Q: Which chilling method do you use during processing?
A: We strive to provide our customers with the safest, highest quality chicken possible, which is why we use the water-chilled immersion method versus the air-chilled method. Immersion chilling has proven over the years to be the most successful means for preventing microbial growth as well as reducing temperature. “Cooled Air” chilling not only falls short comparably to immersion chilling in food safety, but requires the use of a chlorine spray, and in some cases a dip tank, to remove undesirable contaminants. We do not use any toxic solutions during processing; just chlorinated tap water as you would get from your kitchen faucet. We are constantly evaluating new technology and design to improve each phase of our process with the sole intent of delivering the safest and highest quality product available.
Q: Do you use GMO's in your feed?
A: We are opposed to the use of GMOs, and make every effort to seek out and purchase the corn and soybean to make our feed from U.S. non-GMO suppliers. Unfortunately, 93% of soybean and 90% of corn planted in the U.S. is now genetically engineered according to the USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service, making it impossible for us to make a 100% GMO-free claim. Given these statistics, we feel that it would be almost impossible for any poultry producer who uses only American-grown grains to truthfully state that their feed is 100% GMO-free. We are, however, one of the few poultry producers that can and do test every load of feed ingredient against contaminants such as pesticides or other chemical traces in our on-site USDA Certified lab upon arrival to our feed mill, and every load of finished feed.
Q: What does 100% All Natural mean?
A: USDA guidelines for 100% All Natural simply requires no artificial ingredients and minimal processing. The guidelines do not address treatment of animals, type of feed, or use of antibiotics. But here at Springer Mountain Farms, All Natural means more than just no artificial ingredients. All Natural means that our chickens are raised under conditions certified by the American Humane Association, without any antibiotics or animal by-products in their feed.
Q: What does "American Humane Certified mean?
A: Springer Mountain Farms takes extra steps to ensure the health and welfare of our chickens. We were the first poultry producer in the world to be certified by the American Humane Association. American Humane Certified program requires birds to be raised in a low stress environment with proper shelter, comfortable resting areas, sufficient space and the ability to express normal behavior. The result: a healthier better tasting chicken. (Note: In late 2007, the American Humane Association renamed the "Free Farmed" program to "American Humane Certified." This was only a name and logo change, and all program guidelines and requirements were unchanged and remain the same.)
Q: Why are antibiotics used in some animals? Is it necessary?
A: Some companies feed their chickens antibiotics to promote growth. This has led to the over use of antibiotics in which the diseases they were intended to treat have developed a resistance. Here at Springer Mountain Farms our chickens don't need antibiotics to grow and be healthy. Focusing on sound animal husbandry (increased space, reduced stress, high levels of
sanitation) eliminates the need for antibiotics. It is our promise that you and your family will enjoy the great taste that is ensured with great care.
Q: Is Springer Mountain Farms organic?
A: No. The standards given for Organic production allow the use of antibiotics the first days of life if so desired, allow the use of animal by-products, do not address food safety or animal treatment, and do not require testing of soil, water, and feed. We think all the above are essential in providing the safest and highest quality product available for you and your family, and that's why Springer Mountain Farms sets itself above Organic. We use No Antibiotics, No Animal By-Products, are "American Humane Certified" for our growing practices, and utiltize our own on-site laboratory to test soil, water, and feed for contaminants and pesticides. We also go one step further into processing by testing each and every load of packaged chicken before it leaves the facility as a final step to ensure it's freshness and safety.
Q: What steps are taken to protect the environment?
A: Protecting the environment for generations to come is high on Springer Mountain Farms list of priorities. Springer Mountain Farms is more than a name: it is a mountain of great beauty in Northeast Georgia, our home. On the farm before a house is ever built soil is tested for residue, potential run off, and environmental impact on wildlife. Our staffed specialists continually conduct environmental testing that the EPA has set as standards. Our specialists look beyond these standards for new and better ways to protect the environment.
Q: What is biosecurity? And what do we do about it?
A: Biosecurity can be simply defined as policies, procedures, physical constraints or measures that are put into place to prevent the introduction of organisms, viruses, chemical or physical agents that may be defined as a threat to the health of poultry or humans.
Springer Mountain Farms uses specific procedures to ensure that the poultry being produced does not come in contact with disease agents or hazardous materials/agents that would impact the health of the poultry being produced or present a potential threat to our consumers.
Q: What measures are taken to ensure a pesticide free feed?
A: As each load of feed ingredient arrives, it undergoes a scrutinizing series of tests by our USDA & ISO Certified lab to ensure that there are no pesticides or other harmful chemical residues or toxins present. In addition, each load of finished feed is tested before it leaves the mill headed to the farm. These rigorous quality control procedures ensure the integrity of our feed and our chickens. We are proud to say that we were the first in the world to be awarded the “Safe Food Safe Feed” seal by the American Feed Institute Association, and that we operate the only ISO Certified poultry lab in the United States… if our lab can’t identify it, no one can!
Q: Do you use arsenic?
A: No. Springer Mountain Farms chickens are never administered or fed any form of organic or inorganic arsenic in any way, shape, or form.
Q: Is Springer Mountain Farms gluten-free?
A: Yes. USDA certified laboratory tests confirm that our chicken products never contain gluten.