Our chickens and turkeys mature naturally without growth hormones or steroids. They are fed a highly nutritious, balanced diet composed primarily of corn and soy meal, with vitamins and minerals added. Consumers can also be assured that Foster Farms does not use Roxarsone or any feed additives containing arsenic. Foster Farms poultry feed does not contain any wheat gluten, corn gluten nor any concentrated rice. Furthermore, Foster Farms does not import any protein ingredients from China for its poultry feed. All of our feed ingredients are approved for use by the FDA and USDA. Because we own and operate our feed mills, the custom diet of Foster Farms' poultry always addresses the specific needs of our particular birds, to ensure optimum health, growth and overall quality.
Foster Farms strictly follows the animal welfare guidelines set forth by the National Chicken Counsel (NCC) and the National Turkey Federation (NTF) and has been instrumental in helping to advance animal welfare in the industry and in fact collaborated with the NCC, NCCR (National Council of Chain Restaurants), and FMI (Food Manufacturer's Institute) several years ago to initiate the development of industry-wide guidelines for the housing, feeding, veterinary care, and transport of chickens and turkeys.
The company strictly adheres to these guidelines and trains all employees in them. Employees are required to abide by these policies and any inappropriate treatment would result in termination. The company regularly updates its practices and technology to reflect the industry's best known practices.
Foster Farms is audited numerous times each year by independent third party auditors at the request of retailers and food service customers to ensure that the company is meeting the industry guidelines. Foster Farms has also independently sought audit by outside professional animal specialists. The audits take place at the company's hatchery, live production, and growing facilities. These audits have consistently shown Foster Farms to adhere to the nationally recognized guidelines.
Foster Farms has designated employees at each facility to monitor practices relating to animals and report to the company's Animal Welfare Officer.
Foster Farms would like to assure consumers that its chickens are raised in large poultry barns (without cages) that allow the birds to move around. The structures are bio-secure and are designed to protect the birds from environmental extremes (such as temperature variability) while allowing fresh air to constantly circulate.
Foster Farms poultry is neither "caged" nor "free-range." Our chickens and turkeys are grown in large poultry barns designed to protect the birds from environmental extremes, while allowing fresh air to constantly circulate. The interior temperature and climate is controlled, and clean water and feed are available at all times. Our barns are built with enough space for the birds to move about freely. The floors are covered with absorbent bedding materials such as rice hulls and wood shavings.
After the chicks hatch, they are taken to a local ranch where conditions promote natural growth. Each ranch has a "buffer zone" of empty land all around. The climate is ideal. The chicks' environment is monitored around the clock. They get a balanced diet of high-quality corn-based feed and mature naturally, without steroids or growth hormones. Our veterinarians carefully watch the flock's progress. Each flock is then tested and receives USDA certification that it meets and exceeds quality and safety standards.
As part of a long-term commitment to quality poultry products, Foster Farms makes prudent use of antibiotics to maintain flock health. All antibiotics used by Foster Farms are approved by the USDA and FDA for use in poultry and are administered and monitored under the supervision of a veterinarian and nutritionist. Foster Farms observes regulated withdrawal times and maintains a comprehensive testing program to ensure that antibiotic residues are not present in products available for sale in-store.
Foster Farms takes strong proactive measures on the farm to ensure the excellent health and development of its poultry flocks. State-of-the-art climate controlled housing, diets specifically designed for the nutritional stages of the birds life and immune system, along with modern biosecurity practices protect the flock from disease exposure. Research based growing practices and husbandry all combine to minimize the treatment of flocks due to illness and disease.