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Where it begins

The Hatchery

We believe chickens need a healthy start. That’s why we built the world’s first organic certified chicken hatchery focused on animal welfare.

We’re building better lives for our chicks, from the ground up.

Our new hatchery marks a complete departure from traditional poultry practices. Most poultry producers inject eggs with antibiotics, and sanitize with formaldehyde. We’ve replaced standard sanitization processes using harmful chemicals with stringent biosecurity procedures and organic sanitation methods.

Traditional poultry practices force chicks to wait until they’ve been transported to the farm to eat and drink—a process that can take up to three days. Our chicks enjoy organic food, water, fresh air and light as soon as they leave the egg.

They’re never handled by machinery. We’ve eliminated many standard industry practices, such as belt drops, shell separators and chick counters. This makes the process much less stressful for the chicks. And they’re transported from the hatchery to the chicken house within an hour’s drive, on average.

Let's go there now.

Home Sweet Home

Housing

within about an hour, chicks arrive from the hatchery. We transport them in the same trays in which they hatched, to minimize the stress of handling.  During the short journey, they are provided with Organic feed to nibble on.

Take a look around one of our family farms.

What Else Do Our Chickens Love? What Else Do Our Chickens Love?
  • Windows provide natural sunlight, which encourages activity and keeps chickens healthy.
  • Cement floors and sidewalls prevent rodents and other pests from tunneling inside, making the chicken houses easier to clean and sanitize.
  • Energy-efficient radiant heaters and evaporative cooling systems maintain comfortable temperatures year-round.
  • Organic chicks are free to leave the barn, where outdoor pens protect them from predators.
What Else Do Our Chickens Love?

Inside the chicken house, fresh new litter awaits the chicks. We remove old manure and fully sanitize the barn between each flock. The barns remain empty for more than two weeks. No other chicken company in the United States takes this step, but it’s crucial for breaking the lifecycle of bacteria and viruses.

We don’t “half-house brood.” Big poultry producers use “half-house brooding” to lower their heating costs, but it leads to overcrowding and injuries. We give our chickens full access to the entire chicken house, plus enrichments such as ramps and tunnels.

All that activity can make chickens hungry.

We’ve got just the thing.

Fine Dining

Feed

If you believe the phrase “You are what you eat,” then consider our chickens’ all-vegetarian blend of corn and expeller-pressed soy bean meal made by extruding and expelling the soybeans (not hexane processed), plus vitamins, minerals and plenty of fresh well-water.

Notice we didn’t say “antibiotics,” “petroleum and ethanol by-products,” “expired bakery goods” or “brewery grains.” Lots of poultry growers use these to cut costs. Not here. We take special care to feed our chickens only the best U.S. grown corn and soy, plus our own blend of oregano oil, cinnamon and yucca to support their natural gut health.

We’re the first in the U.S. to stop using antibiotics.
Discover how we did it.

By using 100% extruded, expeller-pressed soybeans, we protect the environment and keep chemicals out of our feed.

Learn more.

En Route to Excellence

Transportation

Our responsibility to our chickens doesn’t end when they leave our farms. They deserve comfort even when they’re on the road.

To make this possible, we’ve engineered a spacious modular drawer system.  No cramped wire cages here.  Each drawer provides a clean, comfortable place for chickens to settle in and relax.  Enclosed trailers protect our birds from weather and allow air to circulate.

After a short drive– usually less than an hour– chickens arrive at our temperature-controlled calming barn, where they can unwind from the voyage.

To keep them clean for the next flock, we use recycled water from our own waste water treatment plant to wash and disinfect our live trailers, modules and drawers between each use. But before we do, the birds enter processing. And it’s not as bad as you might think.

Learn what happens next.

Chilled to Perfection

Processing

If the word “processing” makes you squeamish, you’re not alone. We’ve worked hard to innovate better methods that benefit our chickens, our employees, our environment and you.

We start with Slow Induction Anesthesia, or SIA. While still in the comfort of their drawers, chickens are slowly rendered unconscious. This eliminates the stress of handling, plus any fear, pain or other suffering.

Bell & Evans shows that animal welfare and good business can go hand in hand. …and by listening to consumers’ wishes, Bell & Evans has set a new standard for the chicken-supply industry.” –Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA

Next, the chickens are 100% Air Chilled. Traditional chilling methods require chlorinated water, which is absorbed by the chicken and dilutes its natural juices. Our 100% Air Chilled method enhances the chicken’s flavor and tenderizes the meat. It’s the only one of its kind in the nation, and a big reason why Bell & Evans chickens taste better than other any other. (Learn more.)

Afterward, we visually grade each chicken. Only the best 30% get packaged as whole birds. The others are cut up and hand-graded. Boneless breasts are deboned and trimmed to eliminate bone shavings and other foreign materials. We then deliver chicken to our family-owned retailers, usually within 24 hours.

Let’s see how they look.

That's a Wrap

Packaging

Have You Ever Noticed Bell & Evans packaging looks different than the rest? It’s not a marketing trick, aesthetic choice or cost benefit.  These packages carry big benefits.

Bell & Evans Packaging
Freezer-safe. You can pop this package right into your freezer without fear of freezer burn or leaks!
Fully recyclable trays made of #1 PETE. Think all plastics are recyclable? Think again. Only #1 PETE is accepted by most recycling centers.
Vacuum sealed for freshness. We process and package the product in our own state-of-the-art facility, minimizing the amount of time and handling between us and you. Raw food doesn't like oxygen. We vacuum seal to keep our poultry fresh from the start. This also helps to prevent freezer burn.
No “diapers:” Most chicken packaging requires a "pad" or "diaper" to soak up the extra 12% of chlorinated water. Our 100% Air Chilled method means no chlorinated water to absorb and no diapers for you!
No Leaks. You won't find leaks from this packaging. You can even marinate your chicken right in the tray.
BPA free. BPA is a synthetic compound found in many plastics, especially food containers. Traces can sometimes be found in the food you eat. Our chickens don't eat any chemicals or junk. Why should you?
Easy Open. Enough said.

Other Packs: Twin Pack

Packaging Type

This packaging features all the great benefits of our standard tray, but has two compartments. They can easily be separated and perfect when you need a little less product. Use one tray today and freeze the other tray for future use!

Other Packs: Family Pack

Packaging Type

Our family pack is the same great product, just more of it. Great for parties and family dinners.

Other Packs: Whole Bagged Bird

Packaging Type

Our whole birds are vacuum packed and sealed all the way around the bird. It keeps the bird’s natural juices inside and minimizes leaks, unlike most other clip and bag systems used today. Our Easy Open Feature means you simply split the tabs and pull. Whole bird perfection…ready to roast, rotisserie or grill.