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Valley Co-op welcomes a new supplier of poultry, “A Slice of Heaven,” located in Clear Spring and owned by John and Carol Britt. The Britts raise chickens, ducks, and turkeys among other farm animals kept as the family’s business and also their hobbies. They will be offering whole chickens during the summer; in few weeks, they will have ducks available and turkeys in the fall.
The Britts earned an On-Farm Processing Certification from the USDA and also carry a Farmer’s Market permit to transport and sell fresh or frozen poultry within the State of MD. Carol explains that, for offering fresh chicken, there are strict guidelines regarding temperature and timing. Many local suppliers of poultry must take their birds to a USDA-certified processing plant in order to sell them across state lines. Birds processed at USDA facilities MUST be stored, transported, and sold to the consumer frozen. The Britt family just processed over one hundred fifty meat chickens, and although some may be refrigerated up to 3 days for sale fresh, the rest are all frozen due to the timing and logistics of upcoming markets. Co-op members may request a fresh chicken, but the Britts would only have fryer-style birds available for on-demand processing.
Their meat chicks come through the Frederick 4-H program that co-operates with Tyson foods. The chicks are provide as day-olds from Tysons as a way to promote kids raising chickens. The Britts feed the chicks a medicated feed only for the first week of their life to protect against diseases like Salmonella. The chickens are raised in large enclosures and fed feed made from local sources of grain and purchased from the W. Gowers Feed Store in Williamsport. Carol explains that due to their location, there are a high number of predators that impact their flock, so they believe the chickens’ safety in a screened enclosure outweighs the benefits of being free range. Carol provides grass clippings to the chickens within their pen to supplement their diet.
Their small flock of ducks, grown from mail-order ducklings, is on pasture. The current flock is only 7 weeks old, so it will take a few weeks for them to grow enough to become available to Co-op members. The Britts are getting ready for their turkey poults which will be arriving in the mail in a few weeks. Because of their limited refrigerator/freezer space, this fall Carol and John will be inviting members to pick up any orders for fresh turkeys immediately after processing either from their farm or at a designated meeting spot.
Learn more about “A Slice of Heaven” at their Producer Page within VCShop. If you have any questions or comment, feel free to contact the Britts directly or the email@example.com.Posted in Meet a Supplier | Comments Off on Get to Know John and Carol Britt, from “A Slice of Heaven”
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Valley Co-op Stats
as of 6/2/15
Total Number of Members: 628
Volunteering Members: 26
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New Members Since 1/1/15: 140
Total Number of Members on 6/2/14: 176
Members gained since then: 452
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