Why are Tony's Chickens Better?
How are Tony's Chickens Raised?
Our chickens are raised ‘cage free’ in hen houses, protecting them from the stresses of the outside environment, (inclement weather, hot or cold temperatures, rodents, preditors, insects, and the diseases of wild birds, etc.) A computer driven air conditioning system supplies a steady flow of fresh air of the ideal temperature 24 hours a day. Fresh all-natural feed is constantly provided and fresh purified water is made available by a nipple feed system, rather than troughs which can become dirty. Every Chicken House is completely sterilized after raising a batch of birds, & remains un-used for a period of 7-10 days to freshen completely before new chickens are brought in.
How are Tony's Chickens Fed?
These animals receive a well-balanced nutritional feed consisting of corn, soy, & milo. Protein from fish is added and vitamins A, D, E, K, & B12, as well as riboflavin, niacin. All feed ingredients are tested several times to ensure they are clear of any aflotoxins, herbicides, or pesticides. If any contaminants are found, the feed ingredients are not accepted by the grower.
Is Tony's Chicken Natural, Hormone & Antibiotic Free?
Yes. It takes 6-7 weeks to raise a 3# dressed weight chicken. Because chickens naturally grow so fast, it is unnecessary to administer growth hormones in an attempt to speed up the process. The practice of using steroids, & hormones for raising chickens was outlawed in the US in the 1950’s. Antibiotics will be administered if needed for therapeutic reasons, or to prevent intestinal parasites. Less than 1% of the animals receive therapeutic antibiotics - and those that do must go through an extensive withdrawl period before they can be processed. As an added measure the muscle cells & organ tissues are randomly tested to assure there are no impurities.
Why is Tony's Chicken so Tender?
Perhaps this is the one question I here about our chicken more than any other. Of course the quality feed, freshness etc. are crucial to raise tender chicken; however there is one additional step needed. In the processing phase of any poultry, after the muscle loses oxygen flow, it will harden & become tough. For this reason we allow the meat to ‘rest’ on the bone for a period of 7-10 hours. This ‘resting’ period is essential in producing tender meat chicken, but is costly for the plant, and often times this step is eliminated in lower quality houses.
How Fresh are Tony's Chickens?
Perhaps more than any other meat ‘freshness’ is crucial in poultry. In 1997 the Federal Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) allowed the term ‘fresh’ on labeling of raw poultry if the internal temperature has not been below 26 degrees. We have partnered with Redbird Farms of Littleton and our goal is to never allow our chickens to go below 32 degrees. When poultry freezes the cell wall structure may burst & upon thawing, some of the all important juiciness & flavor may be lost. And of course we receive our chickens 6 days per week, fresh, packed in ice.