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Why do you call your chicken FreeBird?
Because it is raised on an all-vegetarian diet, free of all animal byproducts, and it’s free of hormones, free of antibiotics and allowed to roam freely in barns (ie cage-free).
Where are you located?
FreeBird chickens are raised in the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania’s Amish Country.
What does the term “natural” mean?
According to the USDA, a product can be label as “natural” if it is free of artificial flavoring, coloring, chemical preservatives or other synthetic ingredients. It must also be “minimally processed.”
Minimally processed refers to traditional processes that are used to make food edible or preserved for human consumption, including roasting, smoking and freezing.
Because the USDA defines “natural” so loosely, any conventionally grown chicken in the US can use it.
But your label claims it’s “Natural”. How is your chicken different from conventional chicken that is also”Natural”?
FreeBird Chicken is Beyond “Natural”. In addition to being minimally processed with no artificial ingredients, our chickens have never been administered antibiotics, fed only a vegetarian diet, and are humanely raised in a stress-free environment. Conventional farmers cannot make these same claims.
Do you use growth hormones?
No. But neither does anyone else, as they have not been used since the 1950s. However, because so many people mistakenly believe hormones are used, most chicken companies continue to include the term “hormone free”. When using the term on packaging, the USDA requires all poultry companies to use the adjoining phrase: “Federal regulations do not permit the use of hormones in poultry.”
Do you give FreeBird Chickens antibiotics?
No. Never. Neither Organic FreeBird Chicken or Antibiotic-free FreeBird are ever given antibiotics.
We should point out that many conventional poultry companies give their chickens antibiotics–even when they aren’t sick. They do this because they crowd the chickens in the houses where there is more possibility of disease being passed back and forth.
Because FreeBirds are raised in roomier, stress-free environments there is much less chance of them getting sick and they are more able to develop their natural defenses.
What do you feed your chickens?
All FreeBird Chickens are raised on a our own special recipe of pure sun-ripened corn and soybeans. It’s completely free of all animal byproducts. In other words, our chickens are vegetarian proud.
FreeBird Organic Chickens are fed using the same recipe, but the corn and soybean used is organic.
Isn’t all this extra effort more expensive?
Yes. But we believe it is important to do things the responsible way, not the cheap way. And we believe the results are well worth the extra efforts.
What makes a chicken organic?
To be organic, specific standards must be met–and certified–by an independent, third party. FreeBird Organic Chickens are certified by QAI.
To be certified as organic, the chickens must be fed an organic diet for their entire lives. (Organic feed is grown in soil that has been free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for at least three years.) They cannot receive antibiotics or drugs and must have access to the outdoors.
The third party certifier checks the farms, feed mills and processing plants and there must be a paper trail from egg hatching, through growing, processing and distribution.
What is farm to table traceability?
Our fresh tray pack chicken products have a 5 character code (2 letters and 3 numbers). Go to the “Meet the Farmer” section of on the homepage of the website, enter this code from your package and you can find out exactly which family’s farm raised your chicken.
Is your chicken gluten free?
Yes, our chicken is gluten free. Some of our Frozen cooked chicken products are gluten free and some are not. Be sure to read the ingredients labels to assure you are purchasing the Gluten Free variety if you are gluten intolerant.
Does your feed contain GMOs?
Our organic feed never has GMOs (genetically modified organisms) so our organic line is definitely GMO-free. With our ABF line, our goal is to avoid sourcing feed with GMOs. However, because the vast majority of corn and soybean crops grown in the US contain GMOs, it is impossible to track accurately. For this reason, we cannot make a non-GMO claim for our ABF birds; only for the organic birds.