On April 12 we officially had the first chickens out on grass. Well, grass such as it is when the snow has only been off it a week or less. We needed to clean out the clearspan building in preparation for our summer production, so these chickens got kicked out and put on grass. The chickens have done very well, though. We’ve found that with space and a nicely balanced non- gmo feed they don’t need an antibiotic feed regimen. Sometimes they need a brief treatment, but it’s not long term, is always a treatment dose given for a specific ailment, and is not done well in advance of chicken processing. When used in a feed, animals are given a “subtherapeutic” dose (not enough to treat an ailment, but enough to hopefully prevent illness) on a daily basis. This is hazardous because it allows the bacteria in the environment that the animal would normally fight off naturally to develop a resistance to the antibiotic(s) being used. The animal’s body therefore will not likely contain antibiotics (contrary to popular wisdom), but will contain these antibiotic resistant bacteria’s.
This article shares a study that indicates a rise in the amount of antibiotic resistant bacteria’s, particularly staph, in factory raised animals. The government is looking into causes and preventive measures. Hmmm…. The best solution to this and similar problems is to know your food producer/farmer and their growing practices. Local Harvest and Eat Wild provide a national database of local based growers/farmers along with a wealth of information. In our corner of Northern Michigan, Taste the Local Difference has an extensive database of farmers producing wholesome foods. Small, local market oriented farmers are deeply invested in food safety because they are directly accountable to the consumer. You have a face in their mind as they are harvesting their produce. I like that as I’m working at packing our organic chicken and it provides security for the consumer. Thanks to the government for once again showing that local is the best choice.
Bakers Green Acres is a 80 acre working farm in Northern Michigan producing the highest quality of Chicken, Pork and Eggs on pasture. Bakers Green Acres is a farm to consumer provider.
Please contact Bakers Green Acres for their pasture raised, beyond organic, pork or chicken needs.