Perdue Will Debut A Chicken Feed-Inspired Snack For Humans

Are you ready to eat like a bird? Poultry giant Perdue wants you to know their chickens eat well, so much so that they're unveiling a new snack mix for people featuring nearly the same ingredients they feed their birds. Made of puffed wheat, corn, and edamame and flavored with BBQ seasoning to appeal to us humans, Chix Mix is Perdue's way of reminding you that its chickens don't receive antibiotics in their all-vegetarian chicken feed. What do Perdue birds receive at mealtime? Their food partly consists of corn, soy meal, essential oils, and herbs. It gets a nutritional boost from probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals added to the food.

The human-friendly product will debut on November 17, and while supplies last, customers who visit the Perdue Chix Mix webpage will have a chance to eat like a chicken by ordering a free bag of human feed. That might be the only chance — there's no indication the chicken producer will make this a regular part of its extensive product line or sell in retail markets. We've offered our own poultry-flavored snack mix recipe, but now peckish folks have another option.

We are what the chickens eat

Why is this all such a big deal? Excessively exposing animals to antibiotics could breed stronger, drug-resistant bacteria that pose a threat to humans, too. Perdue Farms' senior vice president of technical services and innovation Bruce Stewart-Brown claims in a press release that the company "removed animal by-products and antibiotics [from its chicken feed] and put in products that promote good gut health such as oregano and thyme." The Chix Mix campaign is intended to broadcast their commitment to that quality standard, which a major competitor has softened on.

Notably, Tyson has reversed its decision to remove all antibiotics from their chicken feeding program, a move that came before a series of plant closures related to cost reduction and in between multiple leadership changes. Perdue describes itself as a leader in ending the use routine of antibiotics and is doubling down on that practice in the face of a competitor choosing a different route. Now the company has set out to prove that chicken feed is not just for the birds anymore!