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Perdue

FAQs FAQs


  • How do you raise your chickens?
  • The family farmers who raise our chickens ensure their health and comfort, and we’re working together to continuously improve our animal care. We use temperature controlled, cage-free housing with fresh air ventilation. The flocks have constant access to food and water, periods of light and dark and room to move about freely. Our flock advisors regularly check on the flocks and share information with our farmers, and we have veterinarians who specialize in poultry who watch over the health of our flock, providing any necessary treatment. Learn more.

    Hear from our farmers and flock advisors. 

    We’ve made changes at every step so that we’re able to raise healthy chickens without relying antibiotics.

    Through our Perdue Commitments to Animal Care, we’re accelerating our progress, with an emphasis on increasing bird activity, including normal behaviors – things we’re learning from our organic production. Already, we’ve given our chickens more space, more light and minimum six-hour “lights-off” resting periods. We’ve also added windows and enrichments – things like perches, hide boxes and straw bales that support normal behaviors – to a growing number of chicken houses, and all new poultry houses will have windows.

    PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® organic chickens are raised on certified organic farms. Organic chicken houses have windows and doors running the length of the house. As with all organic production, our PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® chickens are raised free range, going outside as soon as they have sufficient feathering.  

  • What do you feed your chickens?
  • Our chickens are fed an all-vegetarian diet that includes grains – primarily corn and soybeans (in the form of soy meal), mixed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids to ensure a nutritionally balanced diet. Pre- and probiotics, along with essential oils from herbs, help keep our chickens naturally healthy without antibiotics. 

    Our all-vegetarian diet means we don’t include any of the animal by-products – such as bone meal, feather meal and animal fats – that are commonly used in commercial feeds. We’ve found this results in a better tasting PERDUE® chicken. It’s also easier for the chickens to digest, supporting our no antibiotics ever approach to raising chickens.

    PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® organic chickens receives an organic diet, including non-GMO grains grown on certified organic farms without the use chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Non-GMO Project Verification gives you the added assurance that all chicken feed ingredients have been tested and verified according to the Non-GMO Project standard for the avoidance of genetically engineered ingredients. Organic chickens are free range, so they also have the opportunity to forage for grass and bugs when they are outside the pasture area.

  • What about GMOs?
  • Chickens are not genetically modified.

    Because about 90% or more of the corn and soybeans grown in the US are raised from genetically modified seeds, most conventional animal feeds – including those for PERDUE® products not labeled “Organic” or Non-GMO Project Verified” – contain GMO grains. This, however, has no effect on the meat, and a chicken fed GMO corn or soy is not a GMO product.

    Of course, our PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® organic chicken receives an organic diet of non-GMO grains and our fresh organic chicken carries the additional assurance of Non-GMO Project Verification for consumers who want that choice.

  • Do you use hormones, steroids or other growth-promoting drugs?
  • No. Federal law prohibits the use of added hormones and steroids in poultry, and we’ve never used them and never will. All of our chickens are raised in no-antibiotics-ever programs.

  • Do you give your animals antibiotics?
  • All of our chickens are raised in no-antibiotics-ever programs, and our USDA Process Verified Program for No Antibiotics Ever is your assurance that the chicken you buy never, ever received any kind of antibiotic.

    We’re proud to be the leader in raising no-antibiotics-ever chicken, changing the way we raise chickens so that we can consistently raise healthy flocks without antibiotics. Of course, no matter how hard we try, some chickens will “catch something,” and we’ll never withhold appropriate treatment. Those chickens would not be labeled “no-antibiotics ever” and would be sold through different channels.

  • Do you use arsenic in your poultry feeds?
  • No. We phased out the use of this feed additive in 2007. It has since been removed from the market.

  • Where are your products raised and processed?
  • All the chicken you buy from us will always, always be from chicken raised on US farms and harvested, processed and packaged in the US. And we’ll put that information on the label, including our USDA Process Verified Program for “Raised Cage Free in the US.” In fact, through our USDA Process Verified Programs – and USDA certification for our organic products – we have documented processes assuring you that, from the hatchery to the package, none of our chicken ever leaves the US.

  • What do all these different label terms mean?
  • All Natural means “no artificial ingredients, minimally processed.” All Natural Ingredients simply means that the ingredients meet the “all natural” definition. That gives food companies a very wide latitude to call products “all natural” or “made with all-natural ingredients.” We think consumers want meaningful information, so we’re committed to using “natural” only on single-ingredient proteins.

    Organic has very specific USDA requirements, spelled out by the National Organics Standards Board. Organic chicken is raised free range on certified organic farms; fed only a non-GMO, organic diet; never given antibiotics; and processed in a certified organic plant.

    Non-GMO Project Verified ensures that all our chicken feed ingredients have been tested and verified according to the Non-GMO Project Standard for the avoidance of genetically engineered ingredients. This provides an additional level of assurance for consumers of our PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® organic products.

    No Antibiotics Ever means the animals were raised without the use of any antibiotics of any kind (human or animal) at any stage of their lives. For poultry, this includes the egg.

    Raised Cage-Free in the USDA Process Verified Program assures you that all PERDUE® products are made exclusively with U.S.-raised chicken. In addition, each PERDUE® package of further processed poultry carries our “Product of the USA” seal. The documentation for our Process Verified Program provides audited traceability from hatchery to package, ensuring that all processing was done at our facilities and that the meat never left the US. “Cage-Free” addresses a common misperception that meat birds are raised in cages.

    Free Range requires giving the animals outdoor access. While there is no specific requirement for ease of access to the outdoors or outdoor space, we ensure that our PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® organic chickens have easy access to a large, grassy pasture area. Our outdoor spaces are typically as large as the chicken house, with doors and windows located approximately every 50 feet. To encourage the chickens to venture out, we have sunshades to ease the transition from barn to outdoors. Birds are given access to the outdoors when they have full feathering to protect them from the elements, which is usually around four weeks of age. Chickens are kept indoors when weather extremes, including temperature, put their welfare at risk.

  • How do chickens grow so big so fast?
  • Today’s broiler chicken is far removed from its jungle forebears. Generations of selective cross-breeding have resulted in a naturally plumper chicken with strong legs. Advancements in nutrition and husbandry also help produce a meatier chicken in less time. Larger chickens (and chicken breasts) come from chickens that have grown longer. There is no genetic modification in chickens, and federal law prohibits hormones and steroids.