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Dec 24, 2011 01:13 PM

Whole organic chicken?

I rarely eat meat of any kind but do salivate for it once in a while. I was at Costco yesterday and saw their whole roasted chickens that sell for less than $8 and started salivating. But, I didn't buy one as I try to the healthiest meat possible which includes as many as possible of the following attributes: 'organic' (is that the right term?), local, as traditionally and humanely raised as possible, free range, no or little antibiotics in the feed, etc etc. So I went to Cumbrae's and bought a whole chicken there today that they said reflected what I as looking for as best as possible. But, at $4.49 a pound and only being slightly larger than the ones as Costco it cost me over $15 (and I still have to roast it!). But given I'm using it in lieu of a turkey for an Xmas dinner for myself and a friend and the fact it has the attributes I want, I I didn't mind (that much).

However, I was wondering where else in the city one can find similar whole fresh 'organic' chickens.

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  1. I would expect most free-range, organic and/or traditionally-raised chickens to cost around $4.49/lb, considering it costs more to raise those sorts of birds, and the market for those birds is smaller than the market for conventional, cheaper birds.

    Might be worth price-checking at The Healthy Butcher, and Fiesta Farms.

    Also, this thread might have some leads for you:

    The Healthy Butcher
    565 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

    Fiesta Farms
    200 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

    9 Replies
    1. re: prima

      If you have a car, Fenwood Farms in Ancaster

      We go there regularly and stock up on whole chickens and chicken parts. They will also give you a free bag of chicken bones to make stock.

      1. re: Mimicoguy

        Antibiotics are not allowed in chicken or turkey feed in Canada. I would assume free range chickens in the middle of freezing winter come from some place else (warmer) cancelling out the local feature.

        1. re: Danybear

          I didn't know that about antibiotics not being allowed. But, wouldn't chickens be raised in sheds during the winter? I'll have to ask Cumbrae's where their chickens come from then.

          1. re: Flexitarian

            Here is a summary of raising conditions.
            There is considerable overlap from Costco to free run and organic.

          2. re: Danybear

            Actually, you are wrong. Antibiotics are allowed and in feed too. It is hormones that aren't. From Chicken Farmers of Canada:



        2. re: prima

          Thanks, those are great sources. I was probably more focused on availability and options than on price.

          1. re: Flexitarian

            This has been a fantastic thread. Learned a lot about organic, hormone fed and antibiotic free and a couple of places to buy them

            1. re: Flexitarian

              Thank you Flexitarian for correcting the perception about chicken production in Canada.
              We are not holier than the US necessarily and an informed buyer can make better choices.
              Thanks for sharing the information.
              We all benefit from your amazing research skills on Chow.

              1. re: Idas

                The Loblaw Great Food at Burnhamthorpe and 427 (so presumably other "Great Foods" may as well) sell roasted Beretta Farms chickens. They sell out so inventory is sporadic.

                Also, some of the Longos sell organic roasted chickens

          2. In the west end, I like Butcher by Nature: .
            In the east end, Close to the Bone:

            Or Rowe Farms (some like it,some don't

            Not certified organic meat, but as good as, is "Fresh from the Farm" near Donlands and O'Connor. All Kitchener-Waterloo area Mennonite products. Mennonite farmers produce food for their local community, and since they trust each other to use healthy practices, they don't feel the need to certify. Lots of variety of chicken/beef/pork, available in store or by pre-order. Also baked goods, home canning, cheese, eggs and produce (in season).

            1. I pick mine up at Loblaws - I can't remember the price off-hand. I'll make a point to post the next time I grab one :). They're locally raised.