Late last year when I was developing my Jerky Treats I also looked into making a high quality, high protein cookie type of treat for dogs. Chicken Meal came to mind as an ingredient worth looking into. It is a concentrated protein and I wanted my product to be at least 60% protein. I want to thank Richard Darlington from Brother’s pet foods for having the courage to disclose that Tyson Animal Nutrition is the source for the Chicken Meal that Brother’s uses!
In October, 2012 I contacted Tyson Animal Nutrition to get information on their Chicken Meal. Here is what I found out:
It takes approximately 4 pounds of Chicken to make 1 pound of Chicken Meal.
Chicken meal ingredients:
Chicken Meal = legs, frames, backs, necks and skin.
Human grade, USDA inspected chicken.
Ground, cooked, fat and solids separated, most of the fat removed, dried, pressed to remove even more fat and preserved with Naturox.
44 cents a pound per ton.
I was shocked. 44 cents a pound for a product that contains 4 pounds of fresh chicken, plus it is ground, cooked, separated, pressed and preserved and it only costs 44 cents a pound.
The cost of the chicken and the processing used to make this product:
I took the 44 cents per pound and divided it in half. I figured about 22 cents a pound for processing and 22 cents a pound for the cost of the chicken.
Since it takes 4 pounds of chicken to make 1 pound of chicken meal this means that each pound of fresh chicken used to make this meal cost under 6 cents a pound for the chicken and under 6 cents a pound to process that chicken.
I will NOT be using Tyson’s Chicken Meal in any of my products.
James, I appreciate your posts. I am going to make my own dog food from now on.
Did you inquire about what “Naturox” is? I’ve never heard of it, that would concern me.
Doesn’t sound too appetizing. If that’s what “naturally preserved” meat meals are getting preserved with I’m sure glad the only preservative my dogs’ meals need is the freezer. 🙂
Note that James has known this about Tyson for a while, yet he misrepresented himself to Toxed, saying he was asking about Blue Buffalo and Solid Gold. And his only purpose is to find another way to bash Brothers. The problem is that Brothers has Tyson make them a custom chicken meal, this has already been hashed over on the Brothers thread, and his custom mix doesn’t have Naturox in it. Keep searching James, keep searching, but you don’t need to lie about your motives.
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Thank you for your input. The fact remains that Tyson’s Chicken Meal which Brother’s uses, costs 44 cents a pound for a product that is made from 4 pounds of chicken. The chicken is then ground, cooked and has the fats separated from the solids. Then it’s dried and pressed to remove even more fat and finally it’s preserved and packaged.
That comes to 11 cents a pound for each of the 4 pounds of chicken needed to make 1 pound of Chicken Meal and that includes all of the processing!
I am sorry but I just don’t see how this Chicken Meal could be a quality product no matter what it’s preserved with.
What part of custom don’t you understand?
Hi James Bailey,
To put this in perspective, when you were investigating potential chicken meal suppliers for use in the production of your dog treats, what other companies did you contact and what prices are other suppliers charging?
Has anyone contacted Tyson directly to check and see if they make chicken meal without Natrox? That’s what I’d do, just saying.
In doing my research I contacted:
Griffin Industries: 866-327-5464 and Darpro Solutions: 855-880-5025
It turns out that Griffin Industries uses Darpro’s Meals. I spoke with Doyle Nauman at Darpro. Their chicken meal has the same ingredient profile as Tyson’s, it is also preserved with Naturox. The cost is approximately 75 cents a pound for a whole truckload. Their Beef Meal is preserved with BHA/BHT. I asked if they had a naturally preserved Beef Meal and he said no. I wonder if all the Beef Meal that is being used in dog foods is preserved with BHA/BHT.
I contacted Tyson Animal Nutrition 800-950-2344 and I spoke with Mark Occhipinti. I asked if it was possible for them to create a Chicken Meal product that was preserved with something other than Naturox, something more natural maybe. Mr Occhipinti said it was NOT possible for them to manufacture a custom batch of chicken meal.
Mr Occhipinti explained that their Chicken Meal is stored in huge finishing tanks and that they don’t have the capability to create a custom blend of chicken meal and therefore all their Chicken Meal is preserved with Naturox TX.
Tyson does have chicken by product meals that are preserved with either Ethoxyquin, BHA/BHT or Pet-Ox. Tyson only makes 1 straight Chicken Meal and that is always preserved with Naturox TX
Very interesting information James! I have to believe that all proteins/fats used in the production of kibble have preservative in them and as consumers we have no idea what they are because they don’t have to be listed on the label.
I agree with Aimee – very interesting disclosure. Makes me question a lot of companies. It’s unfortunate manufacturers aren’t required to disclose what’s added to an ingredient prior to the ingredient arriving at the manufacturing facility and it’s even more unfortunate manufacturers are allowed to lie to consumers about what is in their food. The more I learn about the pet food industry, the happier I am that I make my dogs’ food myself.
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