- Do your chickens go outside?
- Do you debeak your chickens and turkeys? What’s the process?
- Why feed chickens and turkeys vegetarian diets if they are omnivores?
- Why are your chicken and turkey air chilled?
- What is your breed of chicken?
Q. Do your chickens go outside?
Our chickens don’t have access to the outdoors. They’re raised in large barns with lots of space to roam and unrestricted access to feed and water. Careful consideration is given to lighting and air quality to simulate a natural environment and ensure animal comfort. The challenges associated with raising chickens outdoors include increased vulnerability to predators and susceptibility to bacterial or viral contamination.
Q. Do you debeak your chickens and turkeys? What’s the process?
Chickens are not debeaked and do not receive physical alterations of any type. Our farmer has found that the combination of solid genetics, sound nutrition, a stimulating environment and light management can reduce their aggressive nature and eliminate the need for alterations.
Turkeys are a far more aggressive bird and feather pecking is a common problem. Our turkey producer uses beak blunting to minimize the impact to the flock. Birds have the tip of their beaks passed under a laser which deadens the skin so the tip falls off. This is performed on birds when they are only 2 days old and it only affects the very tip of their beak. Beak cutting is strictly prohibited. It’s important to note that both the Organic and Certified Humane standards allow beak trimming.
Q. Why feed chickens and turkeys vegetarian diets if they are omnivores?
It is true that in an open environment, chickens and turkeys will naturally eat grubs, bugs and other insects. However, in conventional agricultural systems, they are fed feather meal, bone meal and fish meal. These products are all by-products of other processing systems (feather meal is produced by pelletizing the chicken and turkey feathers removed from birds at the slaughter house) and represent cheap sources of protein or omega-3. At Rowe Farms, we do not support the practice of feeding animals the by-products of other animals. We use vegetable grains such as flaxseed for our omega-3 source.
Q. Why are your chicken and turkey air chilled?
In conventional chicken processing operations, birds are submerged in vats of ice water to chill after slaughter. Although the water chilling system is faster, water gets absorbed into the meat and dilutes its natural flavour. This adds unwanted weight and means that the customer is paying for dirty water used to cool hundreds of birds. We are firm believers in the air-chilled system for the enhanced tenderness and flavour it produces.
Q. What is your breed of chicken?
The Ross Ross breed. We have found this breed to provide a consistently great tasting product. The Ross Ross breed has strong bone structure and solid genetics which reliably provide healthy birds.