Locally Grown Meat: General Information

Descriptions of Meats

Our animals are all raised humanely on pasture and supplemented with plant based vitamin rich grain, with fresh air, clean water, and when available, sunshine. We allow customers to visit our farm and see how their meat is raised.

Pasture Raised Chicken

We offer whole or quartered 5-6lb Cornish roasting chickens that meet the following criteria:

Pasture Raised Chickens at Bluebird Trail Farm

  • Purchased locally from a hatchery as day old chicks
  • Chicks stay in a warm brooder for 2 weeks until they have feathers
  • Moved onto pasture to free range all day
  • Fed organic materials like apple cores, potato peels, grass clippings, etc
  • Fed a non medicated, plant based feed with vitamins and minerals necessary for proper growth and development
  • Humanely treated: free from hunger, thirst, predators, confinement, severe weather
  • Processed in a NY State approved level 5A processing facility
  • Sold frozen

Pasture Raised Turkey

We offer whole turkeys throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons. This year we will be offering a smaller white turkey in addition to traditional large Broad Breasted White.

We raise a wide assortment of turkey to suit different tastes: broad breasted great white turkeys, midget white turkeys, standard bronze and Heritage breeds. All turkeys meet the following criteria:

Pasture Raised Turkey at Bluebird Trail Farm

  • Bought locally from a hatchery as day old poults
  • Begin in a warm brooder for 2 weeks until feathered
  • Moved onto pasture to free range all day
  • Fed natural materials like apples, pumpkins, grass clippings, worms, bugs etc
  • Initially fed a medicated “turkey starter” for 4 weeks. This is important for proper growth and the development of antibodies to fight off disease. Then switched to a non-medicated “poultry grower” with vitamins and minerals
  • Humanely treated: free from hunger, thirst, confinement, predators, disease, and severe weather
  • Processed in a NYS approved level 5A processing facility as a whole turkey with giblets
  • Sold fresh or frozen

Terminology

Below is an explanation of the terms that the Cornell grant supported project “The Meat Suite” uses to describe the different methods of raising meat on the farm. On Bluebird Trail Farm we raise on poultry on pasture, and except for the two weeks they spend as chicks in the brooder house they have constant access to sunshine, fresh water and pasture. Our pork is raised also on pasture, Free Range with a constant supply of compost materials (potato peels, apple cores, garden leftovers). Sheep and goats are almost exclusively raised on pasture with the addition of hay and some grain.

These are common terms used:

Natural

The USDA’s definition is only “minimally processed“. The term is commonly used on products raised without antibiotics in the feed or hormone implants.

Organic

Certified organic meats require certified organic feed, certain humane treatment of the animals, and the processing must be done at a certified facility. Antibiotics and artificial growth hormones are not allowed.

Grass-fed/pasture raised

Use of these terms varies widely. The USDA defines “grass-fed” as: “grass and/or forage shall be the feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. The diet shall be derived solely from forage and animals cannot be fed grain or grain by-products and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.” Despite this definition, use of the term may include animals which are fed some grain. In an effort to differentiate from grain-fed products, the term is sometimes prefaced by 100% or “strictly”.

Humane/Free range

The definition also varies widely. Some programs offer their own definition as “certified“. Generally, these terms imply that the animals have access to the outdoors and are less confined than conventional commercial production.

Certified

Subject to specific protocols and third party inspections. For example, “certified organic” or “certified humane”.

Dry-aged Beef which is stored in a temperature and humidity controlled environment for 20 or more days. The aging enhances the flavor and tenderness of the beef. www.meatsuite.com/Cornell Cooperative Extension 2012