• Poultry: Our Products
  • 1. Are all of your products certified organic?

    Yes, all of our products are certified organic by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd, one of North America’s foremost independent organic verification bodies. To ensure our products meet the highest organic standards, we certify every step of the organic chain, from the land that supports our animals and grains, to the farmers raising our animals, to the processing and handling facilities preparing our products. Detailed records are kept to prove that every product that reaches your table is genuinely organic.

    To ensure a product is certified organic, look for the Canada Organic mark. Only products that meet the Canada Organic Standards can display this symbol.

    Canada Organic

  • 2. What is the difference between organic and other types of chicken like humanely raised, all natural, antibiotic-free or free-range?

    The organic system is the purest way to minimize chemicals in our food, promote a healthy environment and ensure high standards of animal welfare. You may see terms like humanely raised, all natural, antibiotic-free or free-range. These are not to be confused with organic. Only foods that are grown, processed and inspected to strict organic standards can be labeled organic.

     ORGANICANTIBIOTIC FREEFREE-RANGE
    Certified by government accredited bodies or agencies      
    Mandatory independent audit      
    No GMO grains used in feed       
    No toxic or synthetic chemicals used on feed grain       
    No animal by-products in feed       
    No antibiotics       
    Raised in lower density flocks with access
    to sunlight, fresh air and outdoor pastures
         
  • 3. Do any of your products contain soy?

    All of our fresh products are free of soy, as are our bulk frozen products. Our frozen chicken nuggets contain organic textured soy protein, and our pot pie products may contain soy. You can read the full list of ingredients on our Products page.

    A note for those with food allergies: The federally-inspected facility where we produce our burgers, nuggets, and breaded fillets has an allergen control program in place, but it is not an allergen-free facility. The facility also produces other non-YVF products which may contain sesame seeds (and derivatives), dairy products (i.e. milk, lactose, caseinates, whey), eggs, fish, shellfish, soy products, wheat, sulphites.

  • 4. Do any of your products contain wheat?

    All of our fresh products are wheat-free (gluten-free), as are our bulk frozen products. Our frozen chicken burgers, nuggets, breaded fillets, and chicken pot pie products contain wheat-based ingredients. You can view the full list of ingredients on our Products page.

    A note for those with food allergies: The federally-inspected facility where we produce our burgers, nuggets, and breaded fillets has an allergen control program in place, but it is not an allergen-free facility. The facility also produces other non-YVF products which may contain sesame seeds (and derivatives), dairy products (i.e. milk, lactose, caseinates, whey), eggs, fish, shellfish, soy products, wheat, sulphites.

  • 5. Do any of your products contain dairy?

    Yes, our organic chicken pot pie products contain dairy.

    A note for those with food allergies: The federally-inspected facility where we produce our burgers, nuggets, and breaded fillets has an allergen control program in place, but it is not an allergen-free facility. While YVF products are dairy-free, the facility also produces other non-YVF products which may contain sesame seeds (and derivatives), dairy products (i.e. milk, lactose, caseinates, whey), eggs, fish, shellfish, soy products, wheat, sulphites.

  • 6. What ingredients are in your organic chicken stock and how is it made?

    The list of ingredients in our homestyle stock reads pretty much like your grandma’s recipe: water, organic chicken, organic onion, organic celery, salt, organic carrots.

    We make our stock the old-fashioned way, like you would at home. Only we have a much bigger pot so that we can make it in large batches. The recipe starts with our organic chicken bones, to which water is added. Then we layer in organic, non-GMO vegetables and seasoning and let the liquid simmer away. It’s really a fairly simple process, but that simple act of simmering allows us to extract lots of flavour from the organic chicken bones, vegetables and seasoning. We don’t add any artificial colours or flavours, nor do we add any sugar or flavour enhancers.

     

  • 7. Why do some of your frozen chicken breast products contain salt and cornstarch?

    Our frozen bulk products are flash frozen or individually quick frozen (IQF) to retain nutrients and moisture. Since launching our frozen bulk line, we have received helpful feedback from our retail partners and our customers regarding our IQF boneless skinless chicken breasts. As a result, we introduced a lightly seasoned version of our frozen chicken breasts, which also includes a light dusting of cornstarch to help retain moisture. We recognize that some people prefer a plain breast and others prefer the seasoned, which is why we offer both options. Check with your local retailer to see which products they carry.

  • 8. Where can I buy YVF products?

    Our fresh chicken and turkey products are available through a variety of retail partners in Ontario. Many of our frozen products are available nationally. To find a retailer near you, visit our Where to Buy page. At this time, we do not sell directly to the public.

  • Poultry: Our Farms
  • 1. Where are your farms located?

    All of our poultry farms are located in Ontario. We work with a close-knit group of organic farmers to raise our chickens and turkeys. Our two main chicken farms are in the Peterborough area, and our main turkey farm is near Stratford. All of our farms are family owned and operated.

  • 2. Can I visit your farms?

    At this time we are not able to offer an open invitation for people to visit our farms. Because we never treat our animals with antibiotics, it is especially important for us to maintain high sanitation standards within the barn. Preserving a clean environment for our chickens is very important to us, and to the health of the chickens. You can learn more about our farms and our farmers on the Our Farms section of our website.

  • 3. What else do you grow on your farms?

    Our organic farms are bustling with activity! Raising organic chickens and turkeys is our main focus. To support our poultry flocks, we also manage over 1500 acres of organic crops, which go into our organic, non-GMO, all grain feed. Outside of their role as poultry growers for Yorkshire Valley Farms, some of our farmers produce other organic products like maple syrup, or they raise other livestock like beef and lamb.

  • Poultry: Our Feed
  • 1. What do you feed your animals?

    Through years of trial, we have developed a proprietary all-grain organic feed mix that we think produces the tastiest chicken. Our chickens enjoy a non-GMO grain diet of corn, soy, wheat. We never add antibiotics or animal by-products to our feed. Our chickens also have constant access to water that has been pH-balanced to better suit their digestive systems.

  • 2. Does your feed contain GMO grains?

    No. All of our corn, soy and wheat grains are non-GMO. This means our feed may cost a little more, but we think it’s well worth it.

  • 3. Does your feed contain animal by-products?

    No. We never add animal by-products to our feed. Our chickens enjoy an all-grain organic diet made up of corn, soy, and wheat.

  • 4. Does your feed contain herbicide or pesticide treated grains?

    No. The crops that grow our feed are never treated with chemicals, herbicides, or pesticides. We follow the highest standards of organic crop management for our grains.

  • 5. Will the animal feed affect my food allergy?

    Our animals enjoy a non-GMO, all-grain diet made up of corn, soy and wheat. If you have an allergy to one of these grains, it is very difficult for us to determine how the animal’s diet may or may not affect your food allergy. At this time, we are not aware of any definitive science on the topic of animal feed and food allergies. If you have a severe food allergy, we encourage you to speak with your doctor to help guide you for your specific dietary needs.

  • Poultry: Our Animals
  • 1. Do you treat your animals with hormones?

    No. Like all poultry in Canada, our animals are never given hormones.

  • 2. Do you treat your animals with antibiotics?

    No. We never give our animals antibiotics. Our organic practices reduce bird stress and encourage the animals' own immune systems to keep them healthy.

  • 3. Do your animals have access to sunlight and fresh air?

    Yes. Our barns are equipped with natural ventilation systems that allow fresh air to circulate through the barn. All of our barns have windows, allowing natural light in. We do not use artificial light to over-stimulate our animals. The birds also have seasonal access to organically managed outdoor pastureland, weather permitting.

  • 4. How much space do the animals have inside the barn?

    Organic practices mandate double the barn space of conventional poultry standards. The animals have room to roam within the barn and are able to display natural behaviours like spreading their wings and dust bathing. The chickens are never kept in cages or forcibly confined within the barn. The animals also have seasonal access to organically managed outdoor pastureland, weather permitting.

  • 5. Do the animals have access to the outdoors?

    Yes. All our barns allow for seasonal access to outdoor pastureland that is also managed organically, which means we never treat it with chemicals, herbicides or pesticides. Once the animals reach a certain age and size, they have the option to go outdoors. The varied climate of Ontario can be a challenge for our animals, so our farmers take into consideration temperature and weather, as well as how to manage potential predators. Our farmers are always conscientious of maintaining optimal animal health and providing a safe environment.

  • 6. How are your animals processed?

    In all of our animal handling practices, including during transportation and processing, we work to minimize stress, injury or suffering. We follow organic practices, which require that livestock shall be managed responsibly, with care and consideration. During transportation, we work to maintain a safe and temperate environment, ensuring the animals have shelter against inclement weather, such as wind, rain and excessive heat or cold. As well, we strive to keep the duration of transportation as short as possible. The animals are processed in a federally inspected facility, following practices established to ensure humane treatment. Our chickens are always air-chilled, ensuring no additional water is added during the chilling process. To create the various cuts of chicken that we offer, we hand-cut to provide greater flexibility and variety. Our chicken products are then packaged and transported to stores.

  • Poultry: Safe Handling / Food Preparation
  • 1. How do I safely handle chicken or turkey in my home kitchen?

    Keep poultry refrigerated or frozen. The safest way to defrost poultry is to keep the meat chilled until you are ready to cook. Place chicken on a tray in the refrigerator and allow to defrost overnight. As turkeys are much larger than chickens, you will need to allow more time to defrost. We suggest approximately 5 hours per pound of turkey.

    When preparing, keep raw poultry separate from other foods. It is important to wash working surfaces (including cutting boards, utensils, and hands) after touching raw poultry.

    We do not recommend washing raw poultry, as this can increase the risk of cross-contaminating sinks, towels, and other work surfaces. If you wish to remove moisture on the surface of the poultry, you can simply pat it dry with a paper towel. Be sure to safely discard the paper towel right after use.

    The best way to ensure your chicken is safe to eat is to cook it thoroughly. If cooking whole, a meat thermometer inserted in the inner thigh should read 185ºF (85ºC). If cooking individual cuts, a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part should read 165ºF (74ºC).

  • 2. How do I know if my chicken is still good to eat or if it has spoiled?

    Because our chickens are raised on an organic, all-grain diet made up of corn, soy and wheat, their diet has higher levels and more complete blends of amino acids than non-organic feeds. You may find that YVF organic chicken may have a slightly stronger smell and taste over conventional chicken.

    How to assess if chicken has spoiled:

    1. Best Before Date: When buying chicken, you need to check the Best Before Date as well as have a quick look at the packaging to ensure its integrity (no damage). It is always recommended that chicken be cooked or frozen as far prior to the Best Before Date as possible.
    2. Color: Observe the color of the chicken. When fresh, raw chicken has a pink fleshy color. As you reach the the Best Before Date, the color fades to gray and looks dull.
    3. Odor: Sniff the chicken. If it is spoiled, it will have a foul unpleasant odor, a scent similar to ammonia, or a “sweet” smell.
    4. Touch: Feel the chicken with your fingertips. Chicken that has gone bad will feel slimy rather than moist on its surface.
  • 3. How do I know when my chicken or turkey is fully cooked?

    The safest way to check if your chicken or turkey is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer. If roasting a whole chicken or turkey, insert a meat thermometer into the inner thigh. It should read 185ºF (85ºC). If cooking individual cuts, a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part should read 165ºF (74ºC).

  • 4. Where can I find the cooking instructions for YVF frozen products?

    The box for each frozen product contains specific preparation instructions. You can check our Products section to find information on specific products. With all of our frozen chicken products, you want to reach an internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC) at the thickest point to ensure it is fully cooked.

  • Eggs: Our Products
  • 1. What is the difference between white eggs and brown eggs?

    The colour of the eggshell is determined by what type of hen produced the egg. Generally speaking, white eggs are laid by chickens with white feathers and brown eggs come from chickens with brown feathers. Our farmers raise a mix of hen breeds, which is why you'll find both brown and white shelled eggs from Yorkshire Valley Farms. There is no difference in the nutritive value or cooking characteristics of white and brown eggs.

  • 2. Your eggs are both organic and free range. What is the difference between ‘free run’ and ‘free range’?

    ‘Free run’ eggs are laid by hens that live cage-free in open concept barns with slat or litter-covered floors and that are equipped with nests and perches. ‘Free range’ eggs are produced in a similar barn environment, but these hens also have seasonal outdoor access. The varied Canadian climate can be a challenge for our animals, so our farmers take temperature and weather into consideration when allowing the hens to roam outdoors. Our farmers are always conscientious of maintaining optimal animal health and providing a safe environment.

    Because our eggs are also certified organic by Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd., our hens enjoy an all grain diet made up of non-GMO grains that are never treated with herbicides or pesticides, and we never add animal by-products to the feed. The outdoor pasture area to which our hens have access is managed organically, ensuring that it too is never treated with herbicides or pesticides.

    Like all egg-laying hens in Canada, our hens are never treated with antibiotics.

  • 3. Why does the colour of the egg yolk vary from light yellow to bright orange?

    The colour of the egg yolk is driven by the diet of the hen. Hens eat grains and plant-based material that contain pigments called carotenoids, and those pigments influence the shade of the yolk.

    At Yorkshire Valley Farms, our hens enjoy an organic grain diet made up primarily of corn, soy, and wheat, combined with other plant-based elements to ensure the hens receive the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimum health. Because our hens have seasonal access to organically-managed outdoor pasture, they may also peck at grasses, clover, and other plant material, as well as insects and other edibles found in the pasture. 

    The diet of each hen will vary. While all the hens in a particular flock have access to the same organic grain feed, each bird will pick and choose from the feed mix. In addition, what each hen forages for while on pasture can vary from day to day and from hen to hen. This variance in the pigments that are consumed through diet can result in different shades of yolks throughout the seasons, and even between eggs in a single carton.

    Hens whose diet contains more yellow corn, alfalfa and green plant material that contains more xanthophyll pigment (a yellow-orange hue) will produce a darker yellow-orange yolk, whereas hens whose diets contain more wheat or barley will produce paler yellow yolks. Hens fed white cornmeal or white rice can produce very pale, almost white yolks.

    Many studies have concluded that the nutritional value of an egg is not affected by the yolk colour. Similarly, the pigments that influence yolk colour are not direct drivers of flavour or cooking characteristics.

  • 4. What causes the spot of blood on my egg yolk and can I consume that egg?

    Contrary to common misconception, a blood spot does not indicate a fertilized egg. Sometimes when a hen is laying an egg, a blood vessel may rupture while the egg is being formed, causing a blood spot on the yolk. Blood spots occur in less than 1% of all eggs laid and are harmless. They do not impact the quality of the egg. Eggs with blood spots are usually removed during the grading process, but it can be harder to spot blood spots in brown eggs because of the darker shell. Both chemically and nutritionally, an egg with a blood spot is fit to be consumed. You can simply use a spoon or the blade of a knife to remove the spot if you wish.

  • 5. What is the ‘stringy bit’ that is sometimes connected to the egg yolk?

    That white stringy bit is the chalazae (pronounced chuh-LAY-zee). The chalazae is a pair of spiral bands that anchors the yolk in the centre of the egg white (the albumen). Essentially, the chalazae holds the yolk in place. The fresher the egg, the more prominent the chalazae will be.

    The chalazae is safe to consume. Once cooked, it disappears and will not affect the dish, so it is not necessary to remove before cooking. Certain baking recipes, particularly custards, may suggest removing the chalazae to ensure an even, smooth texture.

  • Eggs: Our Feed
  • 1. What do you feed your laying hens?

    Our hens enjoy a vegetarian all-grain diet made up of a mix of organic, non-GMO grains like soy, corn, and wheat, along with other plant material that they may peck at while in the organically-managed pasture. The organic feed grains are never treated with herbicides or pesticides, and we never add animal by-products to the feed. The diet of our laying hens is carefully balanced to ensure they are getting the vitamins and minerals they require for good health. Our hens are never treated with antibiotics, like all egg laying hens in Canada.

  • Eggs: Our Animals
  • 1. Are you hens kept in cages inside the barn?

    No, our barns are cage-free. The barns are equipped with slat or litter-covered floors and provide nests and perches for the hens to lay their eggs. The hens can move freely within the barn and have enough space to exhibit natural behaviours. Our barns provide the hens with access to fresh air and natural daylight. The hens also have seasonal outdoor access to organically managed pastures.

  • 2. Do your hens have access to the outdoors?

    Yes, our laying hens have seasonal outdoor access to organically managed pastures. When allowing the hens to roam outside, our farmers always take into account the temperature and weather to ensure the health and safety of our hens. When in the pasture, we ensure that the hens have access to shade and shelter.

  • 3. Do you treat your animals with antibiotics?

    No, like all egg-laying hens in Canada, our animals are never treated with antibiotics.

  • Eggs: Safe Handling / Food Preparation
  • 1. How can I tell if my eggs are fresh?

    All Yorkshire Valley Farms organic egg cartons are marked with a best before date. We encourage you to store your eggs in the fridge and to consume the eggs before this date to ensure a fresh product.

    If you are unsure of the best before date, there are some visual cues you can use to help determine the age of your egg. A fresh Canada Grade A egg will have a round, well centered, compact and erect yolk, surrounded by a very thick and firm white. As an egg ages, the yolk becomes flatter, larger, and breaks more easily, and the thick white becomes thinner and watery.

    To test the freshness of an egg without breaking the shell, place the egg in a bowl of water. The egg should be fully submerged and covered by at least 5cm (2 inches) of water. If the egg sinks to the bottom of the bowl and lies on its side, it is very fresh. If the egg lies on the bottom, but starts to tilt upright or bob in the water, this means it is slightly older, but likely still fine to eat; it should be eaten soon. If the egg floats to the top, do not consume; discard or place into your compost bin.

    To ensure the freshest eggs, consume before the best before date marked on the carton.

  • 2. Can I use a cracked egg?

    If you accidentally crack the shell of an egg before you plan to use it, discard it or immediately break the egg into a clean container, cover tightly, refrigerate, and use within two days in a recipe that is baked. Do not use an egg if the egg's contents are leaking through the shell, the egg is stuck to the carton, or if the eggshell is dirty, prominently stained or has foreign material sticking to it.

  • 3. Can I freeze eggs?

    Yes, raw eggs can be frozen. We suggest freezing eggs in small quantities and defrosting only what you need. An easy way to freeze eggs is to crack raw eggs into an ice cube tray, with one egg per compartment of the tray. Transfer the ice cube tray to the freezer. When frozen, remove the frozen egg from the ice cube tray and store in the freezer in a container labelled with the date. Frozen eggs should be used within four months. As with any frozen foods, it is best to thaw in the refrigerator and use as soon as the food is fully thawed. Only use thawed eggs in dishes that will be thoroughly cooked. Hard-cooked eggs do not freeze successfully, as cooked egg whites will become tough and rubbery.

  • 4. How do I safely prepare recipes that call for raw or partially cooked eggs?

    When preparing raw or lightly cooked eggs, for example in eggnog or Caesar salad, you must use proper food handling methods. Always wash your hands with hot, soapy water before and after working with raw foods. Use only Grade A eggs that have been refrigerated. Grade A eggs must have clean shells with no cracks or punctures. Eat the dish immediately after preparation or immediately refrigerate the product until ready to serve. Keep the dish cold during serving and consume it the same day it is prepared. Discard leftovers.

  • 5. If a parent is allergic to eggs, will the child be allergic too?

    A child's risk of developing food allergies is strongly influenced by the family history of allergies. Children without an allergic parent have a 15% risk of developing allergies. When one parent is allergic, the risk increases to between 20% to 40%. When both parents are allergic, a child has a 40% to 60% risk of developing an allergy. A child does not usually inherit a specific food allergy, but rather the tendency to be allergic. We encourage you to speak with your doctor to help guide you with regards to the specific dietary needs of your family.

  • 6. My recipe calls for an egg size other than medium or large. How do I know how many eggs to use?

    You can use this helpful chart from Eggs.ca to figure out how to adjust the quantity of eggs for your recipe. Scroll down within the page to find the Egg Size Substitutions table.

    http://www.eggs.ca/eggs101/view/4/introduction-to-the-egg

Our commitment to organic

When our founding farmers started farming in Ontario many years ago, they chose to grow organically because they knew it would provide the best products for their families and friends.

Our Commitment to Organic

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Yorkshire Valley Farms

Peterborough, Ontario

Tollfree: 1-800-830-7838
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