This issue is all about genetics and industry greed. There are only three major breeding companies in the broiler industry—in the world! One of the breeding companies is owned by a major chicken producer, another owned by investment bankers. And they all breed chickens to achieve the following goals, with little to no thought for the health and welfare of the chickens:
- Fast weight gain
- Bigger birds
- Bigger breasts
- More eggs per hen
- Most efficient feed conversion
- Significant cost per pound decrease in processing costs (costs the same amount to process a 4 lb. bird as it does an 8 lb. bird)
All at the least cost over all.
Our industry is hoping to give each of the chickens “some kind of pill” and hope it all goes away. It’s like drinking excessive alcohol and expecting not to have a headache the next day.
The term “Slow Growing” birds is being overused. The big chicken companies aren’t interested in correcting the breeding issue… Lengthening the growing cycle by a few days isn’t going to fix the problem. Putting time and effort into new breeding stock will fix the issue, but it is costly.
Here at Bell & Evans, we are working overtime to import parent stock from a new partner with genetic lines that will bring us back to the quality of lines we once knew. We expect to transition all breeders to new genetics over the next 2 years.
It has come to my attention that the radical Washington based activist group TryVeg/COK planted an undercover agent at our hatchery with the goal to challenge Bell & Evans leadership in humane treatment of animals. The TryVeg mole was planted in our hatchery for two weeks with the goal to stage an attention grabbing media show.
Over my 40 years as a chicken farmer I always strive to be the leading advocate of humane treatment for all animals. At our hatchery we’ve never strayed from humane animal best practices. It is our first priority and responsibility to euthanize only the sick and lame birds that would otherwise suffer.
Most recently Bell & Evans installed the Slow Induction Anesthesia (SIA) system, endorsed by Temple Grandin as the most humane process in the world.
I invite the leaders from TryVeg/COK to meet face to face and discuss their concerns.
I will continue to be the humane animal leader that I have been over the past 40 years for the next 40 years.
I am looking to buy more organic corn and soybeans from anywhere in the USA! Bell & Evans is also exploring the possibility of using NON GMO corn and soybeans in our regular diets. We are only interested in domestic, US grown grains and we want to know the farm that produced it. Please email me at email@example.com
At Bell & Evans our Certified Organic chickens and turkeys are fed non GMO Certified Organic corn and soybeans. Our soybeans are extruded and expeller pressed into meal. No GMO seed is allowed by U.S.D.A. Organic Certifiers as enforced by division of U.S.D.A.
Unfortunately much of our food supply is being produced by Unhealthy and Unhappy employees.
At Bell & Evans we just started a new healthcare program for our team. $0 Deductible, $0 Co-pay and $0 Co-insurance. We have taken away most financial issues for needed medical care.
Organic and Natural Food Retailers
Why are you allowing suppliers to feed their animals Soybean or Canola meal that was processed using the Hexane Slovent Extraction Process? Simply because it is the cheaper method is not a good reason. Hexane ends up in the feed, the vegetable oil, in the water and the air. We are in 2013 there are lots of great alternative ways to process beans.
Please investigate what Hexane really is!
In my opinion, the Commonwealth is about to support their second biggest mistake in just a few years — the Perdue Hexane Extraction Soybean Processing Plant in Lancaster County. The first was the Ethanol plant in Clearfield County that went bankrupt.
As you are likely aware, a recent NY Times article published on April 11, 2012, by Stephanie Strom, titled “48% of Chicken in Small Sample Has E. Coli” has brought into question the industry best practices for assuring the food safety of poultry in the consumers retail food supply.
When the retail food industry demands meeting a price point and a profit margin that may mean there is not much left for the producer. It’s exactly how we push producers to do unscrupulous things.
For example, feeding animals Hexane produced soybean meal, arsenic, and DDGS ethanol by products loaded with sulfur and antibiotics.
In the poultry industry the list of short cuts and cost cuts could fit the “pink slime” description.
Let’s start moving the bar up. It starts with consumers demanding retailers to carry brands that follow strict quality protocols.
Our government spent billions to subsidize and promote using millions of acres of precious American farmland to replace imported oil is unconscionable.
Now that corn is worth three times the past 20 year average at $9.00 per bushel and nearly half the U.S. crop is going to produce ethanol, we may have started a food inflation cycle that will grow out of control.
Can you believe that we slow down our oil imports and increase food imports!
We need to use American farm land for more than just fuel!
Out of desperation many animal production farms have resorted to using up to 20% ethanol by-products in their diets. Ethanol by-products are dangerous- antibiotic and chemical laced loads of garbage! I would not feed any animal this kind of product ever.
Food vs. Fuel leadership has gone amuck!
We at Bell & Evans have not cut quality in anything we do and our plans are to continue to improve in all areas. This year we added fully recyclable boxes to our program and just recently started our SIA system. We now think that we have the humane slaughter method for poultry in the World.