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May 4, 2004 01:06 PM

Farm raised/dressed chickens

  • b

I'm fed up with boring, tasteless supermarket chicken. Do any of you know of any farms in Massachusetts, preferably near the Boston area, that raise and dress (slaughter) their own chickens for sale? I’m most interested in small scale, organic farms. I see a lot of fresh eggs for sale on the farm, but can’t find anyone selling chickens. Turkey, duck, goose, rabbit, beef, lamb?


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  1. n

    I have heard that Heirloom Harvest farm has something along those lines. I'm not sure if you can buy a single chicken (as opposed to buying weekly), but here is the website so you can investigate.

    Specifically, I heard from people who are buying a CSA share that they are also considering a chicken and eggs share.

    Let me know what you find out.


    1. s
      Science Chick

      Owen's Poultry in Needham is pretty good. Not strictly organic, but when I inquired they claimed that they don't use hormones or antibiotics. Haven't had their chicken, but I did get a fresh turkey from them last Thanksgiving and it was one of the best birds I've ever prepared. And while you at it, you can stop by Volante Farms right down the street for some farm fresh produce!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Science Chick

        I second Owen's. Another option I use occasionally is Dewar's, a butcher in Newton Centre. Although expensive, Dewar's quality is unbeatable.

      2. Wilson Farm, Pleasant St, Lexington, raises and dresses their own chickens. They are infinitely more tasty than supermarket chickens and cheaper too. This is a third generation family-operated business according to an article in a local magazine last year, and sure enough, the kids are there helping out on holidays. Don't think the chicken is organic though.

        4 Replies
        1. re: GretchenS

          I agree that the chicken is tasty from Wilson's, but the other day I asked where the chickens come from and they come from a farm in PA. Their own chickens lay the eggs that they sell. I am also not convinced that the chicken for sale at Owen's is from MA (or their farm) although I just bought many pounds of it and it is good too. The food project lists Owen's turkey and eggs as being MA grown.

          1. re: GretchenS

            Sadly, Wilson Farms no longer raises the chickens that they sell. They started outsourcing about 10 years ago. I have inquired about the conditions, feed, etc that these chickens receive, but no one is able to tell me. I still buy their chicken, since it is the best I can find. I would love to find a local provider that doesn't use antibiotics or soy feed.

            1. re: smtucker

              I agree: Wilson's is where we get our chx becuase it's the best we can find flavor-wise, and reasonably priced. But you're right, I've asked for details about who supplies it, the conditions, etc, and no one's been able to provide info to me. Even so, it's so much better than supermarket chx.

              1. re: litchick

                I emailed Wilson's about their poultry, and here's the response I got:

                Wilson's Farm's fresh chicken needs are currently being met by three East Coast vendors, all of whom meet our high quality standards and practice animal friendly procedures. Although the chickens are not "free range," they are raised in spacious climate controlled pens . . .

                And then the letter goes on to name the suppliers: Bell and Evans, Allen Family Foods, and Mountainair Farms. I did a search and found this link on Allen Family Foods:

                In other words, if one person can thrust 10,000 chickens into a live hang in one 8-hour shift, then this chicken is not animal or worker friendly. Too bad - the chicken is really good.

          2. Mayflower Poultry in on Cambridge Street in East Cambridge has immaculate poultry from its farm in the exurbs. Kept on ice, not stewing in a bag. I doubt it's organic, but that does not necessarily mean any improvement in flavor (there are plenty of organic birds that have less flavor than non-organic, sad to say), but their birds are reliable. And they have fresh capon available regularly....

            2 Replies
            1. re: Karl S.

              Mayflower as far as I know does not actually own the farm at least since the current owner took over, but the Poultry is from New England farms and not from a national distributor. In addition to the Capon, they also have stewing chickens fresh not frozen which make an incredible broth. They also will bone roasting chickens which is a lot more convenient than doing it yourself... And backs and necks to add to stock. Most places sell frozen rabbit, but they have it fresh. They have the most massive jumbo eggs you have ever seen (that might not be the best sign as far as organic, etc, but they are as tasty as Wilson's eggs). They do buy some things processed, so its not all "live poultry," but they do claim that its still freshly killed (within 3 days I believe).

              Its a basically an independent wholesaler, with good retail service and a quality, but not necessarily organic product.

              1. re: itaunas

                Thanks for the update. I find their products often superior (both in terms of quality and of course price) to what you will find in specialty or fancier food stores. Mayflower doesn't sell you food glamour or a story for a price - they just sell very fresh and well chosen poultry in a place that smells the way poultry and butcher shops used to smell (in a good way that most people today don't know anymore, sad to say).

            2. not direct from the farm but right in Boston; Savenors and Butcher Shop both have "small farm, organic" chickens from VT or NH.