Frequently Asked Questions
Draper Valley Farms has been a Northwest tradition since 1935, and today, we remain singularly focused on providing carefully raised, fresh, local chicken to the Northwest.
By law, any product can be called “natural” if it is minimally processed and has no artificial ingredients. At Draper Valley Farms, we define a “natural” chicken as one that was never administered antibiotics, fed a vegetarian diet free from animal by-products, raised in a reduced-stress environment, and treated with respect for its comfort, well-being and natural instincts. And, of course, we never use hormones or steroids; Federal law prohibits their use in poultry.
Our Draper Valley Farms® Organic chickens and Ranger® chickens have access to an outdoor pasture area that’s at least half the square footage of the chicken house and usually equal to the size of the house. The pasture typically runs down one side of the house. We provide access to the outdoors approximately every 40 feet and have windows about every 50 feet along the length of the house. Shade awnings, access to water and roosts, and other enrichments invite the birds to go outside. A combination of soil and grass areas let the birds exhibit natural behaviors, such as dust bathing and pecking.
Birds are given access to the outdoors during daylight beginning at approximately four weeks of age, when they are fully feathered to protect themselves from sun and temperature. At night, they can return to roost at the house, where they are protected from predators and cold night air.
Free range is a requirement for organic certification, but not all free-range chickens are raised organic.
Our Draper Valley Farms® Organic chicken meets the requirements of the National Organic Standards Board and is USDA Certified Organic. Certified Organic means raised in a free-range environment on certified organic farms, fed a non-GMO diet with no animal by-products and never given antibiotics.
All of these requirements have to be certified by a recognized third-party. We use Oregon Tilth, a nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture; and QAI (Quality Assurance International), a pioneer in the organic movement and a leading advocate for certified organic production. The organic certification process covers not only the end product, but also every step of the process and supply chain, all the way to market.
We hold fast to the belief that organic is more than a label; it’s an approach to agriculture that strives to work in harmony with the earth and its inhabitants to find more naturally sustainable ways to produce food.
An all-vegetarian diet means that we do not use animal by-products in our feeds. We believe it gives our chickens their "old-fashioned" flavor.
Our feeds are carefully formulated to ensure a balanced diet, composed primarily of corn and soybeans, including the right amount of protein, along with vitamins, minerals and enzymes important to raising healthy chickens.
Draper Valley® Organic and Ranger® free-range chickens also have the opportunity to forage for bugs, worms and grass.
Since hormones and steroids are used by many beef and dairy producers, there’s a common misperception that they’re also used in poultry. Federal law prohibits the use of added hormones and steroids in poultry, and we never have and never will use them.
As part of our commitment to animal welfare, we will not withhold any medically appropriate treatment. However, if antibiotics are used, the meat from those animals will not be sold under our brands.
No Antibiotics Ever™ provides assurance that our chickens were raised in a program that does not contribute to the potential of antibiotic-resistant bacteria associated with the widespread use of antibiotics in agriculture; that the chickens were raised in an environment that doesn't require the administration of antibiotics to keep them healthy; and that the chickens were able to grow at a normal rate.
Since we are not using antibiotics for disease prevention, we must maintain more stringent standards for animal husbandry, beginning at the hatchery. We take extra steps to prevent disease and to support animal health, such as vaccinations and the use of probiotics that work with the animal’s own immune and digestive systems. These steps require additional work and expense compared to the common practice of relying on antibiotics.
Our chickens are raised at ranches in Washington State and Oregon.