In the Hatchery
At Pilgrim's, the chicken comes first, then the eggs. We buy day-old chicks, called pullets, from primary breeder companies and raise them to be breeders. The breeder hens lay eggs that are collected and taken to our hatcheries, where they are incubated and hatched. When the eggs hatch, the chicks are sent to contract grow-out farms to be raised to maturity.
At the Feed Mill
Pilgrim's owns and operates multiple feed mills, which are strategically located in the areas where we have operations.
We manufacture our feed using a proprietary mixture that includes corn, soybean meal and other grains, and we feed our chickens only natural ingredients. We do not use growth hormones of any kind in our poultry rations.
Once the feed has been formulated, pelleted and blended at the feed mill, it's loaded into feed trucks that deliver the finished feed to local growout farms.
On the Farm
We highly value our relationships with our poultry growers, because their success on the farm helps make possible the excellent Pilgrim's poultry products our customers expect and demand.
Pilgrim's contracts with approximately over 4,000 family farmers in the U.S. and Mexico to grow chickens for our operations. We provide the birds, feed, and technical and veterinary services, while growers provide the labor, housing, litter, utilities and, most important, the knowledge and expertise that's essential to maintaining the Pilgrim's standard of excellence.
Inside a Poultry building Pilgrim's technicians work with each farm family, visiting the farm regularly and remaining on call for the farm 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assure the best possible growout conditions for our flocks.Important to the rural areas where our company has operations, poultry production helps maintain the family farm. Our contract growers are committed to being leaders in environmental stewardship, pledged to maintain and improve the quality of life where they live and work.
Video Courtesy of The National Chicken Council
To learn more about the chicken industry, please go to www.chickencheck.in.
Processing and Food Production
Pilgrim's operates various fresh processing plants and prepared foods cook plants in the U.S. Pilgrim's also operates three fresh processing plants in Mexico and one in Puerto Rico.
Every Pilgrim's processing facility in the U.S. is regularly inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to ensure that our food products meet all federal food safety standards.
All of our plants have been certified by the British Retailers Consortium (BRC), one of four audits recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative. These audits, which today are required by most of our retail customers, are used to evaluate a plant's food safety and quality programs. With 326 requirements that must be met before a final certification grade can be given, the audit is among the toughest in the industry. Earning a "clean sweep" of all plants passing this thorough audit for four years in a row is an unprecedented achievement, and we are extremely proud of each of our plants for their dedication and commitment to food safety and quality standards.