Old Time Farm reproduces all of our poultry and livestock on farm - just like an "Old Time Farm" used to do. We are a true Artisan venture, on a small scale, with attention to quality vs quantity and with an eye towards preserving biodiversity for future generations. Biodiversity in poultry is critical as the commercial genetics are in the hands of a few companies worldwide and are proprietary (cannot be reproduced on farm). Biodiversity allows for strong immune systems, regional adaptation, vigor and hardiness, aesthetic beauty, natural reproduction and regional sustainability.
Before A&P supermarket's 1948 "Chicken of Tomorrow" contest, most poultry was regionally reproduced, grown on small regional farms and people experienced the enhanced flavor, texture and nutrition that pasture raised, truly slow growing poultry offered. Biodiversity was maintained by regional pockets of small farms and homesteads and very seldom were chicks shipped in from commercial hatcheries. The Chicken of Tomorrow contest was the beginning of the commercial chicken of today. If you watch the historical archive video, you will see the more proportional table chicken of yesteryear and the wax model that looks like the commercial chicken you now see in the supermarkets.
The work of the Vantress brothers (mentioned toward the end of the Chicken of Tomorrow Video) is now a subsidiary of Tyson and the commercial poultry genetics are now consolidated into very few companies who keep the parent stock as a proprietary secret so they cannot be reproduced on farms (including the "Freedom Ranger" chicken some mistakenly claim to be a "heritage" chicken but is actually a fast growing commercial type from Hubbard genetics). People often ask if commercial chickens are bloated and abnormally proportioned because of steroids or hormones, but the reality is that we, as consumers, ASKED for that type of chicken and the commercial chicken breeders selected parent birds over time to give us what we asked for - we have the power to reverse this tide before it is too late and bring regionally sustainable poultry production back to our food shed!
Old Time Farm thanks P. Allen Smith for presenting this dilemma to a wider audience in his TED talk titled End of Choice: Diversity Matters if Food Choice is Important to You. It highlights the importance of biodiversity of poultry and livestock genetics and some of the economic benefits they offer the local food shed. I think the point where local people and the general public can become engaged is missed a little bit in the video but we do need to work on getting product to you while remaining financially viable and re-build our local infrastructure. You all buying our products is the key to keeping the highest quality individuals for future generations! We Thank You for your support! PS ... We purchased an American Milking Devon cow from the Swiss Village P. Allen mentions ... Pansy's genetics have been preserved for future generations!
Chicken of Tomorrow Archive video: https://archive.org/details/Chickeno1948
P Allen Smith TED talk: https://youtu.be/yCsGFNHHIQw
Changes In Chicken Weight For Age From Selective Breeding Over Time
A chicken at 56 days of age was less than 2 pounds live weight in 1957, almost 4 pounds in 1978 and over 9 pounds in 2005. Our Chantecler chicks are close to the 2 pound range at 56 days. (approximately 454 grams in a pound.)
Old Time Farm