat.)
Broiler chickens are an option for folks like us. It doesn’t take 30 acres of land and huge infrastructure costs to raise several dozen birds, and out where we live in the Hudson Valley there aren’t any benighted Homeowners Associations to interfere. Last summer-into-fall, some friends (we’ll call them T&S) bought and raised 50 broiler chickens with the understanding that four families in our circle would split the cost and share in the harvest. This article is about the particulars of that experience.