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In the US, over 99% of chickens descend from the same two breeds. You might think chicken is just chicken — but that’s because you probably haven’t tried the heirloom varieties, which Cooks Ventures brings to you by decades of breeding and animal husbandry, and all without any ties to genetic companies. Heirloom chickens are a cross between heritage breeds, which are naturally slow-growing and develop healthier and happier on pasture. This directly translates to the health and flavor of the chicken: it’s packed with nutrients and is more flavorful, more tender, and juicer than anything you’ll find at the grocery store. Cooks Venture chicken is also air-chilled for superior quality — a process that helps lock in the natural juices while maintaining the deeper, richer flavor these birds are known for.
Cooks Venture chickens thrive outdoors from morning to nightfall, instinctively foraging for bugs, grubs and grasses on an expansive, Certified Humane, 800-acre farm in Decatur, Arkansas. Cooks Venture is also certified by the Global Animal Partnership Animal Welfare program (Pasture Raised - Level 4), so all chickens are raised on pasture starting by 4 weeks of age, with proper shelter and enrichments to keep the birds happy and healthy.
The heirloom chickens also enjoy a supplementary, locally-grown non-GMO feed — made exclusively from crops produced on nearby Missouri farms that practice regenerative agriculture. This premium feed in combination with the heirloom breed and truly pasture-raised lifestyle means chickens are healthier and, in turn, healthier for you. They’re higher in antioxidants, omega-3s and vitamin A, as well as oleic acid — which makes for crispier skin when cooked! The richness and juiciness is unparalleled, and you can taste the difference upon first bite.
Cooks Venture is committed to raising some of the best chickens you can find and doing so in a way that protects the environment. They work with scientists and the farmers that produce their feed to continue developing their regenerative agriculture plan — a holistic approach to farming that looks at how animals, crops and the land can work in harmony. Their goal is to take carbon out of the atmosphere and put in back in the soil — a cycle that can create positive change on millions of acres of land, reverse the effects of global warming, and drastically change the food system for the better.
Q: What is heirloom chicken?
A: USDA defines Heirloom as Heritage breeds. Cooks Venture’s heirloom chickens are bred from Heritage lines.
Q: What breed does Cooks Venture grow?
A: Cooks Venture’s heirloom chickens are Pioneer breed.
Q: Where and how are Cooks Venture’s chickens pasture raised?
A: Cooks Venture’s chickens have unrestricted access to Cooks Venture’s wooded, 800 acre farm in Decatur, Arkansas, 24 hours everyday, 365 days a year. Heirloom chickens are bred to thrive outdoors.
Q: What kinds of grasses are found in Cooks Venture’s pastures?
A: Tall fescue, Bermuda Grass, Johnson Grass
Q: How does air-chilled compare to water-chilled?
A: Most processors cool chickens in vats of ice cold water, where they also absorb water, known as water-chilled. Water chilling tends to dilute meat quality and flavor. Air chilled chickens pass through several chambers of cold, purified air, which takes longer, but produces no added moisture, a retention of natural juices, and a tender, more flavorful meat, which cooks faster.
Q: Are Cooks Venture chickens GAP certified?
A: Cooks Venture chickens Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Step 4 certified, which requires the following:
Q: Does Heirloom Chicken cook differently?
A: Pasture-raised heirloom chicken will cook faster — up to 30% quicker! We recommend using a meat thermometer to check your chicken while cooking, removing it from the heat once it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.