Smart Chicken/Tecumseh Poultry (Tyson)

Farm/Brand HeadquartersWaverly, NE
ProductsChicken, processed meat
Market AreaNationwide
Total Score0

Tecumseh Farms is both certified Organic and certified Humane by Humane Farm Animal Care.

Tyson Foods, the U.S.’s largest meatpacker, announced June 4, 2018 that it has bought Tecumseh Farms, the company that owns the Smart Chicken brand.

Cornucopia’s investigations show that Tecumseh Poultry and by extension the Smart Chicken brand, comes from industrial-scale operations. The birds may receive “token” outdoor access, but it appears to be of poor quality. This means that few, if any birds utilize outdoor areas. You can learn more about Smart Chicken’s industrial “organic” practices in Cornucopia’s fly over investigations.

Though this chicken is cheap, that price does not reflect the externalities of these production methods on the environment, animal welfare, and economic justice for small farmers. We recommend that consumers take a stand and vote with their forks by avoiding brands like this one that are associated with bad activity.

TOTAL (possible score is 1800) 0
1-Bird Rating | Poor
Family Farms and cooperatives receive the most points. Corporations and companies with poor or negligible farm oversight receive the fewest points.
Ownership structure
0Corporate brand ultimately owned by Tyson, the largest domestic meatpacker
100% organic brands receive the most points. Split operations receive fewer with increased penalties for poor segregation at the processor and farm level.
Dedication to Organic Production
0Poor dedication to organic principles
Farms that participated in Cornucopia’s research providing full transparency receive the most points.
Transparency and Disclosure
0Did not participate in survey and external investigations found little information, indicating likely industrial-organic brand
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certifier
To receive full points, flocks must number 500 birds or fewer (200 for turkeys).
Flock size
0No response; large flock sizes indicate poorer welfare
No more than 1.5 lbs of bird per square foot is required for full points.
Stocking Density
0No response
Mobile housing receives the highest number of points.
Housing Style
0No response; raised in static barns
Heritage varieties receive the highest number of points.
Strain and/or Breed and Slaughter Age
0No response;
Birds must spend 3/4ths or more of their lives outdoors for full points.
Timing for Outdoor Access
0Likely poor dedication to legitimate outdoor access
Enrichments include but are not limited to shade structures, water, novel feedstuff (greens, mealworms, sprouted grains), and dust baths.
Enrichments (outdoor and indoor)
0No response
Points awarded for labels that go above and beyond organic.
Other Labels/Standards
Maximum points given for high quality, rotated pasture. Non-rotated pasture adjacent to fixed housing with lower than 90% vegetative cover receives fewer points.
Outdoor Management
0No response
100 points for on-farm production and/or milling of feed. Fewest points given to feed that cannot be verified as domestic and/or birds get poor or no supplementation from outdoor foraging.
Feed Sourcing
0Trusted sources note that Perdue (the parent company of this brand) is implicated in buying fraudulent grain from overseas, calling into question their true organic status.
Methionine needs met by outdoor foraging receives 100 points. Synthetic supplementation receives 70 points.
Synthetic Methionine
0No response; likely uses maxium allowed in organic
Under 5% cull and death rate required for full points.
Cull/death Rate
0No response; likely to have high rates of culls and deaths comapred to family-scale farms
Chicks and poults that are certified organic since hatching, or are hatched on-farm receive 100 points. Off-farm or conventional chicks and poults receive 70 points.
Chick and Poult Sourcing
0No response; investigations shows likely sourced from conventional hatcheries with poor welfare
No physical alterations required for full points. Permitting beak tipping results in fewer points.
Physical Alterations
0No response
Measures farm oversight. Farmer owned brands, or daily visits by management required for maximum points.
Farm Support
0No response
Non-scoring, category provided for information only.
Slaughter Method (non-scoring)
Likely slaughtered the same as conventional poultry
Non-scoring, category provided for information only.
Soy Free Ration? (non-scoring)
Soy most likely fed
Maximum transparency, sharing of the organic systems plan, and/or novel practices that sets the brand apart from the rest of the industry can result in extra credit points.
Extra Credit