The Phabulous Pheasant

Ahhhh—Holiday Dinners

Are you looking for something new and exciting to feed your friends and family during the Holiday Season? How about a Phabulous Pheasant Dinner??? If you live in the Midwest you’ve probably had Pheasants right out of the field. It’s a taste and experience like no other. Rogers carries a Wisconsin Pheasant that is unbelievably good and good for you. Pheasant offers a change of pace from other poultry and does it with simplicity and style! It’s a natural, lean, hearty meat with superb flavor and superior nutrition. And it’s grown on a family farm—so there will be no buckshot!

Some potential menus: curried pheasant—smoked pheasant salad—-pheasant pot pie—baked parmesan pheasant…and the list goes on!!!

It’s healthy too—–pheasant is lower in fat and cholesterol than turkey or beef! And actually has more protein per gram than turkey, ducks or lean beef. They are humanely raised and are fed only natural grains with no antibiotics or animal by products.

Now to close with a few fun facts:

-Pheasants originated in Asia and were first introduced to North America in 1773 (but they do not cluck in Chinese).
-Pheasants can dig through a foot of snow or more to get to food—and they can swim!
-Pheasants can run at a speed of 8-10 miles and can fly 35-45 miles per hour.

But you don’t need to catch them or hunt them—–call your Rogers sales person and we will do the work for you!!

George Saffarrans

Half & Half

Half and Half basically denotes the percentage of dark meat to white meat on the current chicken population. Years ago it was considered a 60/40 mix but with all of the new breeding techniques, the white and dark meat is about the same percentage of the bird. Where this presents a problem for US growers is that Americans love white meat much more than dark meat. (the breast and wing are white meat—-the drum and thigh are dark meat). We are the only country in the world that favors white over dark. So the question begs—what do the growers do with all the dark meat? The answer is very simple—they export it to the countries that love the dark meat! Last year we exported 3.6 billion metric tons of chicken meat. Now all of it was not the dark meat—there was some white meat—but the majority was dark meat.

So all is good when these other countries are buying our poultry. But early this year—the bird flu hit the United States. Now in reality, it did not kill many of the birds we get our chicken meat from. Where it did its damage is in the egg market and the turkey market where millions of birds were affected. But all the countries heard was “bird flu”. So most all of our foreign customers put a ban on US poultry. So the outcome—the US is swimming in chicken dark meat. And when they cant sell it fresh—they freeze it. So all of the freezers in the US are full of chicken dark meat. In turn this depresses the prices– so chicken dark meat prices are very low and going lower. This is good for the consumer—but real bad for the growers! So if you can find a way to use dark meat in your recipes—now is the time to do it. This low price will not last forever!!

George Saffarrans

Have Your Chickens Had Their Flu Shots Yet?

This year the H5N2 Avian Influenza has killed a record number of chickens and turkeys. Migratory birds (geese and ducks-etc.) spread this virus thru droppings as they fled North on their migratory Flight Plan. This flight plan goes directly thru the Upper Midwest. So far there have been over 40 million chickens and turkeys killed from this flu.

Rogers Poultry chickens have NOT been affected by this flu. The areas we buy chickens from (the Southeast—California—etc.) have not been affected. Hence, we have not been shorted any birds. The biggest ramification from this flu has been on table eggs. The reason for this is that Iowa was one of the hardest hit states and they produce 70% of all table eggs. That’s why eggs have doubled! Consumers are expected to pay 8 Billion dollars more for eggs this year than last—WOW!

As far as the turkey situation—-Minnesota (one of the biggest turkey producing states) was another very hard hit area and they lost a lot of turkeys. So come Thanksgiving—I would venture to say the birds will be much more expensive than last year. But they will be available—so don’t change that Thanksgiving menu yet—we will have birds!!

On a final note—-all of Rogers farms test EACH flock before they are processed. So there is no way for an infected bird to enter the food chain. Either chicken or turkey. We are looking out for our customers!!

George Saffarrans

What is an “Organic” Chicken & Why is it Crossing the Road?

Sales of Natural and Organic foods are expected to grow 8.1 % annually to $226 billion by 2018!! Driving the steady growth are robust product innovation and an accelerated shift in consumers behavior. But what constitutes being certified “organic”?? Here are the standards:

1)The bird must be fed certified organic feed for their entire life. Organic feed cannot contain animal by-products, antibiotics or genetically engineered grains and cannot be grown using pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
2)Organic birds cannot be given drugs or antibiotics.
3)All birds must have access to the outdoors.

In order to be certified organic—-chicken farms must follow a strict set of guidelines and be inspected annually by a third party certification body to ensure those standards are met.

Here at Rogers Poultry we proudly carry the “Marys” Organic Chicken and Turkey (the same product you see at Whole Foods). This “Marys” brand has also been certified by the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Program!!!!

Another interesting sidebar—–we are not only selling more and more to restaurants but also to individuals wanting the product to feed their pets!!

So why is it crossing the road????————I have been in this business for 30+ years and I still don’t know!!

George Saffarrans

Chickens On Steroids?

Chickens on Steroids??  No, chickens don’t have any added steroids or hormones and that is regulated by the USDA.  It has been outlawed since  the 50’s.  On the other hand—it is perfectly legal in beef cattle!!  So eat more chicken!!  But chickens are definately a lot bigger than they were when we were growing up.

In 1925—the average live weight of a chicken was 2.5# and the age when it was processed was 16 weeks.  This year—the live weight was 6.12# and the age of the bird at processing was 6.5 weeks.  WOW.

So why the growth?  Genetic improvement—better nutritional understanding and better understanding of the environment the bird needs to take advantage of the genetic and nutritional potential it has.

So chickens are still the healthy alternative—-but they sure are bigger than they used to be.

George Saffarrans, CEO