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Jan 3, 2008 09:17 AM

Is it possible to buy pastured chickens and eggs within a 2-hr drive of the GTA?

Just thinking about the coming spring and wondered if it is possible to buy pasture raised chickens and eggs within 2-hrs of the GTA. I did some research on the the net but couldn't really find anything. Anyone have any details?

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  1. Check out the chickens at Lady and Son Butchery on Queen (at Jones). She might be able to tell you where and how they were raised. She had wild-hunted turkey over Christmas, so you never know.

    4 Replies
    1. re: singe

      I'm not 100% certain, but I believe it is EXTREMELY illegal to sell any kind of wild hunted game in Ontario.

      1. re: embee

        There is farmed wild turkey in Ontario. The species was re-introduced by MNR with stock from MI 30 years ago, and now it can be farmed. I'm told it still tastes like turkey!

        1. re: jayt90

          Perhaps that's what singe was referring to, but he mentioned "wild-hunted" turkey in his post.

        2. re: embee

          I think it is in some cases OK to sell wild-hunted game. You can buy native hunted caribou and muskox at some times of the long as it is inspected and butchered at a federally inspected facility. Check out Whitehouse meats in St.L. Mrkt.

      2. Oh, and I almost forgot...eggs. I don't know about pastured or not, but I think the very best eggs for sale in the city come from Fresh From the Farm on Donlands. They taste the closest to the ones from my own chickens when I was a kid.

        1. Contact Robt. Huber at when you are planning a day trip to Mt.Forest. He has completely free-run dressed chickens and eggs, but not always available. A couple of km. away is Frey's Custom Meats, with most Mennonite specialties. Word of mouth for religious reasons.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jayt90

            Huber's free-ranged pastured birds will be available in the fall. A box is $60 delivered.
            (3 x 6.5lb.) I saw his chickens last summer, and they are very healthy, and have the run of the place.

          2. Since you asked for within 2 hours of the GTA I would recommend going out to the KW area. There are a ton of Mennonite farmers that have signs on the road for fresh eggs. Don't know about chickens though. Although if going out there go on a market day and stop in and visit the poultry farmer at St. Jacobs Market.

            1 Reply
            1. re: camp1980

              in itself, the farmer being mennonite does not guarantee free range chicken or eggs. there is wide range of farming among mennonites in the area, and only the old order mennonites can be counted on eschewing much of the modern farming practices. most farmers in the regions who are mennonite are conventional farmers, which means their eggs might be fresh (as in gathered today) but likely have come from commercial-style chicken barns.

            2. What's the difference between "pastured" and free range?

              5 Replies
              1. re: crawfish

                I don't think there is a difference. But try finding eggs from free range chickens. I think they're out there, but very difficult to find. I'm talking about the eggs with the super golden yolks that my grandmother (and Michael Pollan in the "Omnivore's Dillema) talks about.

                I also want to find try Free Range chickens, not just the eggs.

                "Free Run" eggs are available, but that's not the same as free range. AFAIK, all Free Run means is that the chickens are allowed a certain amount of outdoor time (sometimes very little) in an area that is little more than a cage without a roof. I want the ones that are allowed to graze and peck on the pasture, eating grasses and insects, not just grains.

                1. re: acd123

                  There is a real difference: pastured birds can move about or go inside, but free range merely gets them out of cages but still in the barn. I think it's a technicality
                  that large producers can exploit, for eggs and for fresh or frozen chicken. Frankly, you have to read between the lines on the packaging, or else ask a lot of questions.

                  1. re: acd123

                    Then you can get free range chickens and eggs at the St Lawrence north market on Saturdays.

                    1. re: crawfish

                      I'm there every Saturday. Which vendor has them????? Harlan Whatever's eggs are free range?

                      1. re: acd123

                        It is. They are. Fresh from the chicken to you.