The High Cost of Pasture-Raised Organic Poultry
Even though Georgia is one of the top chicken producers in the USA, the infrastructure and policies benefit mainly large industrial farm corporations. Small farmers of pasture-raised organic poultry struggle daily to produce local and healthy options for consumers. As a result of this, small farmers often go out of business because of the high production costs.
The following are some reasons why pasture-raised, organic chickens are so expensive:
1. The high cost of organic feed – high-quality organic feed is very expensive and difficult to source here in Georgia. We have searched here in Georgia to find a location that sells organic feeds in bulk but to no avail. We were able to find a farm that processes and sells an excellent organic feed in North Carolina. That farm is four (4) hours away from where we are located, this is where our organic feed is from.
2. The length of time to raise our chickens - our chickens are naturally grown and raised in small batches over 12 weeks. We rotate them daily throughout our 5 acres farm. They enjoy sunlight and/or shaded areas; they also snack of bugs and fresh grass.
3. Processing the chickens – in order to sell chickens not just here in Georgia but across the state line, the chickens have to be processed and packed at a USDA inspected facility. There are no such facilities in Georgia that caters to the small farmers, and so we have to travel four (4) hours away to South Carolina to process our chickens.
4. The cost of transportation – It takes four (4) hours, one way, eight (8) round trip to transport the chickens to South Carolina. We have to make the journey twice as we have to drop the chickens off to be processed and pick them up another day.
With all the odds stacking up against us, we will continue to persevere as we love what we do and strive to provide an option of a healthy choice of high-quality pasture-raised, organic chickens to our customers. We enjoy raising our chickens and we are quite happy to share this experience with you.