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Store bought vs. Watson Farms Pasture Raised Chickens

Being that we will be processing our last chickens for 2021 in the near future, we thought it would be a good time to discuss some of what makes pasture raised chickens from a farm like ours so different than what you would normally find in a grocery store. Let’s dive in!

First, since a picture is worth a thousand words, lets look at a photo of the respective environments that we will be discussing:

Watson Farms:

pasture raised chickens

The industry:

Let’s look at some differences we can plainly see in these two production models:

Watson Farms: Natural sunshine, fresh air and fresh grass daily.
The industry: Synthetic light, dusty fecal particulate air with fans to combat ammonia toxicity.  These fans are also the only way these birds get air.  If there’s a mechanical or electrical problem, a whole barn of chickens can suffocate fairly easily.  

Watson Farms: Rest/Sleep at night with a natural sleep cycle during each season when the sun goes down.
The industry: Oftentimes subjected to up to 22 hours of artificial lighting for faster growth.

Watson Farms: Brooder areas are naturally sanitized by rest, fresh air and sunlight.
The industry: Barns sterilized with chemicals and fumigants including creosote and formaldehyde. 🤢
Watson Farms: Low stress hand-gathered leading up to the time of harvest.
The industry: High-stress mechanical gathering leading up to the time of harvest.

Watson Farms: Birds able to sit and rest on top of a clean and cool, earthy pasture floor.
The industry: Unnecessary stress due to overheating when attempting to rest on the overcrowded, contaminated floors.

Watson Farms: Access to soil-based probiotics, trace minerals, and allowed to grow naturally.
The industry: Given antibiotics, growth promotants, and synthetic vitamins.

Watson Farms: Raised in small groups of 1,000 or fewer birds.
The industry: Up to 20,000 birds raised in a single space.

Watson Farms: Never rinsed or treated with chlorine or irradiation.
The industry: Rinsed in chlorine and exposed to ionizing radiation to extend shelf-life.

Watson Farms: Manure falls directly on growing grass for efficient nutrient-cycling which produces diverse pastures that reduces carbon.
The industry: Manure must be hauled and mechanically spread on top of bare soils resulting in ammonia vaporization (air pollution) and nitrate leaching (water pollution).

Watson Farms: Promotes rural revitalization, entrepreneurial spirit and a decentralized food system.
The industry: Negative economic impact, low wages and a centralized food system.

Watson Farms: Consumer/producer relationship with transparency.
The industry: Consumer/producer alienation and lack of accountability.

Watson Farms:  Farm Tours throughout the year offer an opportunity for the public to inspect our production methods.
The industry: Closed to public, bio-hazard suits required, illegal to take pictures.

It’s real communication like this which will continue educating our customers and the public about the true cost of cheap food and that there’s a far better alternative.  

The great news is that when both farmers and consumers work together significant change can happen in our food system.

It’s informed consumers like you who are changing our food system and enabling farms like us to raise foods you can truly eat with confidence!

Thanks for reading and taking interest in your food!

Product Spotlight

So if you’d like to stock up on some pasture raised chicken grown the right way, we’ve made it really easy with these chicken bundles!  And for our UPS customers, check out the UPS Eligible equivalents to these.

We’ve got an awesome sale going on Hot Sausage and our Hot Sausage UPS Bundle!  It’s a great time to stock up! 

You can see ALL of our ON SALE products with the button below.

We re-use packaging!

We’ve seen a good response to our efforts in re-using packaging! Thanks and keep it up.  

You can help us reduce our carbon footprint by returning your CLEAN egg cartons and meat boxes. 

The main reason that we switched to plastic egg cartons a while back was because they are so much more durable than paper which could only be used once.  They also protect the eggs much better!

So if you have some egg cartons or boxes to return, you can just place them on your porch on your home delivery day.  Farm pickup customers can, of course, drop them off when you come to pick up your new order.  

Thanks for helping us re-use our packaging!

Referral Program

If you enjoy our products please consider passing the word along to your neighbors, friends and family!  We don’t spend a lot of money of advertising but rather depend on customers like yourself to advertise for us if they are amazed by our products and customer service.

All you have to do is refer someone to us and when they place an order for the first time they will get a link to a form where they can say who referred them.  You and the new customer will receive a $15 credit!  So make sure they tell us your name.  Hit the button for more info!

Order Deadlines and Store Hours

Order Deadlines

Charleston: 12 noon Mondays
GSP: 12 noon on Wednesdays
Charlotte/Rock Hill: 12 noon Fridays
Farm Pickup: Please wait until you receive an email stating that your order is ready to be picked up (usually 1 business day from when you place your order).  Farm pickup is done during store hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10am to 6pm
Saturday: 10am to 2pm
Closed Sunday and Wednesday

Produce Box Ordering Deadlines

Sundays at 9pm for Charleston or Columbia Home Deliveries
Tuesdays at 9pm for GSP and CLT/Local Home Deliveries

Did you know that we have a webpage that displays all the reviews we have received?  

Check it out!

Check out this ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review:

Enjoyed my purchase. Delivery was smooth and easy. Will try the subscription plan next. I enjoy knowing my meat and eggs were raised in a pasture and I enjoy supporting a farmer directly.

We would greatly appreciate it if you would be kind enough to leave us a review.  It helps first-time customers purchase with confidence.

Thanks again for being partners in this endeavor of local, pasture-raised proteins that has truly transformed our farm.  We look forward to continuing this transition while serving you long into the future.


The Watsons

Pasture Posts is written by Matt Watson.