The answer is simple. There is NO affordable way to raise chickens in what we feel meets our definition of ethical and sustainable.
Most farms, including those that do pasture raised, raise Cornish cross. These chickens go from day old chicks to fully grown in 6-8 weeks. Because of this rapid growth they do not get all their feathers in. They suffer from broken legs and chests and they are prone to heart attacks. They also can not naturally breed because of their size so the females are artificially inseminated at the factory and chicks are bought and shipped to farms.
We raise a heritage chicken for our own family. They take much longer to raise, consume more feed, and do not have a XL breast that every one is looking for. While they are much healthier birds when alive we figure it takes about $20 to raise them. Add in the cost to butcher and package and no one is willing to pay for them even as cost.
all vaccinations are approved under USDA organic standards.
Organic Chicken vs other organic meat
For all other meat Organic standards must be in place before the animal is born.... EXCEPT chicken. They do not count ANYTHING that happens in the first 2 days of life... why? Because they are hatched from hens in deplorable conditions, shot up with vaccines and antibiotics (yes even your antibiotic free chicken was given antibiotics before leaving the hatchery) flown across the country and then raised for 6-8 weeks before being butchered.
*traditionally chicken was never meant to be a staple in our diet. Until recently it was saved for special occasions and was always more expensive then beef or pork*