Farming at the Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference
Family Farm: Oven-Roasted Chickens Hot & Fresh Nightly
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Oven-Roasted Chickens Hot & Fresh Nightly!
Member Services Manager
From the Jen Ehr Family Farm, whole oven-roasted chickens are the new
dinnertime problem-solvers from your Co-op’s deli! A different flavor
will be featured each night. Look for the Rosemary, Ancho Chili or Blackened
Cajun from the deli hot case with more varieties in development. The chickens
are grown in nearby Sun Prairie on JenEhr Family Farm’s 110-acre,
certified organic, CSA farm. Although the chickens aren’t certified
organic, they are raised sustainably and were recently featured in a story
in the Willy Street Co-op Reader about the Farm Tour in October
The Chicken Operation
On our recent tour, Paul and Kay were eager to give our members a closer
look at the hands-on operations of the farm, including the chicken operation.
The design of the moving chicken coop includes feed and water supplies
in each self-contained unit. It also provides shelter, shade and safety.
They are large, square, partially enclosed shelters, adaptable to changing
weather conditions. Twice daily the coops are moved to fresh patches of
clover. By moving the coops twice a day, the birds are continually provided
a supplemental diet of commonly found bugs and greens in addition to their
The JenEhr Farm has 28 hand-made mobile coops which can accommodate up
to 1800 birds at a time during the growing season. Accordingly, the Jen
Ehr is in a constant state of renewal as chickens graze on clover and
create soil or beneficial fertilizer while promoting pest control.
Willy Street Co-op Deli Manager Dan Moore first learned of this opportunity
through his wife. “My wife had always known Kay the Chicken Lady,
then introduced me to her at the Farmer Appreciation dinner and it only
took me five minutes to decide we had to bring them in,” he says.
“We had been wanting to provide a local options vs. Bell and Evans,
but didn’t have consistent access to the product.” Dan is
sure meat-eating members will enjoy the Deli’s new dinner option,
saying, “They’re fabulous!”
After marinating overnight, the Deli begins roasting chickens at about
2:30pm. They are ready for sale around 4:30pm daily. The whole birds,
ready to eat, will be $12.99 each and individual cold pieces will be available
from the grab-and-go case at $5.99/lb.
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