smart chicken? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-06-2010, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
nukuspot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,341
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have been getting my chicken from a local friend's farm but we are all out of them in the freezer, and they are haven't done another butchering yet. So my local co-op sells "smart chicken" brand. I bought it a few times and it tastes OK but now I wonder if anyone knows really if these chickens are treated well and given a good diet and access outdoors. I don't want to be eating factory farmed chicken, even if they are being given organic feed. Thanks!

Midwife mama bellycast.gif to DD1 bouncy.gif (4.5) and DD2 h20homebirth.gif (1.5)
nukuspot is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-06-2010, 06:37 PM
 
SuburbanHippie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: finally out in the country
Posts: 1,837
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
http://pages.smartchicken.com/pages/...y_history.aspx

That's their corporate website.

Mom to REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif(12), bikenew.gif(7), energy.gif(5),  guitar.gif(4), baby.gif (born 7/8/11), dog2.gif, and chicken3.gif

 


 

SuburbanHippie is offline  
Old 06-06-2010, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
nukuspot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,341
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know, I've been on their site. Seems they have 2 lines, Organic and non organic but antibiotic free. I won't buy the non organic as it does not seem like they are allowed outside, and the organic ones are.

But it's hard to slog through corporate speak and read between the lines so I just wanted to know if anyone knows anything good or bad about the company and the chicken.

Midwife mama bellycast.gif to DD1 bouncy.gif (4.5) and DD2 h20homebirth.gif (1.5)
nukuspot is offline  
Old 06-06-2010, 11:09 PM
 
Magelet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 2,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, it's always corporate talk, so it's hard to tell, BUT it says
Quote:
Our chickens are fed only the finest grain produced in America's Heartland,
.

Quite frankly, they a) look way way too big to be pastured chickens and b) they would no way have the first thing on their page be about the grain the chickens are fed. Take a look at pastured meat websites. They go on and on and on about their method, their farming, their land, they have pictures of the chickens on pasture, and often the farmers out there with them. They are small, almost always family farms. They rarely sell chicken parts much less boneless skinless. And they are never a big corporation.

From their info, I would guess the chicken's ENTIRE diet is grain based feed, the chickens probably don't actually spend much time outside, and if they do, it's in a small, muddy, chicken crap filled pen, which has no grass, bugs, veggies etc for the chicken to eat, and that they are hybrid birds, hybridized to have grow freakishly fast and have freakishly large breasts, not for taste, or growing at a good pace (for the chicken's quality of life or for the slow time needed to get nutrient dense).

I could be wrong. I think it's unlike that they're high quality pastured chickens though.

Caroline, partner to J, post partum doula, kitchen manager, aspiring midwife, soon to be nursing student, mama to my furbaby, someday a mama to not so furry munchkins, G-d willing
Magelet is offline  
Old 06-06-2010, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
nukuspot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,341
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think I agree with your observations. However, it's so frustrating that Smart Chicken is the only organic chicken available in my area natural food co-ops. They used to have Rosies brand as well, but that's not even a good option because in the book "The omnivores dilemma" Michael Pollan visits the Rosies chicken farm and they sound like they live in horrible conditions as well, barely allowed outside and if so, the run is tiny and no grass.

I'm having a very hard time finding a organic pastured chicken source around me. I contacted one source in Eatwild.com and am waiting to hear back---It's the closest one that has chickens for eating and it's still like 1.5 hours away. So even if they do have them it's a 3 hour drive for chickens!!! That's hardly sustainable. Are there any mail order options anyone knows about?

Midwife mama bellycast.gif to DD1 bouncy.gif (4.5) and DD2 h20homebirth.gif (1.5)
nukuspot is offline  
Old 06-07-2010, 06:37 PM
 
SomethingAnonymous's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 505
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well one thing that worries me is that they say "free range" but the
requirements for putting that on a label are pretty ridiculous.

The USDA only requires that outdoor access be made available for an "undetermined period each day." And there is no regulatory oversight for this term for eggs, by the way.

In the book The Omnivore's Dilemma, the author talks about visiting the Petaluma Poultry chicken farm, whose chickens are free range. He said that the chickens were kept inside until they were about 5 weeks old. Then between 5 and 7 weeks old, a door was open to a 15' by 15' yard where the chickens could "range free" at their option. Since none of the chickens had ever been outside before, none of them wanted to go out. They stayed huddled close together inside and then they are slaughtered at 7 weeks.

Now, maybe the Smart Chicken brand is different... but they look like a big industrial organic farm to me and I opted not to buy them from our co-op. Our co-op only has smart chicken and the Rosie/rocky Jr. chicken from Petaluma poultry. It's frustrating to not have a good option.

ETA: lol, I wrote this before the previous poster had posted. Sorry for the redundant info.
SomethingAnonymous is offline  
Old 06-07-2010, 07:30 PM
 
JElaineB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 827
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think what everyone has said here is correct. I do buy Smart Chicken, however; I'm not hard core TF at this point though. It do think it is better health-wise than conventional chicken (no antibiotics), and it does taste better than conventional chicken. But I agree, it is not close to pastured chicken at all.
JElaineB is offline  
Old 06-08-2010, 03:06 PM
 
blueridgewoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,805
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
We eat it occasionally since our farmers only deliver meat once a month and sometimes I underestimate my order. We eat the Smart Chicken organic line but I don't have any illusions that it's healthy or free range, unfortunately. I just figure it's better than conventional chicken, which would be my other option.

mom to one glorious sweetpea born 10/18/2007.

blueridgewoman is offline  
Old 08-05-2010, 12:15 PM
 
EliseRenee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've also read that if chickens were allowed to free-range right after hatching, they would almost never survive. Their bodies have to maintain certain temperatures for several weeks after hatching. Not only that, but if left out during the night or too young, they run the chance of becoming prey to other animals. Here's a YouTube video that Smart Chicken just recently posted--it might answer of the other questions on this forum.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w06T2...eature=related
EliseRenee is offline  
Old 08-05-2010, 02:23 PM
 
greenmulberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, you cannot let chickens out in the world and away from their heat source until about 5 weeks for so. Unless the weather is nice and very warm. And if the weather is nasty, you have to wait even longer. They have to be kept in a draft an moisture free area until they are feathered.

Meat chickens are slaughtered not too long (couple weeks) after this, unless you are raising a heritage breed, which take much longer to grow
greenmulberry is offline  
Old 08-06-2010, 12:50 AM
 
JElaineB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 827
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EliseRenee View Post
I've also read that if chickens were allowed to free-range right after hatching, they would almost never survive. Their bodies have to maintain certain temperatures for several weeks after hatching. Not only that, but if left out during the night or too young, they run the chance of becoming prey to other animals. Here's a YouTube video that Smart Chicken just recently posted--it might answer of the other questions on this forum.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w06T2...eature=related
Thanks for the link to the video. It appears that their organic chickens at least are allowed access to pasture and maybe are acutally eating grass and bugs for a couple of weeks. That's good news.
JElaineB is offline  
Old 08-06-2010, 03:55 PM
 
JoyMC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 229
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nukuspot View Post
Are there any mail order options anyone knows about?
yup - www.grasslandbeef.com sells pastured chickens.
JoyMC is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off