Looking for pasture-raised chickens in Central Florida? Head to Azalea Acres Farm in Osteen. Owner and farmer Alan Anderson’s offerings have become a favorite at local farmers’ markets, organic food stores, and a select-few restaurants.
Get to Know Farmer Alan Anderson
Raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Anderson first got into farming when he moved to Florida over a decade ago. He bought a five-acre parcel of land and began growing his own fruit and vegetables. “I had a strong desire to grow my own food. I wanted to be sure of what went into it,” he tells us during a previous interview with Edible Orlando.
Anderson then purchased some cows and pigs before taking the plunge and adding 100 chickens to his farm. When Florida law changed in 2014, he jumped at the chance to become a “Limited Poultry and Egg Producer,” which allows small farmers to butcher their own chickens. As he explains, “Our chickens are fully cleaned and professionally packaged by a licensed, local farmer.”
In addition to purchasing his chicken and eggs for use at home, you can also find his poultry and produce on the menus at local spots, including:
- Millie’s Restaurant and Catering in Daytona Beach Shores
- Fire Department Meals, offering prepared meals delivered to your door
- Sugar Mill Country Club in New Smyrna Beach
- 1921 Mount Dora, where you can also find his vegetables
Pasture-Raised Chickens at Azalea Acres Farm
Anderson’s methods are unique and precise. His chickens are raised out on pasture as soon as they can take care of themselves, living in mobile chicken coops with no floor. He moves the coops daily to ensure the best sanitation practices. The coops keep the animals safe from potential predators and still provide plenty of sunlight, shade, and weather protection.
In terms of food, the mobile coops provide the chickens access to fresh grass and bugs while allowing the pasture time to “rest” after grazing. The pastures are seeded, maintained, and naturally fertilized (thanks to the chickens!) to ensure the best possible nutrition for the birds. They also have access to an all-natural feed that is ground fresh at a local feed mill. Of course, Azalea Acres Farms uses no chemicals, antibiotics, or growth hormones.
“My goal is to raise better, healthier food,” Anderson says. “We have happy, healthy chickens.”