Have you tried to grow your own broilers and watched them become lame, die of heart attacks and organ failure, and lie around in their poop, becoming an unappetizing mess? Commercial broilers (Cobb, Ross, etc) were never intended for home or small farm production.
Our Mistral Gris (“Mee-strahl Gree”) are a ‘Label Rouge’ style of pasture meat bird - the best breed for healthy chicken meat. They grow much faster than the best pure-bred heritage birds, but not too fast like the commercial broilers. These are robust chicks that feather quickly and can go outside to start foraging at a few weeks old.
Healthy & Robust
The Mistral Gris reach 5 lbs (live weight) by 9 weeks old, dressing out to meaty fryers, but most people keep them to 12 weeks and enjoy flavourful and tender roasters. They have broader breasts and heavier thighs than the Freedom Rangers, Western Rustics, etc. Despite the black feathers, they dress cleanly. Rub with butter and roast in an open pan for the most divine dinner!
Mistral Gris look a lot like Barred Rocks, with black and white barred feathers, single combs and yellow skin. They were bred from Barred Rocks and several other heritage breeds using old-fashioned breeding techniques and a ‘3 way cross’. It takes at least 10 generations to perfect a cross like this, and the parent/grandparent lines need to be refreshed every 4 years, so they are an ongoing project here at the farm. No genetic engineering or ‘terminal genes’ have been used, but the Gris grow too large to be good breeders themselves.
True North Farm is the exclusive owner of the breeding flocks of Mistral Gris, which makes them the only meat breed you can buy that is not owned and controlled by EW Group - the global monopoly of all commercial chicken genetics including SASSO, Hubbard and all the ‘rangers’ and ‘grazers’ offered by other Canadian and American hatcheries