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.
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.
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.
Every year around this time I have people tell me they barbequed their chicken and, even though they keep adding BBQ sauce, the meat was dry. There is a very simple answer to this problem. PAR BOIL your chicken before putting it on the grill. It eliminates the problem of dry, charred meat outside and raw meat inside.
Just fill a pot with water, place the chicken pieces in the water and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the water, cover and set aside until you’re ready to grill. This allows the meat to rest and retain its juices. (Save the water you used to simmer the chicken for a stock base later.) The chicken will not be fully cooked, but it will require less time on the grill and less chance of drying out the meat.
When the grill is ready, place the pieces on the grill, until one side is golden brown, flip and brown the other side. At this point, if you choose, add your BBQ sauce and grill for several minutes until the sugar in the sauce starts to crackle and carmelize. Remove and serve. You and your family or guests will love the great taste of Bell & Evans grilled chicken!
Here are some simple words to live by: If you can’t pronounce it… don’t eat it.
Read food labels… especially the ingredient list. If it sounds like a chemical experiment, put it down. Also beware of some ‘all-natural’ products that say they contain “natural flavorings.” These so-called natural flavorings are added to foods that lose flavor in processing.
The celebration of Earth Day is a great time for individuals as well as companies to rededicate themselves to protecting the environment.
At Bell & Evans, it is part of our Bell & Evans Best Practices Standard to be good stewards of the land year-round.