On the Chicken Trip- Visiting a House Full of Organic Cluckers

You’ve probably seen the long, low chicken houses that seem to be along every two lane road in Delaware. You’ve probably smelled them driving by, and then rolled up your windows. On Saturday we went and visited Georgie Cartanza’s poultry farm in Dover. Ms. Cartanza, who gave a us a lecture not too long ago, has been in the industry for over 25 years. Starting off as a flock supervisor withPerdue she’s worked many different jobs in the industry before deciding to start producing broilers herself. With four 65’x600’ chicken houses, Georgie produces over 5 million pounds of USDA approved organic broilers. Each house took about $1.5 million to get up and running. Chicken houses aren’t state of the art architecturally but the technology in them is. The cooling system can cycle air through a length of 2 football fields in under a minute, that’s faster than we walk and does a good job with eliminating the smell, and that’s just the cooling system!

Being on the farm and standing in the chicken house was a very cool sight. In our funny looking “marshmallow suits” (pictured)as some students called them we went in the houses. The suits are for bio-security and to protect the birds from us and anything we could spread to the poultry. Upon entering the chicken house, the birds closest to the door got up and walked off to find a different place to lay around. Being an organic chicken house along the sides of the house were doors so that the chickens could wander in and out as they pleased, but the birds tend to prefer to be inside we noticed. While we were there was about 5 chickens that came outside, the flock size in a chicken house 37,000.

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