What is a Heritage Chicken and how is it different from a Broiler or Julia Roaster?

At KOL Foods, we carry two lines of chicken, both of which are special for different reasons. Our regular chicken line comes from the same types of chicken you are likely used to seeing and cooking- only with much more flavor due to our special process of raising them. Our heritage birds come from breeds of chicken that predate the industrialization of the poultry industry. They are chicken as chicken as meant to be, and feature some key differences you may not be expecting.

Heritage birds are built fundamentally different from the Broilers or Julia Roasters. Their chest cavities are deliberately narrower and longer. This allows for a much healthier ratio of breast muscle to the skeleton, giving our Heritage birds much more freedom of movement and comfort as they go about their lives on pasture. The typical broiler/roaster chicken has been bred over time to have an unnaturally large breast, which while good for the consumer is detrimental to the health of the chicken. Our heritage birds are our attempt to reverse some of this process and work towards a system that is not only healthier for our planet, but also for our chickens.

The skin on these birds is also fundamentally different from their normal counterparts, being thicker, to allow for better plucking without causing damage to the underlying muscle.

One of the things we pride ourselves on is the varied diets of our animals that contribute to flavor expressions that are unique to grass-fed and pasture-raised animals. Our meats all have a much more complex flavor than regular meats, especially our poultry. This is most true with our Heritage birds. These birds are predisposed to get almost all of their nutrition from foraging. They are highly active on the pastures, often finding sources of food we weren't even sure were available. This activity and drive to feed contribute to a vastly different experience of chicken than anywhere else on the market. 

This depth of flavor does come with a smell that people do not associate with chicken- you cannot have one without the other. It does take some adjustment and getting used to, and can be off putting if that is not something you expect in the product, but is not a sign of spoilage.

For any other questions about our chickens, please contact us at (888) 366-3565 or by email at info@kolfoods.com

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