|Broilers in Field
WEATHERTOP FARM PASTURED MODEL
We raise our chicks in the
brooder for three weeks on top of a deep-bedding system with fresh hay. Once of age, we put them out on the field in pens
measuring 10ft by 12ft. These pens are moved daily to fresh pasture and provide all the essentials of fresh air, sunshine,
bugs, exercise, and protection from the elements and predators. We have our feed custom-blended at a local mill. There are
no antibiotics or hormones added, and our pastures are free from insecticides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Our broilers
are healthy and are healthy for you.
WHAT MAKES WEATHERTOP CHICKEN
CONVENTIONALLY RAISED CHICKEN?
It’s easy to taste the difference between conventionally grown chicken
and pastured chicken. Unfortunately, this difference in taste reflects the abuses and cruelties endured by the conventionally
raised chicken. From the cramped warehouses coated with deep layers of fecal matter, to the de-beaking process which prevents
cannibalism of seriously unhappy birds, factory farmed chickens undergo some of the most inhumane treatment of any livestock.
The health issues that spin off of these mistreatments are numerous. The diet of conventional broilers contains no grass or
greens, and thus the chickens are vitamin deficient and sickly, leading to the injection of antibiotics and hormones. Conventionally
grown chickens have no access to fresh outside air, they are exposed to no sunshine, they aren’t able to forage for
bugs, and they don’t even get any exercise. In addition, processing undergone at a conventional (inspected) facility
is done mechanically, making a disgusting mess. According to Joel Salatin, the original pastured poultry guru who spent time
as an investigative journalist, about 9 percent of the weight on most chickens bought in the grocery store is fecal material
or “soup” soaked up from the chill tank where chickens are stored after processing. To deal with this health hazard,
the carcasses are given up to 40 chlorine baths as well as treatments such as irradiation. And all of this takes place under
proper USDA inspection, to supposedly ensure the customer that the product they are buying is safe for consumption. When conditions
are this bad, it is easy to see how a different model can provide not only a much healthier product, but one that actually
tastes a great deal better.