September 20, 2014

Organic Pastured Chicken Raised on Cocofeed

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What is Tropical Traditions Pastured Poultry?

Tropical Traditions pastured poultry chickens are raised on pasture (grass, sunshine, insects, etc.) and on Cocofeed.

What is Cocofeed?

Cocofeed is an organic chicken-feed ration developed by Tropical Traditions that contains coconut pulp as well as other high-quality natural ingredients. The coconut pulp is the residue left over after coconut oil has been extracted from the coconut meat. Cocofeed contains NO soy. Read more here.

What makes Tropical Traditions Pastured Poultry different from other chickens?

1. Tropical Traditions Pastured Poultry are raised outdoors on pasture.

Commercially produced chickens are raised entirely indoors with tens of thousands of other chickens in close quarters. They typically never see the sun or pasture. Organic or “Free Range” chickens also have no standard definition or industry guidelines for how long chickens must be outdoors on pasture, leaving the consumer very confused. The USDA definition of “free-range” is rather vague. In order to label their meat and poultry “free-range or free-roaming,” “Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.”(1) No mention of vegetation (pasture) is made. Poultry producers themselves seem to have no common standards on what the term means. Some producers interpret “access to the outside” as a small pop-door (chicken door) on an end-wall of a 100 ft. long shed filled with un-caged birds moving about freely on a litter-covered floor. Others feel they are compliant with the spirit of free-range if their birds are outside in the open air and under the sun; even if their “range” is simply bare dirt.

When it comes to the consumer’s perception of “free-range,” arguably the vision that “free-range” most often conjures is of a bird happily hunting and pecking in the grass in an open field. Because of the wholesomeness associated with the term “organic,” many consumers take for granted that all certified organic poultry raised for meat and eggs are raised outside on green pasture. Sadly, this is not so. The term “free-range” is not even listed in the NOP (National Organic Program) “terms defined.”(2) They do give guidelines that say: “All organically raised animals must have access to the outdoors…”(3) So when someone purchases poultry products labeled “free range” or “organic,” the birds may never have actually seen the light of day or green grass its entire life. Technically, they simply have to have a door out of their confinement, but they don’t have to necessarily walk through that door to meet the requirements. To read more about how pastured poultry is different, go here.

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poulet nu chicks Organic Pastured Chicken Raised on Cocofeed

2. Tropical Traditions pastured poultry are fed Cocofeed which contains no soy.

Cocofeed is an organic chicken-feed ration developed by Tropical Traditions that contains coconut pulp as well as other high-quality natural ingredients. The coconut pulp is the residue left over after coconut oil has been extracted from the coconut meat. Cocofeed contains NO soy.

In tropical cultures, coconut has been a traditional ingredient in chicken feed for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The coconut pulp residue left over after coconut oil is extracted from the coconut meat is still a common animal feed component today in places where coconuts grow. This coconut pulp is high in fiber and protein. Mechanically extracted coconut pulp was also approved by the FDA as an animal feed and listed in the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication) as early as 1955. While coconut cannot supply ALL the nutritional needs of chickens, there are multitudes of studies that have been done in the Philippines and elsewhere showing how coconut pulp can be a major component of chicken feeds when combined with other quality ingredients. Some of these studies are more than 50 years old.

In more recent history, with the development of fast-growing ”broiler” factory chickens, soy has become a key ingredient in chicken feeds for the purpose of supplying a high concentration of protein to promote fast growth. It is very difficult to find a chicken in the US market today that has not been fed high soy-based feeds. Even chickens advertised as “organic” or “free range” are almost always fed an organic mixture high in soybeans..

Independent laboratory tests have shown that Tropical Traditions pastured poultry chickens raised on Cocofeed contain lauric acid, which is also found in coconut oil and human breast milk. To read more about lauric acid and coconut, check out the research here.

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poulet nu feeding Organic Pastured Chicken Raised on Cocofeed

3. Tropical Traditions pastured poultry are raised by family farmers.

Tropical Traditions Pastured Poultry chickens are all raised by family farmers. These farmers run diversified farms practicing sustainable agriculture. They will rotate tracts of land with crops and other animals, or let it go fallow from time to time. When a batch of chickens is raised on a piece of pasture, typically that pasture will not see chickens again for two or more years. In the interval, crops may be grown in that pasture, or it may go fallow allowing grass to grow, die, and decompose so that the soil is kept in balance and not contaminated from too much chicken manure. So when you buy Tropical Traditions pastured poultry, you are supporting small-scale family farmers and by-passing the system that produces the conventional “factory chicken.”

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References

From the USDA site on meat and poultry labeling: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Meat_&_Poultry_Labeling_Terms/index.asp

NOP terms defined: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3004445&acct=nopgeninfo

From the USDA website on the National Organic Program: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/FactSheets/ProdHandE.html

Roast Chicken with Coconut Oil recipe photo Organic Pastured Chicken Raised on Cocofeed

Roast Chicken with Coconut Oil
Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy

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