Skip to content

Types of poultry you can find at the Saturday Farmers Market

Wonder what it means for chicken to be free range vs. free run? Read on.
Free range chickens running outside on a sunny day.
Top image caption: Free range chickens live inside but have access to go outdoors at their leisure.

Published on October 20, 2017

With industrial farming coming under increasing scrutiny, at Evergreen Brick Works’ Farmers Market we keep poultry vendors accountable for their chicken farming methods.

While adhering to ethical and sustainable production methods, our chicken farmers are proud to raise birds that are one or more of the following specifications.

  • Pasture Raised: living in coops with no more than 1,000 birds per 2.5 acres, living on a mixture of grain and foraged vegetation & insects
  • Free Range: living inside but with access to the great outdoors at their choosing
  • Free Run: raised inside, but with no less than 2 sq ft. per bird to avoid stress, pecking & overcrowding.
  • Organic: chickens must be raised with a certified organic feed that contains no animal by-products or antibiotics.

If you’re still unsure about the chicken you’re buying, we recommend having an open discussion with our farmers. They are always more than happy to discuss their farming methods. This way, you can buy from a vendor you know and trust.

Did you know that there are many types of chicken available at your local markets? These three are most popular varieties found at a farmers market.

  • White Plymouth Rock: The most common bird in North America, White Rocks are a dual-use bird, which means they are great birds for egg production as well as meat. This versatility has made them the traditional choice for small scale farmers, as White Rocks are resistant to cold and more docile than some other breeds. Expect rich yellow yolks & plump, succulent meat.
  • Nova Brown: This Canadian Heritage variety of chicken is a broiler breed, meaning they are raised for meat. With a strong instinct to forage, Nova Browns thrive on pastures. Expect a stronger, slightly gamey flavour due to their preference for a protein rich diet.
  • Chantecler: One of only two breeds originating in Canada, the Chantecler was bred by monks in Montreal who were in need of a hardy bird that would survive Quebec’s fearsome winters. Another dual-use bird, Chanteclers are raised on pastures nearly year-round. Expect their meat to taste gamier than store-bought chicken and enjoy their protein rich eggs.

Interested in more lesser-known poultry varieties? Next time you’re at the market strike up a conversation with our vendors. They love to talk about their products and will be happy to share more details on the varieties they carry.