"Bart Ehman and his partner, Pat Bridges, run Pine Ridge Ranch near Sebastopol . . . one of a handful of poultry operations in the country providing epicures -- for a price -- with chickens raised the way Aunt Flo and Uncle Lou used to raise them out in the back yard. Throw 'em some corn, give 'em some water, leave 'em alone. The result? Rocky the Range Chicken.
"'We haven't changed anything,' Ehman said as he poked around a Sonoma County henhouse, outside and inside of which some 6,000 Rockys milled. 'We threw out antibiotics and we threw out animal byproducts and we threw out growth enhancers. We don't worry about rate of gain. Know what that is? A commercial chicken raiser is looking for about 1.8, 1.9 pounds of feed per pound of chicken. We're 2.3, 2.4, sometimes 2.5. It depends on the weather. We don't worry about that either. We worry about flavor.'
"For providing Rocky with the good clean life, Ehman and Bridges demand a premium price. At Nugget Market in Davis recently, the Range Chicken was going for $1.49 a pound. That was 60 cents more than Foster Farms and 70 cents higher than Country Pride. That was $1.49 a pound for everything including head, neck and feet.
"That's the way Rocky is sold because that's the way the chefs want them.
"'Rocky was designed not for the housewife,' Ehman says, 'but for the trained chef. We line him up for the pros.'"
"Trendy Rocky Has A Stress-Free Life --- Until Dinner," Daily News of Los Angeles, November 8, 1987.