When it comes to consuming animal products, you are what they eat. Now, imagine if litter from the floor of the chicken house was on the menu. As unappetizing as it may sound, this and other by-products aren’t uncommon in animal feeds.
By contrast, vegetarian fed chickens eat a diet that’s entirely void of all animal by-products and mostly made of – you guessed it – plants.
The Business of By-product
When it comes to commercial chicken feed, a variety of by-products, from leftover whey and eggshells to feces, can find their way into the feeding trough. So, what constitutes a by-product and are they all cause for concern?
Simply defined, a by-product is classified as any part or product of an animal that isn’t intended or fit for humans to consume. At their core, by-products are waste. According to FDA law, manufacturers are permitted to use animal waste up to and including processed poultry manure.
Why are By-products Used in Feeds?
Questionable ingredient lists come partially in response to America’s high demand for poultry. To keep supplies up, farmers must use “shortcuts” to feed their flocks for the lowest possible price. It’s a cost-cutting measure that’s been the norm for decades. However, as our population expands, we’re at a greater and greater risk for exposure to a host of biologically, chemically and etiologically risky ingredients that jeopardize the safety of our animal based food products, not to mention our overall health.
Benefits of Vegetarian Fed Chicken
Ever seen a package of chicken labeled “vegetarian fed” and wondered how it could be possible? Veggie fed simply means the chickens were raised on a vegetarian diet, free of any other animal products.
Vegetarian chicken feed made from plant materials has higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals, and stable plant-based proteins add to its highly digestible nutrient profile.
This is important, as quality feed is really all about one thing: balance. A diet that’s sufficient in amino acids and calcium, and contains all of a chicken’s nutritional requirements, is certainly possible to formulate without the use of any animal by-products.
One of the biggest benefits of choosing veggie fed chicken is the taste! Dairy, eggs and poultry raised on plant based diets often have better flavor.
It’s worth noting that chickens fed non-vegetarian feed aren’t necessarily unhealthy, they just don’t provide the same positive attributes as veggie-fed chickens. With vegetarian chickens, you’re likely to find:
- Leaner meat
- Healthy hearts, thanks to omega fatty acids
- High levels of vitamins and antioxidants
- Fewer chances of communicable “superbugs” (antibiotic-resistant bacteria)
Call us old fashioned, but we believe that food should be simple, clean and delicious. That’s why all Chickentopia® chicken is veggie fed!