Q: How much do your chickens weigh?
A: Our pasture-raised heirloom chickens are between 3-4 pounds each.
Q: How do you ship your birds?
A: We ship our birds frozen, via UPS, with dry ice inside of an insulated liner and box. Bonus: our cardboard box and its liner are 100% curbside recyclable!
Q: Where is your farm?
A: Cooks Venture's 800-acre, wooded farmland is located in the picturesque Ozark foothills of Northwest Arkansas. Our renovated, wooden chicken barns feature large 8-foot doors running the length of the buildings - which quickly become ramps to let the birds out every morning - as well as clear window curtains that allow sunlight and air circulation. Every morning at dawn, the chickens race to hit the pasture where they stay until sunset. Given our location in the sunbelt, our birds enjoy 365 days on grass, forests, and streams.
Q: Where are the chickens processed?
A: Our processing plant is located in Jay, Oklahoma, where our chickens are processed by hand and air chilled on-site. Our line is standard speed, and we do not have a high-speed line waiver like the big, consolidated poultry companies.
Q: What breed are your chickens?
A: The Cooks Venture chicken, the Pioneer, is a three-way cross between birds recognized by the American Poultry Association as American Heritage chickens: the Naked Neck Buff, the Delaware, and a Peterson family heirloom bird from the 1930's. It took over a decade to breed this bird for the attributes of better eating quality with the heat tolerance of the pure heritage line of the Naked Neck. Our breed has better leg health, bone density and frame, immune systems, gastrointestinal health and a propensity to explore and thrive outdoors.
Q: What do your chickens eat?
A: Our chickens currently eat a low-density blend of non-GMO corn and soy that is single-sourced from American, non-GMO project-verified growers. In addition to their feed, our birds get supplemental nutrition from the outdoors from natural plants, grasses, and insects. Meanwhile, we are experimenting with alternatives, such as small grains, red winter wheat as a cover crop, lupin, lentils, and sunflowers—amongst other crops.
Q: Are your chickens organic?
A: We fully support organic systems and utilize their philosophy, however have concerns around the “USDA Organic” certification for a couple of reasons:
1 - Organic Fraud - Organic feedstock demand continues to outpace supply, so international organic soy and corn feed fills in the gap. As shown in this Washington Post article, there is fraudulent organic certification in the international feedstock markets, resulting in a dirty supply chain.
2 - Animal Welfare - The USDA Organic certification is focused on the feedstock, and it does not do enough for animal welfare. For example, USDA Organic chickens must be “free-range,” but the definition is ambiguous to the number of hours outside and the amount of space per bird often leading to concentrated feeding conditions that are virtually identical to conventional chicken.
Our mission is to support slow-growth, pasture-raised heirloom breeds fed diversified Non-GMO feed from local farmers who utilize regenerative practices.
Have More Questions?
Check out our most Frequently Asked Questions or contact Support@cooksventure.com