The Bird Flu
That Bad Trans Fat
What else would you call it, when a grower gives his chickens
& turkeys a biochemical additive in order to make them grow faster?
That's what nearly every other poultry grower in America does.
Antibiotics, we realize, don't sound all that sinister. We take them ourselves
when we get sick. But in the poultry business, the idea is not to make sick
birds well again. The industry practice is to give chickens & turkeys
small doses of the drugs in order to cause a bit of water retention, raising
the weight of the bird by as much as 15%, thereby cutting a week off of
the growing (and feeding) time.
We at Shelton's find the practice not only unethical (selling water weight
at the price of poultry), but downright dangerous: low levels of antibiotics
can actually weaken the natural ability of the poultrys' immune system to
fight off disease. Sorry; we won't do it. Somebody has to draw the line.
I know you don't want to hear about this, but it's important. Somewhere
down the line, chickens & turkeys have to be processed. You know...all
those operations that turn a chicken & turkey into, well, chicken &
turkey...all those things that tend to give vegetarians the willies.
The processing operation you have to watch out for is called evisceration,
that is, the removal of the entrails. The USDA allows it to be done by machine,
at a speed fast enough to make the occasional rupture, with its resultant
contamination, a virtual certainty. Fast cheap and sloppy is the rule.
At Shelton's, we do it all by hand, at a speed that's much slower than the
normal industry practice. It's clean, careful and safe...and a little more
expensive. but I'll bet you don't mind.
There are advantages to being a family business like Shelton's. Three
generations of our family are involved in running it, and that means that
our traditions of quality, value and nutritional integrity are never taken
Our chickens & turkeys aren't the only place this commitment to excellence
shows up. We also raise ducks under the same family philosophy: a free range
environment, a drug free diet that we've developed, proven and refined over
the last half century, and clean, careful processing procedures.
We don't limit our horizons to providing the best possible poultry to discerning
shoppers and fine restaurants. We also offer an ever expanding line of quality
natural foods, delicious and healthful, made with nothing, but real ingredients...never
anything artificial, unnatural, or even superfluous. The family would never
They don't grow in crowded pens, either. Chickens & turkeys
grow best in a 'barnyard' setting, like your great grandfather's farm used
to have. Chickens & turkeys grow healthier if they're allowed to walk
around in the open air and sunshine, free to scratch at the ground and peck
away at whatever takes their fancy. This is known as a "free range"
Not many chickens or turkeys get this kind of freedom. It's a lot more cost
efficient for growers to pen them up in elevated wire cages, restricting
their movement so they can't do anything except eat and get fat...fast.
We at Shelton's believe that efficiency at the expense of quality is for
the birds, so to speak. So our chickens & turkeys are raised only in
free range conditions. We figured you would appreciate that.