From the category archives: NOMAD


Farm Camp Registration is Open!

Hi! I’m Ruthann, the new Education and PR Specialist at NOMAD, and am looking forward to invaluable learning and using my gifts and experience to further the mission of NOMAD Farms.  I have loved all the rain this week, as it does its work in soaking the pastures and garden, and then inviting me to curl up with hot tea in the evening. We are excited to tell you about the first NOMAD Farms Summer Camp.  This year’s camp is June 22-26, 9 am - 2 pm, for children ages 6-12.  We have limited space, so please include a $50 deposit with registration to reserve your spot. You can print/scan/email or use a stamp and the post box to register.  Come prepared to get dirty, work hard, play hard, enjoy and care for the land!

Click this link to download the Registration form.pdf

If you are interested in volunteering as a helper (ages 13 and up), download the Volunteer Sign-up form.pdf


Internship Opportunity at NOMAD Farms, LLC


An internship position earning a monthly stipend.  NOMAD Farms ( is a clean food meat production family farm.  Our humanely raised animals are the centerpiece of the farm and enjoy the cleanliness of fresh, rotated pasture to live and feed on.   We’re dedicated not only to healthy foods and sustainable stewardship, but to sharing this land and model with the community.  For our patrons, we are offering a point of connection with the land and a destination for good food and good relationships.   This is much more than just a farm.


The available position is a skill-development internship aimed at equipping the intern with practical farm experience that will enhance any resume, especially on career trajectories in the sphere of agriculture and/or sustainability.   Responsibilities include assistance in daily farm operations, like feeding and caring for animals, mending fences, managing soil health, working in our large scale garden and processing/packaging produce and meat for sale.  The intern will represent the farm at local farmer’s markets and interact with visitors on our farm tours.  By learning detailed operations of the farm and assisting in the development and implementation of new strategies, this intern will gain skills and insight for farm operations and management.


This internship will last approximately seven (7) months (May 1 to November 30, 2015).  Compensation will include a $700/month stipend for 35-40 hour work weeks for the first 4 months, and would be expected to drop back to 12 hour work weeks from September to November, as we would prefer for this intern to be a college student.  Those final three months earn a stipend of $400/mo.  Housing is not included, but lunches on the farm will be provided on work days. 


Qualifications: Above all, honesty, integrity, a can-do attitude and a willingness to learn.  No farming experience necessary, but the candidate must be physically fit and willing to work in all weather conditions with a smile.  Good people skills are strongly desired as most everything we do includes interaction with the community.  Valid driver’s license and legal work status in the US required, as well as a current tetanus shot.  

An Eye-Opening Comparison

Small farm hero Joel Salatin, in his 1993 blockbuster book Pastured Poultry Profit$, included a chart comparing chickens from his clean-and-green family farm to those you can buy in a conventional grocery store.  Reading that chart took me aback, and now that we are providing pasture raised chicken, I have modified his chart to reflect what we are doing at NOMAD Farms--comparing our birds with grocery store birds.  *All entries listed in red below also apply to nearly all "Certified Organic" chickens.  Just because it is "organic" doesn't necessarily mean it is healthy!  Are you ready for this?


NOMAD Farms Chicken  Conventional Chicken
Unvaccinated                                                                                        Vaccinated (immuno-suppressant)                                             
Full, natural beak Debeaked (cannibalism a problem)
Probiotics (immuno-stimulant)                                   Antibiotics (immuno-depressant)
Composting litter in brooder (sanitized
   through decomposition)
Sterilized litter (toxic fumigants and sprays)

Practically no ammonia vapor (little smell) *Hyper-ammonia toxicity (stench)
Natural light *No natural light
Rest at night--lights off

Artificial lighting 24/7 (sleeping birds
   don't grow as quickly)
No medications Routine medications
No hormones Routine hormones
No appetite stimulants Routine appetite stimulants (arsenic)
Small groups (200 or fewer) *Huge groups (10,000 or more)
Low stress *High stress
Clean air

*Air hazy with fecal particulate (damages
   respiratory tract, pulls vitamins from body)
Fresh air and sunshine *Limited air, practically no sunshine
Plenty of exercise *Limited exercise (burns calories, slows growth)
Live on fresh grass 24 hours/day after first week
   of life, hand moved twice daily to new grass
*No green material or bugs

Animal friendly protective shelters that
   move around farm
 Packed tightly into longhouses

Short transport to processing (on farm) *Long transport to processing (stressful)
Killed by precise and small throat slit
   (per Biblical directives--see Leviticus)
 *Killed by electric shock (inhibits bleeding
   after throat is slit)
Carefully hand eviscerated and cleaned

*Mechanically eviscerated (prone to breaking
   intestines, spilling feces over carcass)
Customer AND NCDA inspection

*Government inspections only
   (customer forbidden to see)
No injections during processing Routine injections (tenderizers, dyes...)
Sick birds placed in isolation for second
   chance--most get well)
Sick birds destroyed immediately

Manure falls onto grass/soil to fertilize pastures
   naturally--efficient nutrient cycling)
Manure fed to cattle or spread in ways that cause
   water pollution and taxpayer clean-ups
Fresh air and sunshine sanitize processing area *Toxic germicides sanitize processing facility
Cooking loss ±9% carcass weight Cooking loss ±20% carcass weight
Low saturated fat High saturated fat
No chlorine baths Up to 40 chlorine baths (to kill contaminants)
No irradiation FDA-approved irradiation (label not required)
Environmentally responsible Environmentally destructive (toxic run-off, hidden costs...)
Promotes family farming Promotes feudal/serf agriculture
Decentralized food system Centralized food system
Promotes entrepreneurial spirit Promotes low wage/time-clock employment
Consumer-producer relationship Consumer-producer alienation
Rich, delicious taste Poor, flat taste
Edible  Inedible

(*Items in red above also apply to nearly all "certified organic" chicken.)

How about stopping by NOMAD Farms this week for some fresh, healthy pastured chicken?  Or see our What's Happening page to find out how to get chicken delivered free--with a free gift!

Why Does NOMAD Charge $18 per Chicken?

Warning:  I am prone to this.  Those who know me best are familiar with my propensity to soapbox on the subjects that most inflame me with passion.


Clean, healthy food is one of my passions.


Someone who loves me very much sent a kind-hearted and gentle email this morning to let me know of her concerns that we cannot sustain our business in the long term selling chickens for $18.  She compared our chickens to the ones she is buying at a health-conscious grocery store—let’s use the letters WF to represent that store—and essentially communicated that we are charging a higher price than our competition for what must be an inferior product. 


If I can get you to finish reading this blog entry, I think you will understand that exactly the opposite is true: we are selling a superior chicken for a lower price.


I am NOT in this blog entry comparing our chicken to the cheap, low quality stuff you fish out of the bargain freezers at Costco and Food Lion.  Those Tyson or Perdue chickens are not the same product.  They are intentionally low cost, low quality, steroid-laden, antibiotic-riddled, unethically raised, environmentally destructive junk food chickens raised to get the most bang for the buck in the short term.  You see the long term costs of these chickens in your checkbook, and in headlines like: “Health Insurance Jumps Again—rate increases due to skyrocketing incidence of cancer, disease and obesity” or “Tax Hike—taxpayers responsible for bill in latest chicken sludge environmental disaster” or “ERs Overworked—Salmonella outbreak kills 6, sickens thousands.”  Our chicken has nothing to do with this stuff.


Our chicken is more comparable to the better products sold at stores like WF.  Chickens there are fresher, many raised on organic feed with few or no antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, etc.  They are overall good for you.  I am not opposed to folks buying their chicken at stores like WF.


But how does our chicken compare?


1.       (Most importantly) We are local.  I spoke at a party with a nutrition expert this week who says she tells people “Local first, organic second.”  Local food is superior for myriad reasons.  It makes sense.  When you ship something across the country or across the ocean, you must do bad things to it.  The chickens at WF may or may not be “locally” sourced . . . at our WF, the local chickens come from Texas.  They are ten days old before they leave the shelves.  They are packaged in about half a pound of water.  Still, this is better than Tyson.


Was your chicken from WF raised in a dark room with poor ventilation, no exercise, in a cage with little space (while eating organic grain)?  How can you know?  What does “access to outdoors” mean?  Who oversees it?  Come to NOMAD Farms and see every step of the process.  Hold the chickens.  Read the ingredients on the healthy, no animal byproduct, medication-free, high protein feeds we offer.  Watch our healthy chickens eat bugs and grass, run in the sunshine and enjoy fresh air.  Local foods can be seen and touched.  WF cannot offer this. 


2.       We are healthier.  My guess is that one in fifty people who buy organic meats can articulate what organic means in an educated manner.  Without going into what “organic” means, it only refers to what the chicken ate while it lived.  “Organic” does not insure ethical treatment, clean facilities, or even healthy air.  “Organic” does not necessarily mean “healthy”—or even “healthier”!  Most organic chickens are slaughtered at the same types of unclean and unethical processing plants Perdue and Tyson use. When people ask, “Is it organic?” the true question is “Is it healthy?”  It’s only healthy if it is healthy from the hatchling to the farm to the slaughter to the packaging to the consumer.  We can provide that.


This article: clearly articulates why “pasture raised” is better than “organic,” given a choice between the two.  This is where I would differ from the nutrition expert I talked to at the party—I would say local first, pasture raised second.  The data on the health differences between organic and non-organic indicate a slight jump in nutrition quality.  But the data says the difference between pasture raised and non-pasture raised is a HUGE jump in nutrition. 


We are not yet organically certified because of the expense and hassle related to that certification.  Our feed is high quality.  Our living standards are better.  Our health and sanitation standards are higher.  Nutrition comparisons between pastured poultry farms (like ours) and health food store chickens consistently show that we (the small farm farmers) sell the superior product.


3.       We are cheaper.  For most folks, this is where the rubber meets the road.  In the email, she told me she was paying $3.79/lb for her WF chickens, usually at about 3 lbs. for an average price of $11.37 for a whole chicken.  Ours are $18.00.  Aren’t ours way more expensive?  No, actually.  Our last batch of chickens dressed out at an average of 4.7 pounds per bird.  If we charged $3.79, that’s $17.81.  WF is charging tax on top of that.  And look how much water comes in the WF bag with the chicken!  Some of our birds are smaller, closer to 4 pounds.  Some, however, are larger, weighing over 5 pounds.  We are taking the weight variance guesswork out and charging a rate based on averages...consistent price is easier for everyone.  This keeps some people from having to pay over $20 for a large bird. 


Our pricing is consistent with fresh-food farm rates.  We have almost $7 cash invested in purchasing, feeding, processing and packaging each bird.   That means we processed our first batch of chickens at a rate of about $4/hour for my labor.  That does not even address what we have put into infrastructure.  We are new at this and will get better, but I can assure you we are providing a great product for a great price.


I could go on and on, but I think you get the general idea. 


Try one of our chickens.  Taste the difference.  See how much further it goes than your average grocery store chicken.  And know that it is good for you, ethically raised, environmentally responsible, and comes from a farm where integrity in all things is important. 


We sell a better product at a lower price.  I am confident there is not a more healthy chicken available at ANY store, farm, or restaurant in the Winston-Salem area than NOMAD Farms chickens.  


  1. Re: An Eye-Opening Comparison

    good post

    -- replica Cartier watches

  2. Re: NOMAD Farms Chicken has a New Look

    "Pastured Poultry" I love it! Continued best wishes to you guys.

    -- DC

  3. Re: An Eye-Opening Comparison

    Wow thank you for sharing this comparison. Very eye opening and disturbing!!!!!!!

    -- Tina

  4. Re: Why Does NOMAD Charge $18 per Chicken?

    Great article, Dana! You really broke things down well!

    -- Denys