Because of my family.
When you go to the grocery store, and if you are anything like me, the browsing is where you attempt to come up with what’s for dinner that day. You slowly wander the meat section, eyeballing the meat variety and cuts, reading the labels of what the manufacturer recommends it be used for. And then you see it – “No antibiotics or hormones.” But, how accurate is that, really?
Up until the last few years, you couldn’t find anything that mentioned “no antibiotics” let alone “no hormones” or anything else for that matter. Factories utilize such things to plump up their birds, to prevent them from getting sick because of their living conditions (ie: no grass, no sun, and small cages), and then when they are processed, they are injected with saline or salt water to help the tenderizing process, but don’t forget you PAY for that beings the meat now weighs more…..but not legitimately.
When my oldest daughter started maturing more quickly than most in my family is when I decided we needed a change. No more chemicals, as much as we can help it. No more antibiotics, hormones, or other additives when it comes to food. I want to be able to pronounce the INGREDIENTS of what we are eating. More importantly, I want to make sure that my children are healthy and that what they are eating is healthy for them.
No matter who you are, you cannot do it all. Let me repeat that. You. Cannot. Do. It. All. Seriously. None of us can. So, you pick and choose your battles. Which is most important to you? Previously, we didn’t have the option of growing chickens and pigs, so I was careful of what meat I selected at the store. I was more aware of what the labels said and what was in the products we bought. I generally cooked from scratch most times anyway, so this was just another step.
When you have the ability to expand what you are doing, choose which is next important, or prioritize your next step. For us, it was chickens and pigs. But for now, we’re discussing chickens. 😉
What types of chickens do we raise for meat? Cornish Cross Chickens, sometimes called “C” Monsters by Mr. Justin Rhodes and his family, and a better description is, the chicken most like what we are used to in the stores, BUT, with WAAAAAY more flavor! And let’s face it, you know EXACTLY what is in that chicken.
Cornish Cross Chickens are a hybrid chicken breed created specifically to gain weight in a short amount of time. They are processed between 6 and 10 weeks, and if kept longer, tend to pass from organ failure, etc. These are almost exactly the same breed that Tyson Chicken and other factories use for the meat sold in stores.
While these hybrids do not live long lives, nor typically grow most of their feathers, here at K-Five Homestead & Farm, they live a good life. From the very beginning, when these chicks arrive on the farm, they are met with kiddos ready to love on them and help introduce them to their Magic Water and antibiotic-free chick feed. The Magic Water contains garlic and honey to help their bodies naturally boost their immune systems and help them grow.
After 4 weeks of being in the brooder with heat, constant food, fresh water and lots of snuggles, they are put out on pasture where they are able to feel the ground between their toes (and beaks!), can eat grass and bugs, and of course still get their feed and fresh water. The birds are moved daily in their chicken tractors, allowing for fresh grass and a new place for them to fertilize (a benefit!). The whole time, they are not given antibiotics, hormones, chemicals, nor eating anything containing pesticides. While their feed is not currently Non-GMO (the next step we will be taking), I feel confident in feeding the meat produced to my family, and to our wonderful customers. It is tasty, flavorful, and nutritious. And free of the excess junk our bodies do not need.
Are you interested in becoming a cRaZy poultry farmer too? Do you have questions on what you need? Stay tuned to the next part of the series, and be sure to leave me a “hello” below!