Last Updated on February 14, 2024
Introducing, Heirloom Chicken
Continuing Our Commitment to Animal Welfare
Since the very beginning, the ButcherBox mission has centered around a better way to do meat. From ensuring the wellbeing of animals to partnering with farmers and fishermen who are committed to using sustainable practices; we obsess over meat and seafood, so you don’t have to.
Part of this obsession includes keeping the highest standards for animal welfare at the core of our business, so we can offer you the best meat and seafood the planet has to offer while giving animals the best lives we can. That’s why we’ve sought out third-party certifications, with organizations like the Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.), that hold our partners accountable through comprehensive animal welfare standards and farm auditing. All of our chicken products are at least G.A.P. Step Level 3 certified which, in short, means the chickens have seasonal outdoor access and live in structures that have natural light and enrichments for the birds to explore and fulfill natural behaviors like dust bathing. Read more about G.A.P.’s level standards for chicken here.
Happier Chickens and High-Quality Meat
We’re happy to be furthering our commitment to animal welfare with the addition of Heirloom Ranger Gold breed chickens from Mary’s Chickens. These Heirloom breed chickens are Better Chicken Project and G.A.P. Step Level 4 certified, meaning these birds are fitter and live primarily on pasture with access to shelter as they please. Farmers maintain the pasture in a way that encourages the chickens to behave as they naturally would—searching for insects, dust bathing, and preening their feathers. Their genetics and increased mobility lead to a more balanced body type, rather than a disproportionately heavy-breasted chicken.
We’ve always been advocates for meat and seafood the way it’s supposed to be. So, it’s especially exciting when we have opportunities to offer our members meat from animals that have some heritage characteristics. The more humane upbringing of these Heirloom Ranger Gold chickens yields different meat than most of us may be used to. People often describe Heirloom chicken as having a richer flavor than the chickens they traditionally eat. Leg meat fans especially will appreciate the higher percentage of leg meat on these chickens.
Heirloom Chicken by Mary’s Chickens
“We work tirelessly to seek out and partner with suppliers, farmers, and ranchers who are aligned with our vision of driving change in the meat and seafood industries,” said Becky Faudree, vice president of procurement for ButcherBox. “Our partnership with Mary’s Chickens to source chicken is a prime example of that work and something we know our customers will enjoy. Being able to offer whole and ground Pasture-Raised Heirloom chicken is a testament to our commitment of giving our customers the highest claims possible while also prioritizing animal welfare.”
In addition to Mary’s Chickens products, we’re also launching a fully cooked Pasture-Raised Heirloom half chicken in partnership with Roli Roti, our prepared foods partner who uses sous-vide style cooking on all our ready-to-eat items.
The family behind Mary’s Chickens has raised poultry for three generations; and their values of raising chickens the old-fashioned way to ensure the best nutrition for families fits well with our mission to bring our members high-quality meat they can trust. “Today, Mary’s formula for good nutrition is simple…When she and her family eat food that is grown as nature intended, it makes everyone feel good and keeps them healthy.” —Mary’s Chickens
Food You Can Feel Good About
Here at ButcherBox, we do right by the animal so you can do what’s best for you. We’re proud to be recognized by the ASPCA®’s Shop With Your Heart® program and surpass the standards outlined in the Better Chicken Commitment for this new product offering.
“Consumers are increasingly concerned about where their food comes from and how farm animals are cared for,” said Nancy Roulston, senior director of corporate policy and animal scientist, ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare. “By offering home delivery of a higher welfare chicken breed, ButcherBox is not only raising the bar for animal welfare but vastly expanding the number of Americans who have access to more humane options.”
No matter if you try out our new Pasture-Raised Heirloom products or stick to your usual free-range organic chicken order, you can have peace of mind knowing that all of our chickens are raised with higher standards for animal welfare. As always, the birds have access to the outdoors and are never given antibiotics or added hormones (federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones and steroids and poultry).
Let’s Cook: Preparing an Heirloom Whole Chicken Like a Pro
Because of their higher muscle content, pasture-raised chicken cooks faster. For best results, roast the chicken at 375°F until golden brown for about 1 hour and the internal temperature is 165°F, as measured with a food thermometer.
Camille is a Copywriter at ButcherBox with a background in storytelling and environmental advocacy. She believes that words have the power to change the world. In her spare time, she writes and performs poetry, curates playlists she'll forget about in a week, and crochets until her wrists ache.