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Chicken Farming FAQ

We raise chickens differently, and that means a lot of different things. We’ve tried to cover as much as we can throughout our website, but know there are people—like us— who want to know as much as possible about the food they are eating. If you have any further questions on anything on our website, or something you don’t see here, please contact us directly.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

  • Why are your products not organic?
    How much time do we have to answer this one? It is very important that you understand first and foremost that we are not saying organic is bad.

    What we are saying is that an organic label does not tell the whole story. Organic is not always what people think it means. It is just a label. It is designed for commerce so that consumers can see through marketing jargon. If you are sourcing your food directly from farms that you trust, you do not need an organic label. The organic label is for those who can’t source their food themselves.

    What the organic label does not mean, in any way, is that the animals were cared for humanely. Factory farmed, incredibly confined chickens, can still be labeled organic. To us, the humanity and welfare of our animals is the NUMBER ONE priority for us, so we don’t think our focus should be on the organic label. In addition, with expanding our operation and moving to a much larger property, we cannot have organic certification for quite some time, even following organic principles. During that time, while following organic principles, we cannot be labeled as organic.

    In order for our birds to be labeled organic, they would have to be driven for many hours at the end of their life to a certified organic processing plant, a trade-off we are not willing to make. Instead, we choose to work with local USDA certified processors that we can know firsthand have the quality and integrity that we depend on. The meat is still processed under inspection so we can make our delicious bone broth, and, we can get our birds to these processors with minimal stress. This is far more important than any label we could include on our products.

    You can trust that our chickens are the healthiest you can find, and that we don’t use chemicals on our farm. Our chickens eat only the finest, locally milled, non-gmo feed. We practice holistic, regenerative farming principles, and care for our animals, farm and land to a degree beyond what any label can confirm. On just about every level, food from your local farmers either on-farm or at the farmers market, is better for you AND the environment than any product graced with a label inside the grocery store. If we are going to change the way we eat, people must look deeper. 

 

  • Do you use antibiotics on your farm?
    The chicken that we produce on our farm are not raised with antibiotics.

    We care deeply about the welfare of our animals. To us, this is far more important than any other issue. See the question above.

    A better questions is probably, “Do you use excessive antibiotics?” Never. Do we use preventative antibiotics? Eeek. Absolutely not.

    When an animal is sick or injured, or has an infection, of course we treat it. What we do not do is allow that animal into the food supply on our farm. Once treated, a chicken is placed in our personal family flock. We wait the appropriate amount of time for a withdrawal from whatever medication they may have needed and they live out their lives in our family flock. When an animal has been stressed, we don’t think it is good to eat their meat and we don’t want you to, either. Everyone knows that stress causes awful things inside the body, and we should all do what we can to avoid it in ourselves and in the animals we eat.

    We chose to raise only heritage and slow growing broiler breeds of poultry because they are more healthy than conventional chickens raised for meat, and they rarely get sick or injured. They also are capable of living a full, extended life. From time to time (sometimes more often than may be “profitable”) we pass out pardons to special chickens in our flock.Birds that play with our son and enjoy our company or ones with special story are removed from the food supply on the farm to join our band of merry misfits.

    Part of our desire to raise and improve a heritage breed of poultry is to create a truly sustainable line of poultry that is resistant to disease and infections. Selectively breeding chickens over generations solely for size and based off of factory farming principles has lead to antibiotic resistance and weak immune systems in commercial poultry.

 

  • Where do your chickens come from?
    We have several breeds of chickens. Our heritage eggs are from too many breeds to list. Our focus on the farm for eggs is a rainbow egg basket, while doing what we can to preserve heritage lines of poultry.

    Our meat birds are the Delaware chickens that you see in most our photos, white birds with black barring (lines) on their necks, wings, and tail. The Delaware chicken used to be incredibly popular as a meat chicken prior to the advent of the modern broiler hybrid. The Delaware chicken is able to breed normally, grows at a healthy rate, and is full of vigor and health. Breeding, improving, and raising the Delaware chicken for our bone broth allows us to reduce our reliance on corporate farming.

    We also grow slow-growing broiler chickens that deliver a meatier bird that our customers are more used to, and are far healthier than their typical industry counterparts.

 

  • Do you sell whole chickens?
    Most of the Three Dudes Farm chickens are parted out into sections of meat like legs, wings, breasts and tenders. Because of our commitment to the highest standards of humane raising for our chickens, our costs are typically too high to sell whole chickens and make much of a profit. Whole chickens and turkeys are available to pre-order and first priority is given to previous customers. Poultry must be reserved prior to grow-out, 12 weeks in advance, and requires a $10.00 deposit. Deposits are non-refundable unless we cannot fulfill the order.

 

  • How are your chickens processed?
    Our chickens are processed in a licensed USDA facility. The facility is a small, family-owned facility that caters to small farmers. We personally chose the facility based upon their dedication to small famers and chicken welfare. The chickens are processed respectfully, by hand and not by machines. Small batch processing does not require chlorine dips like the majority of chicken processed in the United States.