Our mission is to raise heritage poultry in a natural environment. This provides a full and natural life for the birds while raising the highest quality meat for the table. Our birds roam freely in pasture and woodlands, spend their days relaxing in the shade of pine trees, hunting insects, lolling in the sun and playing in water. They are confined at night for protection from predators. Our flocks include heritage breeds of ducks and chickens, and Embden geese. We raise French heritage Duclair and Rouen ducks and English Silver Appleyard ducks. We also maintain a small flock of Muscovy ducks.
We embarked on a very ambitious project to raise and compare fifteen different breeds of heritage chickens in 2016. The birds were assessed for temperament, taste, health and growth rate. Our chicken breeds for 2016 included Barbexieux, Barnvelder, Barred Rock, Bielefelder, Bonticou, Brahma, Bresse, Buckeye, Buff Orpington, Delaware, Dorking, Marans, Neiderrheiner, Rhode Island Red, Sulmtaler and Sussex. The project culminated in a series of blind tasting of our birds. These included “double-blind” tests, in which neither the chef nor the tasters knew the identity of the birds until after everyones impressions were recorded.
From these studies, we chose to focus on American Bresse and Bonticou chickens, and in 2017 we have selected breeding stock for these rare breeds. We purchased American Bresse chicks from Greenfire Farms in 2016, and in 2017, we hatched approximately 40 American Bresse chicks every two weeks from this breeding stock. In addition, we purchased several hundred Bresse and Bonticou chicks from farms across the USA that specialize in these rare breeds.
In the spring of 2016 we also raised and tasted several duck breeds, and selected French Duclair and British Silver Appleyard ducks to raise. Starting from Embden breeding stock, we hatched and raised goslings in 2016. In early 2017 we added French Toulouse geese to our breeding stock, and hatched Embden, Toulouse and Embden/Toulouse F1 hybrids in 2017. Geese will be available by pre-order for Christmas 2017. We will have a limited supply of geese, reservations are strongly recommended.
Our birds are processed in two family-run independent NYS-5A inspected plants. Waterfowl are processed at RutsRidge Farm in Greenwich NY. Chickens are processed at Old Hibernia Farm in Salt Point, NY. These facilities are very clean and professionally run, and the birds are handled humanely throughout. Humane treatment of our birds is of paramount importance to us. We sell our birds to individuals and to local restaurants and retail stores. Our birds are sold to customers located in NYS, we do not ship birds at this time.
Gourmet Foods with Copley Vintage Cheesemakers
Our birds are quite different in flavor and texture from commercial poultry, and call for different techniques in the kitchen. These are classic birds, and they pair well with classic cuisine. In the winter of 2017, we began working with a close friend, Russel Oliver of Kerhonkson NY, an artisan cheesemaker and extraordinary cook. Out of this exploration of recipes that best showcase our birds arose a collaboration to prepare and market these dishes. We prepare our foods, including smoked duck breasts, in the commercial kitchen at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston NY, and every other Saturday we serve and sell our foods during the Winter Kingston Farmers Market.