This seems to be the preferred "alternative" chicken out in these parts. http://www.petalumapoultry.com/organic.html http://www.mindfully.org/Sustainability/Agriculture-Petaluma8apr03.htm
Petaluma Poultry is known throughout the western states for being a purveyor of free range and organic poultry. Its product line includes Rocky the Range Chicken, Rosie the Organic Chicken, and Rocky Jr. The terms natural and organic have been abused within the natural foods marketplace for years, but Petaluma Poultry is serious about farming methods and the product they offer consumers.
The company uses no antibiotics or hormones on the chickens and feeds them corn and soybean meal that contain no animal fat or animal by-products. The avoidance of antibiotics requires that the poultry houses be kept clean in order to keep the birds in perfect health. "In the 1980s, Allen started thinking about comments from chefs about the French-style chickens," said Duranceau. "That's when he decided to go to France to figure out what it was about the farming methods there that produced good-tasting chickens. Out of that came a philosophy of using no antibiotics."
"We were the first in the country to raise free range chickens," said Duranceau. "All of our chickens are free roaming, and that means not being kept in cages. Rocky and Rosie are both free range chickens that are fully feathered and are allowed to go outside within a fenced area. Prior to four weeks old, they have to stay inside because they aren't fully feathered and could get sunburned."
In addition to quality care for the livestock, Petaluma Poultry has also put together a Sustainability Team with the goal of minimizing the company's environmental impact. "We're working with the University of California, Davis and the United States Department of Agriculture in their pilot ozone project that's designed to sanitize water and eliminate the use of chlorine in the processing plant," said Duranceau. "We've also done many little things that add up. We did some lighting conversions and received a $20,000 rebate from PG&E last year, eliminated the use of freezer gel packs used in shipping chickens by air, and are working with the Petaluma Wetlands Project."
With a strong history of sustainable agriculture, it's no surprise that the company has been awarded the Environmental Business of the Year award. "Our farming methods strive to create harmonious relationships in nature, sustaining the health of creatures and the natural world," Duranceau said.
"Sustainable agriculture means taking care of the land God blessed you with and being a good steward of it. It means taking care of the livestock he's given you and taking care of the people that work for you. It's like a three-pronged spoke. You never see a two-pronged spoke, there's always a minimum of three. If you took one out, it wouldn't work. Sustainable agriculture to us means taking care of those three things."
I suppose this shows how different states view this type of agriculture.