AmericanFarm.com

Herbs replacing antibiotics in Perdue’s chicken feed

By BRUCE HOTCHKISS
Senior Editor

(July 5, 2016) Oregano and thyme in place of antibiotics? In chicken feed? You got it. Perdue’s doing it. As Perdue says: “It’s not the easy way, it’s the Perdue Way.”
The Perdue brand has launched a package of new television commercials focusing on the role played by herbs in raising healthy chickens without relying on antibiotics.
The ads, airing nationally, star Perdue Chairman Jim Perdue, a Perdue flock specialist and a Perdue nutritionist, along with a sprig of thyme, a bunch of oregano and a few hundred chickens.
The campaign, which will also reach consumers online, highlights some of the extra, and sometimes surprising, efforts Perdue and farmers take to raise chickens with no antibiotics ever.
“If this were easy, all of our competitors would already be doing it,” said Eric Christianson, senior vice president of marketing and innovation.
And innovative it is. In a press release, Perdue said that the campaign, created by The VIA Agency, uses a chicken house as a setting for the ads.
“We were able to use the playful banter between Jim Perdue and real employees to get across to consumers a few of the many extra steps Perdue takes to raise chickens without any antibiotics,” said Dan Balin, group strategy director for the Portland, Maine-based agency.
In one set of commercials, Perdue and one of the company’s flock specialists talk about the antioxidant qualities of oregano. In the other, he and a poultry nutritionist delve into thyme’s potential to help support the chicken’s immune system.
“Thyme and oregano are just two of the innovative things we’ve done so that we don’t have to rely on antibiotics,” said veterinarian Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown, Perdue’s senior vice president of food safety, quality and live production.
“We also use things like probiotics. When you take antibiotics out, you do have to put extra work in. We’ve made changes at every stage, and so have the farmers who raise our chickens. It takes a commitment by everyone involved”
The campaign follows previous consumer outreach that supported Perdue’s call for clarity in claims and labels related to antibiotic use.
“Consumer questions about antibiotic use is not something new, and neither is our commitment to No Antibiotics Ever production,” said Jim Perdue. “We’ve been listening, and changing the way we raise animals. If it’s important to consumers; it’s important to us.”
Perdue was the first major poultry company to eliminate the use of routine human antibiotics, a company news release said.