The High Cost of Pasture-Raised Poultry
Even though Georgia is one of the top chicken (broiler) producers in the USA, the infrastructure and policies benefit mainly large industrial farm corporations. Small farmers of pasture-raised 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 poultry are so expensive:
1. The high cost of Organic and/or NON-GMO 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 five (5) hours away from where we are located, this is where our organic feed is from. The same situation with high quality NON-GMO feed in bulk that we purchase here in Georgia. This feed is located more than three (3) hours away from our farm, making the journey to buy this feed a whole dayś work of traveling.
2. The length of time to raise our poultry - our poultry are naturally grown and raised in small batches over 12 or more weeks. We rotate them daily throughout our 74 acre farm. They enjoy sunlight and/or shaded areas; they also snack of bugs and fresh grass.
3. Processing the animals – in order to sell our meat not just here in Georgia but across the state line, the animals have to be processed and packed at a USDA inspected facility. For processing and packaging our meat, we travel four (4) hours away to South Carolina. That is an eight (8) hours journey just to drop the animals. Another eight (8) hours journey to pick up the ready-to-sell meat items.
4. The cost of transportation – It takes four (4) hours, one way, eight (8) round trip to transport the animals to South Carolina. We have to make the journey twice as we have to drop the animals 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 poultry to our customers. We enjoy raising our poultry and we are quite happy to share this experience with you.