In the early 1900s, chicken keeping was extremely common. Processing the birds was simply a part of life — and most people not only knew how to do it, but also processed chickens themselves on a regular basis. It was even normal for young children to help out with the chore under mom or grandma’s supervision. But today, the thought of killing anything has become so taboo that many would rather believe their meat was grown in a plastic package at the grocery store than associate it with a once living, breathing animal. But do do you know what it’s fed, injected with, or what quality of life it experiences?
We think you should. Our goal at Primal Pastures is to produce food that we believe in. Food we feel good about feeding to ourselves, our children, and grandchildren. Food that is grown responsibly, sustainably, and according to nature’s brilliant design. We believe that there is a better way – a higher calling if you will – that we truly are or will become what we eat.
Chickens, believe it or not, are meant to live outside. They were designed to survive by picking and scratching for bugs and nutrients as they cluck along peacefully through their pastures. Chickens are great foragers, and have a natural instinct that leads them to good sources of protein and a well-balanced diet. Between 8 and 12 weeks, the chickens should reach an appropriate weight for processing and consumption, weighing between 4 and 6 pounds. The chickens should be supremely tasty, high in protein, and absolutely healthy for our bodies.
Contrast that with what you find in the stores today. A standard chicken raised by one of the big production houses is confined to an area the size of an oven – for its entire life. These birds may never see the light of day, never feel grass beneath their feet, never taste a bug or a worm, and never roam free in a pasture. That is just plain WRONG.
Most chickens are pumped full of grains and hormones that make them so fat that their legs are often unable to support their weight and eventually give out, breaking under the strain of this extreme load. To combat this, they are often injected with antibiotics and more hormones that sturdy up the legs and allow them to live to six weeks. At this point, they are processed for production, wrapped in plastic, sold to you, and fed to your families at the grocery store.
Unfortunately, Organic and free range birds may not be much better off. Unfortunately, organic simply means that the chickens feed has been certified by a government agency to contain no unnatural fertilizers or pesticides. However, the chickens may still be living their lives stacked two-high in a feed house, defecating on one another in a life of chicken misery.
Most of these big-box chickens are debeaked, a process that involves half of the beak of each chicken being chopped off. This prevents the chickens from resorting to the cannibalism and suicide that occurs as a result of living under such cruel conditions. These behaviors arent difficult to imagine. Chickens are designed to pick and scratch for their entire their lives. We strongly disagree with the inhumanity involved in the debeaking process and are committed to providing healthy alternatives to this modern day practice.
What about free range? This certification has been widely abused throughout the poultry community. One might think the term should mean that the birds have room to explore, play, and forage. But this has come to mean something entirely different. Take that same feed house from the previous few paragraphs, cut a little hole in the wall, and its suddenly considered free range. Even if its surrounded by dirt and the chickens literally never go outside to act like chickens, this is considered free range because they have the option to explore. You may want to rethink paying the extra $5 for this upgrade the next time youre at the supermarket.
So why the rant and what are we going to do about this modern day food catastrophe? Consumers are becoming more educated every single day. Many people are no longer putting up with big box chicken and are learning that there is an alternative. As described above, the labels and stamps such as organic and free range simply cannot be relied upon. The only way to guarantee healthy food is to know your farmers, understand their inclinations and motivations, and get out to the ranch to see your food in action.
Regrettably, there simply arent many options here in Southern California. The premium, real food, primal chickens are almost solely imported from Northern California and farther. We have strategically started our ranch in Temecula, CA, within one hour of Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. This serves to ensure the freshest poultry possible and puts you within a short drive of your local farm. We are committed to raising the best chickens in the world. At Primal Pastures, we raise our families on these meats and encourage you to do the same.
Thank you for your interest in Primal Pastures and the world’s best chickens!