Food is not always something that you put in your mouth and eat!

The Dr. Oz show yesterday looked at what is fed to industrial chickens that eventually end up in our grocery stores. Focusing on antibiotics and arsenic Dr. Oz zeroed in on antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is not a new issue! Over the past several years individuals and organizations have been demanding a halt to the practice of poultry companies unnecessarily feeding antibiotics to their chickens. Does everyone know that approximately 75% of antibiotics used in this country go to animals feeds?

Little help has come from FDA in regulating the practice and some say it’s because of the massive power and influence the poultry industry has over those who would initiate and enforce regulations. Looking at the other side of the coin, the drug industry is making a fortune selling the antibiotics to the poultry industry. Add the power and influence of the drug lobby and it’s not hard to figure out why nothing gets done.

Going back to the subject of continually feeding antibiotics and arsenic to chickens. Why is it necessary to do this? Renowned experts explain it from a scientific point of view on Dr. Oz’s show.

Having been trapped in the world of contract poultry farming for most of my adult life the explanation is more simplistic coming from the Old Farmer Lady’s point of view.

Cramming animals into an enclosed building with less than a square foot of living space each is a sure way to create a gazillion bacteria and parasites. Adding fuel to the fire, these animals live on top of their own urine and feces for their short-lived life. What can anyone expect from this type of living condition?

The poultry industry creates its own health issues through the method described above and then takes the route of let’s feed drugs to combat it. What is more disheartening is that while I was contract poultry farming, feed would be delivered to our farm containing antibiotics before a new batch of baby chicks arrived.

Don’t go blaming the farmers for using the antibiotics and arsenic. A little known fact is that the poultry company that the farmer is under contract with formulates, mixes, and delivers the feed to the farm.

Under the contract the farmer is required to perform the duty of raising the chicken to a marketable weight. The farmers must perform their duty under the guidelines, practices, and in accordance with the company policies. Simply put, the farmer has no say in what is fed to the chickens. Should the farmer not comply with company dictates the contract is terminated.

Consumers are the deciding factor in what they want to eat. If you want chicken on your plate like Dr. Oz describes then keep on buying it. If you want to know what’s in the chicken you eat then find a local farmer who is raising real free range, antibiotic and arsenic free, under the best humane guidelines, and who isn’t afraid to open up the farm gates and let you come on in for a visit!

Relavent Links:
Dr. Oz – What’s In Our Nations Chickens
Food INC

Comments on: "Ask Dr. Oz What’s In The Chicken You Eat" (16)

  1. Craig Watts said:

    I love the standard industry line of the “safest and most affordable” food supply in the world. There is an economic consequence that goes way beyond price on the shelf or getting as many pounds of chicken as posssible for the least amount of feed possible.


  2. And it’s not just the poor chickens. It’s all factory farmed meats. I’m so glad he did this segment. Perhaps more people will listen to him?

    My kids have battled with repeated antibiotic resistant strep, so I know where it’s headed and where it’s been.

    Thank you for all you’re doing in sharing the truth. I look forward to reading more of your blogs soon.


  3. Reid Phifer said:

    Don’t always believe everything you hear and read from people with no knowledge of truth and facts. I have contract grown turkeys and broiler chickens for 23 years. I know what goes into the feed, and exactly how my poultry has been reared from day of hatch until slaughter day. I, along with my family members have eaten fresh poultry from my farm for the entire 23 years I have been in the poultry business. I feel more safe eating food I’ve raised than any I buy from an outside source.


    • Dear Reid,

      The turkey business must be much different than the chicken business and I think that it’s great that you were allowed to eat the turkey’s that you produced under contract.

      In the chicken business a contract farmer may never eat any of the chickens they are raising for a company. If they were to do so it would be theft becuase the company retains ownership of the flock. Unless, of course, if the chickens are dead then they belong to the farmer.

      The only way a contract chicken farmer can eat chickens under the company’s brand is to purchase them in the store like every other consumer. There is no gurantee that those products would have come from that farmer’s farm as we all know that at the processing plant the chickens are all mixed up in one giant chilling water bath.

      Kudo’s to your company for allowing you to eat fresh turkey’s right from the flock without charging you with theft!

      Thank you for sharing.


      • Reid Phifer said:

        Read the post again, you will see where I have contract grown turkeys as well as broiler chickens. We have eaten turkey along with chickens produced on my farm for many years, with absolutely no adverse health effects, the adverse effects you are attempting to deceive the general public into believing. We are allowed by company rules to remove all birds with broken legs. This is not to say there is anything detrimental from normal consumption, only the bird does not gain weight according to feed consumed. All healthy broken legged birds are dressed and eaten, no theft, only conservation. I am sorry to dismantle your theory of how things are done on a contract poultry farm. Could it be you were a below average contract poultry grower at one point in life, and now feel as though you have an ax to grind. This is normally where a great deal of this negativity is generated.


  4. Dear Reid,

    Again thank you for sharing! I’m assuming that you are addressing me. OFL

    No one is trying to decieve the general public. Read the science. Renowned experts on the subject have done the research. Are we to believe that the scientists don’t know what they are talking about?

    As for my years as a contract chicken grower I can only speak from experience. I’m sorry that you feel the need to try and degrade that with your assumptions about me. What are the makings of a good grower or a bad grower?

    As with everything, everyone is entitiled to their own opinion and comments. I respect and appreciate yours and add that your comments have sparked my interest for several more food for thought subjects.


    • Reid Phifer said:

      Glad I could help rejuvenate your thought process and spark more interest in your definition of food for thought subjects. Research and knowledge can be bought by the highest bidder, it is done everyday in the pharmaceutical business. This is one of the reasons for drug recalls, when enough people are damaged or killed from being used as guinea pigs, the light begins to penetrate the money blanket. I can give factual information based on trials performed by me for 61 years. I have eaten all factory grown meats for this length of time and never built up resistance to any antibiotic known to man. I would say this is much better research than any produced by a so called “renowned expert,” most of which have not been alive this long. What say you this,”Old Farm Lady?”


  5. Craig Watts said:

    The science is just too strong supporting that the overuse of antibiotics is creating its own set of issues. I too have a contract poultry farm and not that many years ago if the chickens got the sniffles they ran penicillin (they administered it through the water or mixed it directly into the feed). Well those days have gone bye-bye now. So the companies (at least Perdue Farms) must be buying into it. I will have to check on the arsenic as they mask it with a name like Roxarsone or something like that. It isn’t just animal feed..doctors too are guilty of overprescribing and there is also much data that even antibacterial handsoap is increasing the rate at which bacteria are becoming immuned to all our meds. But with the bulk of antiobiotic drugs are used in animal feed so this seems like a logical place to start modifying the way we do business. I mean what are acceptable losses here..while it may not effect all neither would a pandemic but if the unintentional consequence is bugs that can’t be treated what have we gained???


    • Reid Phifer said:

      “It isn’t just animal feed..doctors too are guilty of overprescribing,” this herein is where the problem lies, you said it yourself in this statement. No, you are mistaken with your statement, “And what is this junk about good grower bad grower?
      If you have been growing for 23 years I got news for’ve been both.” I have never been in the lower 50% while growing turkeys or chickens in my 23 years of production. I think we all must admit based on scientific information I have gathered over a period of 61 years eating all types of factory produced meat. Had the meat been laced with antibiotics and arsenic (3-Nitro generic roxarsone) as heavily as claimed, then no doubt I should have arsenic poisoning along with extreme antibiotic resistance. I’m sorry but this is not the case, never has been, or never will be.


  6. Craig Watts said:

    And what is this junk about good grower bad grower?
    If you have been growing for 23 years I got news for’ve been both…there is also much science that will prove (assuming no bonehead stuff on the farm) that what you and I do is about 20% of the equation. Good grower bad grower is that little trick that is used to keep growers divided. You sound like an intelligent man..don’t fall for that one.


  7. What say you Old Farm Lady. Are you serious?

    Speaking of scientists being bought by the highest bidder I’m assuming that you’re saying that all research is bought and paid for therefore it’s useless.

    I’ve also heard that some farmers can be bought and paid for.

    As always, everyone is entitiled to their opinion here. Thank you for sharing! OFL


  8. Craig Watts said:

    23 years and never been in the lower 50%..yea right. How high is the rent over there in I would like to move there.


    • Reid Phifer said:

      It is only a matter of knowing what you are doing. The 50% I am speaking of is in a full year of growing. We receive a ranking sheet each year showing exactly where we fall in competition with all growers involved. I have never fallen in the lower half, this does not mean you cannot have a flock that does not settle in the top 50% (could be dead last), only that in a year of growing 5 flocks I have always been in the top one half. That does not seem like a major accomplishment to me, but from your comments it appears it would be a miracle if it happened to you. Speaking of antibiotics, I honestly can’t remember how many years it has been since any pharmaceutical
      grade medication has been on my farm. There is .25 lbs. of 3-Nitro per ton added to the grow-out feed. This is all the pharmaceutical grade medication added to out chickens, and for anyone that understands this is arsenic, there is more in each glass of drinking water you consume.


  9. Craig Watts said:

    And tell me this..why are the Chicken Companies backing off the antiobiotics…Perdue in Kentucky is producing a line of organic products and the complex in Candor is completely revamping its feed and we are the sister complex in Dillon so I guess we will be next. And I am glad they are doing it.


  10. Craig Watts said:

    No actually my 6 flock cost is a +0.26…or top third….but that can change tommorrow as I took my head out of the sand many years ago.


    • Reid Phifer said:

      You are 100% correct, that can change tomorrow, but is has not for me up until this point in time. I have maintained my above average performance while staying in the top 50% for the last 23 years, with most of that time in the top 30%. That is combined time of growing turkeys for 12 years and broilers for 11 years. These are dissimilar animals, whereas I had to use totally different skills in their production. I guess I just have a knack for what it takes to produce poultry, the same as I do with the production of corn, soybeans, and wheat. It matters not the job, paying attention to the most intricate details is what seperates the top from the bottom in all professions.


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