Our Chickens

Our Chickens

Pilgrim's is a vertically integrated chicken company, which means we are involved in the entire production process, allowing us to control quality throughout every step of our operations – from farm to plate.
Chicks in hatchery

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

Truck outside the feed millPilgrim's owns and operates 26 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

Family growersWe 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 3,900 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 service 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.

Processing and Food Production

Food processing plantPilgrim's operates 25 fresh processing plants and eight 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.

Each year we conduct numerous food safety and quality system audits using accredited, independent, third-party auditing firms. We have conducted hundreds of these audits and have never failed to achieve a score of excellent or better. In 2010, all of our plants achieved an "A" grade in the British Retailers Consortium audit, 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 A's was an unprecedented achievement, and we are extremely proud of each of our plants for their dedication and commitment to food safety and quality standards.

Taking Care of Our Customers

For more than 60 years, our products have been made with the freshest ingredients available, and that tradition continues today at Pilgrim's. We put the customer first with a relentless focus on quality, innovation and customer service, and it's been that way since our company began as a small feed and seed store in rural east Texas in 1946. In fact, it's our company's mission, a part of everything we do every day.