We feed our birds a wholesome grain diet that is primarily corn and soy and contains no animal by-products ever. The feed is supplemented with vitamins and minerals that are needed to sustain good animal health, and the feed is laboratory tested to be free of antibiotics, pesticides, and chemicals.
We understand that GMOs are a topic of concern for many of our customers, and we strive to use GMO-negative grains whenever possible. However, due to current supply chain limitations, we have not pursued any Non-GMO certifications. Research has shown that there is no nutritional difference between chicken products in which chickens have been fed genetically modified crops versus chickens that have not (read more on the National Chicken Council website). There is also no evidence of a difference in health-related consequences for consumers. Our focus has been and will always be flavor, so we continue to focus primarily on raising healthy, happy animals with a naturally superior taste. They are raised in low-stress environments, with no antibiotics, hormones, growth stimulators, animal by-products, or pesticides – EVER. Read more about our raising standards here.
We have two lines of chickens we offer here at Joyce Farms. First, we have our Poulet Rouge™ Chickens which are our slow-growing, heritage chickens that are pasture-raised in North Carolina and have access to roam freely outdoors starting at 6 weeks of age. To keep our birds safe and comfortable, they're free to shelter indoors when the outside elements are less than ideal. We also have our all-natural, antibiotic-free Naked Chickens that have access to roam in spacious heated or cooled barns so they get plenty of exercise in a low stress environment with no overcrowding.
Unfortunately, “GMO free” and similar claims are not legally or scientifically defensible due to limitations of testing methodology. In addition, the risk of contamination to seeds, crops, ingredients and products is too high to reliably claim that a product is “GMO free.” The Project’s claim offers a true statement acknowledging the reality of contamination risk, but assuring the shopper that the product in question is in compliance with the Project’s rigorous standard. The website url is included as part of the Seal to ensure that there is transparency for consumers who want to learn more about our verification. While the Non-GMO Project’s verification seal is not a “GMO free” claim, it is trustworthy, defensible, transparent, and North America’s only independent verification for products made according to best practices for GMO avoidance.
Absolutely not. And to verify this, all feed is tested to verify it does not contain arsenic or arsenic residue.
No. Organic standards allow the use of antibiotics in the first days of life, do not address animal welfare, and do not require testing of soil, water, and feed. We do not use antibiotics in our lines of poultry- EVER. Although organic standards are a step in the right direction, we feel our raising standards and animal welfare beliefs exceed the organic label. Our Heritage line of poultry and game birds follow the strict Label Rouge standards found in Europe. Read about the Label Rouge Program.
Yes. Joyce Farms poultry, sausages, game birds, and Grass Fed Beef are Gluten free.
Joyce Farms is a family owned company. We own our hatchery, transport vehicles, equipment and harvesting facility. We are involved in every step of the way. We train our growers and employees to meet our protocols, and require each grower to sign an affidavit stating that he or she has followed and met our raising standards and animal welfare policies. In addition, we have annual third party audit verifications to ensure we are meeting our animal welfare and processing standards, and we have a veterinarian on staff who visits each farm on a weekly basis.
Unlike commercially bred white turkeys, when dark-plumed turkeys are processed, pigment from their feathers extrudes into the skin, turning parts of the skin into a blue/black spot. This does not affect the bird in any way other than appearance. It is a trait of the old world heritage breed.