Restaurants cry fowl over the demise of the small chicken
By The Financial PostFeatures Production Turkeys Canada Livestock Production Market news Poultry Production Processing Production
Chickens are being raised bigger because it makes economic sense, but that’s left restaurants caught in a clash between taste and efficiency.
July 21, 2017, Toronto, Ont. – Portuguese barbecued chicken restaurants in Toronto are struggling with a supply shortage of the younger, smaller chickens they cook on charcoal barbecues or rotisserie spits.
“Where is all the chicken?” asks Guiherme Salera of the Portuguese Chicken Guys, a downtown restaurant. “We are calling all our suppliers, scrambling.”
The eateries, called churrasqueiras (a Portuguese word that translates to barbecue restaurant), have over the decades become a popular dining option in Toronto; dozens of the family-owned shops thrive across the city and the suburbs. But several restaurateurs say that for the past few months they have been unable to find the 1.1-kilogram chickens that taste the best.
At its heart, their beef seems to result from a clash between taste and efficiency.
Canadian farmers prefer to raise heavier chickens, because they get paid by weight. Abattoirs have set up their shackle lines — where workers slaughter, defeather, eviscerate and chill the chickens — to process the bigger birds. It takes about as much time to process a small bird as a big bird. READ MORE
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