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About Our Chickens

At Steel Toe Farm we raise Cornish Cross chickens.  These are the standard breed of meat chickens currently used in the U.S.  These birds grow fast and produce large breasts that customers are used to finding at grocery stores.  Feed is purchased at local feed mills to help in our effort to support local farmers and the local economy, they are never given any growth hormones or antibiotics.

Chicks Arrive

Chicks arrive at the farm at a day old, they are immediately placed into a brooder.  A brooder is simply a box with a heater and small food and water dishes that the tiny chicks can eat and drink out of.  This breed of chicken are bred to eat and grow fast, this starts on day one.  When they arrive the first stop is the water dish to get a drink, but they soon find the feed dish and begin to feast.

Day old chicks don't have any feathers and are unable to keep themselves warm, hence why we must provide a heater for them.  Once they start to develop feathers the heaters can be turned down then off altogether, this is when the chicks are ready to go outside. 

Chickens on Pasture!

Chicks are generally kept indoors for four weeks (though this can vary based on weather conditions) but once chicks reach the age where they can be moved outdoors they are put in mobile coops that are moved at least daily.  The coops don't have a floor so the birds are able to scratch and peck at the ground to find seeds or insects to snack on.  In addition to giving the birds snacks, the floorless coop keeps the birds clean, happy and healthy while they are growing.

It's Time To Process

Chickens are processed around eight weeks of age.  Processing happens in our PA Dept. of Agriculture inspected facility, so you can be sure that the product you get is clean and safe to eat.  Water samples are taken quarterly to make sure there is no bacterial contamination and carcass temps are taken periodically during the processing to ensure the carcass is cooling at a proper rate.  Some are left as whole birds for roasting, others will be pieced out into boneless breasts, wings, leg quarters, etc.


On To Your Table

The end result and the reason why we do all this work is to put fresh, clean, locally grown chicken on your table to enjoy.  All of our products are available for on farm pick-up (by appointment only) please call or message in advance.  However, we realize the hassle of having to shop for your food by appointment, so we additionally offer a selection of products at a few local markets.  You can find our chicken on the freezer shelves of Edinboro Market, Westside Market on Powell, and Till Top Creamery 

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