We decided to raise pastured chickens to fill a need for Northwest Georgia and the metro Atlanta area…provide people the opportunity to get clean, healthy, natural chicken direct from the farm. We decided to be intentional about the process too, it had to be Georgia Grown from start to finish. We buy chicks hatched in South Georgia, non-GMO feed milled in North Georgia, and we use a USDA certified inspected processor east of Atlanta. I think we can safely call this is truly Georgia Grown.
Pasture raised chickens are raised outside on pasture, typically in a chicken tractor (check out the photo to the right, this was one of the last ones we built) and they are moved to fresh grass every day. While the chickens eat bugs, worms, grubs, and grass most of the day, their diets are supplemented with non-GMO grain-based feed. Since the chickens are living in their natural environment, their meat is healthier, richer in vitamins and minerals, and fresher, even if it is purchased frozen. When you buy pasture raised chickens, you are buying it directly from the farmer who raised the chicken. Your farmer can answer any question you have about the chicken because they have raised the birds from 1-2 days old.
Lastly, since the chickens are raised outdoors, they “Just Say No” to drugs, steroids, and antibiotics.
The USDA defines free range chicken as birds which have “access to the outdoors”, with no specific parameters on what “access” means for the birds. Some places have merely a porthole for the chickens to stick their head out, while others have sterile concrete runs barely large enough for the birds to stretch their wings. To receive the Certified Humane Raised and Handled distinction the birds must have 2 sq. ft. of access to the outdoors. Our pasture raised chickens have 3 sq. ft. per chicken in the tractor and are moved to fresh grass every day. If you consider the fact the birds are in the tractors for 21 days, they have access to 63 sq. ft. of fresh grass per chicken during their life.
No. Organic certification for farms can cost thousands of dollars and at minimum 3 years of record keeping to just apply to be certified organic. The minimum requirement for pasture raised chickens is for them to be raised outside and moved to fresh grass every day. Certified organic chicken can be raised inside a building, never being exposed to a full day’s sun or the feeling of grass under its feet.