When Otto’s Chicken was started in Middleville, MI, owner, Gary Otto, had no idea how to raise chickens. He grew up on a farm, a turkey farm, specifically, but he decided to branch off and start something new. He had known that he wanted to raise his kids on a farm and teach them how to work. He and his wife really valued the idea that things don’t just happen in life, and that they need to be worked for; earned, and accomplished through discipline and hard work.
After spending a little bit of time with Gary and his daughter Renae, we were able to get the inside look at how running a successful chicken farm really does require hard work, dedication, and a love for your flock. It is evident that Gary really loves his birds. “We just do a lot more little things that make their life a whole lot nicer,” he said. When they get their chicks in, they are newborns, freshly hatched. The birds are raised in a warm environment where they receive individual attention. Gary said, “I get down and dirty to take care of my chicks and do the best job we can. I love my birds, I really do,“ he added, “I’m in there all the time, making sure things are getting done right. I am fussy about how we catch them. All those little things matter up until they get slaughtered.” Gary and his team at Otto’s use alternative methods to keep the environment that their birds are raised in as stress-free as possible, which eliminates the need for antibiotics.
Gary is extremely grateful for his relationship with Superior. When asked what he valued most about the partnership, he responded, “They were the turning point in this business.” Taking the product and getting it out there, and allowing us to create some more volume, which creates more business, more cash flow. So that was probably the turning point.” He went on to say “You know, we’ve always enjoyed working with you guys. From Doug, ya know, the different buyers that we work with; everyone is just easy to work with and we appreciate that. Don’t we, Renae?” To which she responded, “Yeah, we do, it makes a big difference. We work with Jake now and everybody is just 100% on board.”
At Superior, we feel equally as grateful. Having access to a local, family owned, quality chicken supplier that’s only about 20 minutes from our driveway is not only convenient but is the exact type of relationship that we strive to have with all of our suppliers. We take pride in the opportunity to partner with as many fellow Michigan based businesses as possible. Having the ability to supply our customers with sustainably sourced, quality protein options has been our focus since our beginning. Because, at the end of the day, if it’s on your plate, it should be SUPERIOR!