Why do the poultry products cost more than what I buy in the store?
The chicken that you buy in the grocery store at a cheap price usually comes from a type of chicken called "Cornish-Cross". These chickens are the offspring crosses between 4 different breeds in order to maximize rate of growth, feed conversation, and a short time frame until processing. These birds are processed between 6-8 weeks of age before known health issues become apparent. If the birds are not processed soon enough, they are known to have heart attacks, breathing difficulties, broken bones due to underdeveloped bone structure and more. These birds are NOT a sustainable breed because they are unable to reproduce naturally and will not breed true since they are cross breeds. These birds are raised in closed poultry houses with no access to the outside world, fed GMO stuffed diets and also ground up animal parts made into chicken feed. They live their entire life on antibiotics in an attempt to keep them alive and disease free. Their entire life in inhumane and disgusting. While raising Cornish-cross in this manner does make sense economically for CHEAP food - it is not a process that we will ever get involved in. It's a true sense of you are what you eat.
Our chickens are all heritage breed chickens, hatched from eggs right here on the farm. The young cockerels (males) aren't ready for processing until 16-22 weeks of age. They are raised in the pasture with portable shelters and surrounded by portable electrified netting to protect them from predators. These pasture "fields" are rotated to new areas every 2-3 days. We have a lot of time, labor, excellent feed, and love into these birds in order to provide you with the best tasting chicken you will ever eat.
We are currently also raising some meat birds called "Freedom Rangers". Freedom Rangers are a slower growing broiler that is ready to process around 12 weeks of age. The only reason we will be raising them is to offer a lower price point for our customers.
Buying your products from a local farm is also very important. When you buy from any local farm you are supporting your neighbor and not some big company who brings in millions by having cheap unhealthy products. Most local farms are a true family run business. My 10 year old daughter is primarily in charge of our chicken operation here. When you buy her products - you are helping by putting clothes on her back, giving her a sense of responsibility, accomplishment and pride in her hard work. You are paying for good, honest, healthy food that makes a difference in the farmer's life and in your family's life.
What about Organic/Free-Range Chicken - Isn't yours the same?
Not even close. These are the current Organic labels you usually see.
· "100% Organic": Can only contain organic ingredients, meaning no antibiotics, hormones, genetic engineering, radiation or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers can be used. Can display the USDA organic logo and/or the specific certifying agent's logo.
· "Organic": Contains 95% organic ingredients, with the balance coming from ingredients on the approved National List. These products can also display the USDA organic logo and/or the certifier's logo.
· "Made with Organic Ingredients": Must be made with at least 70% organic ingredients, three of which must be listed on the package, and the balance must be on the National List. These products may display the certifier's logo but not the USDA organic logo.
The current meaning of "Free-range" is that the poultry only have ACCESS to the outdoors. This could mean a very small chicken sized door in the hidden corner of a 600 foot long building. It doesn't mean that that bird EVER even set foot outside. And even then - they can have a 3 ft by 3 ft fenced area outside that door and it's still considered free-range.
Pastured chicken simply means that the birds were raised on pasture. Usually this means 100-200 Cornish-Cross chickens in a 10x10x2 foot shelter that is moved every 24 hours.
How do I know that your farm does what you say it does?
There are several ways for us to guarantee this to you as the consumer.
You can come out an visit and see the animals and our practices yourself. Appointments are required for farm tours. Feel free to drive by anytime and see for yourself too. With almost 1/2 mile of road frontage, you can see a lot of our operation by just driving by. You are also invited to see our farm along with many others during the Kenton County Fall Harvest Tour on Saturday September 19, 2015.
More coming soon!
Rising Phoenix Farm 14093 Madison Pike Morning View, KY 41063 firstname.lastname@example.org