Unlike beef, chicken is not graded by the USDA... so it is up to the consumer to figure out what is the best chicken... and it is not easy, but just like in beef, there is a significant difference in the taste, flavor and tenderness of a high quality chicken vs your average chicken.
Moreover, the high-end processing facilities that work with beef... tend to stay away from chicken. It is a lower value (cheaper) product, it is mass produced, and it carries a whole different set of risks than beef, pork and lamb.
In a nutshell. Finding a chicken supplier was a challenge. But after much research, we have decided to partner up with Bell & Evans.
This is a BIG change for us. Up until now, 90% of our products are sold with the Meat N' Bone label because we stand behind their quality. However, we believe there is simply no better chicken than Bell & Evans.
So why Bell & Evans?
One reason: You are what you eat, and the chickens from our friends at Bell & Evans are fed a healthy balanced diet and are raised humanely. More importantly, they have been breeding chickens for a looong long time... and they have found the PERFECT breed.
Unlike Purdue and other well known brands, Bell & Evans raises ALL their chickens at their farm in Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania. These birds are sold in high-end restaurants across the US for $40-$60 dollars.
Their process is well tought out and has been praised by the FDA, the USDA and even PETA (yes, that PETA).
“Bell & Evans shows that animal welfare and good business can go hand in hand. ...and by listening to consumers’ wishes, Bell & Evans has set a new standard for the chicken-supply industry.”
Bell & Evans chickens incubate for 18 days, during this period a machine checks for a heartbeat and other indicators of development. The eggs then go to a bright, LED-lighted room to hatch.
When they are ready to be born, they are immediately given water, food pellets that are certified by the United States Department of Agriculture as organic, and fresh air thanks to a specialized air circulation system.
Even after hatching, the chicks receive special treatment. While they are transferred to a farm, they will ride in the same crate in which they were hatched inside a temperature and light-controlled truck.
The facility at Fredericksburg is the only one in the United States that provides food and water immediately after hatching and it is the first officially certified organic hatchery in the world.
Bell & Evans does things the RIGHT away. Or like we like to say... the Meat N' Bone way.