It was one of the more memorable scenes in the award-winning 2009 documentary, Food Inc.: Carole Morison, a contracted chicken farmer working with Perdue for more than 23 years, gave viewers a glimpse of the horrors of factory farming: birds crippled by their unnatural weight, piles of dead birds, the overwhelming stench of ammonia burning her eyes and throat. Perdue dropped its contract with Morison in 2008, but now the farm is thriving with chickens being raised sustainably.
A new video appearing on Gristshows a much different scene at the Morison farm in Pocomoke, Maryland than the dismal looking scene from just a few years ago when they were supplying chickens to Perdue, the third-largest chicken processor in the U.S.
After a post-Perdue hiatus, Morison and her husband turned Bird’s Eye View Farm into a pasture egg operation to help meet the demand for sustainably raised eggs. The video shows Morison, looking herself healthier than she did in the film, with vibrant and healthy chickens pecking in the yard. "It's the normal way a chicken lives, but I was not used to it at all," says Morison.
Boasting certification through the Animal Welfare Approved program, Morison's farm is an example of ethical animal welfare standards and sustainability. Now with total control over her farm, Morison's 500 chickens are raised on 14 acres of pastureland with a vegetarian and antibiotic-free diet. The eggs are sold through a local CSA program and soon to be in a natural food store in the area.
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger
Image: LA • DE • DA