My Second Zaycon Foods Chicken Review – October, 2013


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Back in March of 2012 I picked up my first order of chicken breast from Zaycon chicken, and I wasn’t impressed. The pick-up situation was a nightmare and the chicken was subpar. I complained and received a partial refund and I thought all was done.

But wow did that review drive people to This Big Happy! To this day that one post gets three times as many hits as any other posts, and “bad zaycon review” is still my #1 search term.

About 6 weeks ago I received an email from someone at Zaycon, they had read my review and the comments on it (there are some really good ones!) and apologized for our experience. She offered to refund the rest of my purchase price and asked if I’d like to try the chicken again, on the house.

I had a better idea.

I’d gladly accept the refund but I didn’t want the chicken, I wanted them to donate it to a local family in need.

And they agreed :) How cool is that? We quickly struck up a deal for me to order and pick-up the chicken and deliver it, which is what I did.

zayconpin

I happened to be at Legoland the day of pick-up (what an awful life I live, right?) so my husband knocked off work a little early to meet the 5-6pm delivery time. The closest pick-up to us is 45 minutes away from our home, and also 45 minutes away from his office.

I had zero complaints about pick-up this time, none. Pick-up wasn’t changed or canceled, no problems at all.

When I started going through the chicken I did notice that most of it was nearly frozen. The Zaycon representative said it’s a result of the cold air from the truck being blasted straight on the boxes, which I believed and accepted. She said it’s a problem they are trying to work out, but I’d rather have somewhat frozen chicken over the alternative of warm chicken.

zaycon chicken

The chicken breasts were great this time. They were not overloaded in fat and none were discolored or had a skin forming. The breasts were huge, as you can see from the picture up there. Zaycon says none of the chicken they use is treated with growth hormones, and I believe them. It’s important to point out here that the chicken you are buying is NOT free range & it’s not organic. The chicken was grown in very controlled environments, resulting in a larger breast and probably a worse life for the chicken. It’s not fun to think about but that’s how it is, only you can decide if eating chicken grown on a conventional farm is the right decision for your family.

In the end, I was much more pleased with Zaycon Foods this time around. I processed and froze the chicken and it’s being delivered to a local family in need this coming weekend, once they make room in their freezer, LOL!

I am glad Zaycon is reaching out to unsatisfied customers and making things right. I was 100% sure I’d never order from Zaycon again, but almost two years later things are now cool with us and I will consider future purchases.


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38 thoughts on “My Second Zaycon Foods Chicken Review – October, 2013

  • mary

    I found this review by googling our old webpage to I think a first review. And then followed over here. Anyway Zaycon is the hot topic as a source of cheap bulk chicken in my group of housewives that can foods. I decided to check them out by reading their facebook page and searching a bit. I am glad you had a positive second experience, but it looks like from their facebook wall that they have grown pretty fast and the customer service has not kept up. Lots of unhappy people posting. So I am taking a pass on ordering from them based on how they are responding on facebook to those posts. Hopefully they will get their act together and I can try in the spring. Thank you for the great reviews!!

    • arah

      Hi Mary,
      We have stepped up our customer service. We were caught off guard with the spring 2012 chicken event and also with the recall of beef last summer. What happened with the Facebook comments being deleted was unprofessional and those involved were dealt with. We have a fantastic team in customer service now and are working hard to make sure that our customers are satisfied.
      I would be happy to answer any concerns you may have. You can email me at arah@zayconfoods.com

  • Tanya Windham

    I have received several orders from Zaycon. In fact, my husband and son usually pick up the order for several of us in our group. We have never had a problem and the quality of the meat has been great! You negative experience was so surprising to me. We have truly had a great product and not problems with delivery.

  • Amanda Spencer

    I have only ordered one from Zaycon. Two cases of their chicken breasts. Awhile after ordering, we made weekend getaway plans, totally forgetting or chicken delivery was scheduled for that same weekend! I contacted Zaycon using their online form, and waited for a response. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive a response to that until after our vacation, despite it saying something like 3 days online. A couple days before our vacation/pickup date, since we hadn’t heard anything back via email, my husband called to explain the situation. Fortunately, he was told since it was before the pickup date that we’d receive a full refund. So, our one time dealing with them ended on a positive note. I am left to wonder what their response via email would have been had we not called. I can just imagine being told we’d incur a 10% fee since it was after our pickup date, despite my original message to them being days before. Hopefully that would not be the case though.

    • arah

      Hi Amanda,
      During our chicken events, our customer service does get overloaded, but we would have made sure you were taken care of and satisfied with your experience.
      I hope that you do order again from us :)

  • Tim Roper

    I recently ordered 40 pounds of hamburger from Zaycon Foods. I was disappointed in the quality of the meat. It was tough and had more fibers in it than meat you normally buy at the store. Even my 10 year old noticed that his hamburgers were tough.

    I’m a trapper and hunter and I butcher my own meat. It looked to me like the processing plant did not properly trim the sinew and silver skin when processing this meat, resulting in a lot of ‘stringyness’ in the meat.

    I have no desire to purchase anything else from them. I’m going to turn the remaining 35 pounds of burger into jerky. I think it will work fine for that.

    • arah

      I am sorry to hear that you didn’t have a good experience with our product. I do hope that you called customer service to let us know, we would have made things right. We want to have the best quality product and if our customers aren’t happy, neither are we.

  • SavingFreak

    My two experiences with Zaycon (chicken and bacon) have been great. The chicken was not frozen but sufficiently refrigerated and the bacon has been great. I recommend this company to may friends all the time and we have had no bad experiences so far.

  • Debbie

    I just received my first order of Zaycon’s chicken breast and couldn’t be happier! My pick up was quick and easy. I got there a few minutes early and the line was already going through fast. The chicken was packed well, cold but unfrozen, and I was amazed at the size and quality of the chicken breasts. My only disappointment is that I didn’t order TWO cases!!!

  • Judy

    I LOVE Zaycon meats. I have been getting it since it was available in my area. Everyone talks about everything but the TASTE. Zaycon chicken has the best flavor ever. Try it before you knock it.

  • Carol Martinsons

    I purchased 40 lbs. of chicken from the last delivery in Gig Harbor. The chicken was mostly frozen and had a very off smell. There were large clumps of frozen icy chicken fluid on most of the chicken breasts. I threw at least half away. I called them on a Friday at 3:30 and told them but the young lady I talked to was frustrated and said she had to leave and to call some guy on Monday. I called and talked to a lady who told me to send pictures, which my husband took. I have yet to hear anything. Up until now, I was very pleased.

    Carol Martinsons

    • arah

      Zaycon never has claimed the chicken to be range free. The breast are big because we purchase the cases that aren’t typically purchased by restaurants. I would be happy to email you the information on our chicken if you would like. My email is arah@zayconfoods.com

  • Meg

    I just picked up our 3rd order of Zaycon chicken and it was perfect!!

    No frozen breasts this time. The breasts were large but not what I would consider unnatural. I don’t know what kind of chickens the farm that supplies our recent order used, but some chickens can get very large.

    My first batch of chicken was awful, I am very thankful that Zaycon gave me the chance to try it again.

    Zaycon has never claimed that their chicken is free-range (which, honestly, free range doesn’t always mean what you think…most free-range commercial chickens are keep in a very small cage where they are still overcrowded and debeaked, they just aren’t inside…but I digress) or organic.

    I know that sometimes the people who answer the phone aren’t the nicest, because I’ve experienced that too, but I couldn’t be happier with my conversations with Arah! Let her know what happened and she will take care of you.

    And no, I’m not being paid for this, and yes I paid for my chicken :) And yes, I will order the chicken again.

    Only you can decide if eating chicken, or anything else, is the right choice for your family both health-wise and morally.

  • Digna D.

    I reviewed Zaycon’s chicken and since then have become a regular customer. I have never had a problem with their delivery service or their chicken. During delivery they are very efficient and you are in and out in no time at all. The chicken tastes amazing and has always arrived fresh. When cooked Zaycon chicken always comes out nice and tender. We just ordered pulled pork and can’t wait to give it a try.

  • Toni Zachary

    I ordered 40 lbs of chicken breasts recently. Pick up was a breeze, the staff was very nice and efficient, the chicken was very cold but not frozen. There was not too much to clean off the breasts, however the chicken is rather tough. I’ve tried cooking it a couple of different ways with the same result. I’m really not happy. I make my dog’s food, so she is getting all of the chicken! I have purchased ground beef in the past and have been happy. Not sure if I’ll order from Zaycon again.

    • Arah

      Hi Toni.
      Please let our customer service know whenever you have an issue with a product. We want to know about it so that we can let our suppliers know. Pictures are always something we ask for, even if it can’t show what the problem is. We will be changing a few things with our routes coming this year and it should help with inconsistency in product.
      If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

  • Christopher

    I find it amazing that people have this entitlement mentality. You get what you pay for. I for one, will continue with ZAYCON – they have done nothing but give me a great value for my purchases. You “entitlement” people need to get a life- PERIOD. Always finding a reason to complain. Get over yourselves.

    • Meg

      Your comment is really rude so I almost didn’t approve it. I decided to approve only so I can reply. I don’t think anyone expressed any sense of “entitlement”. Entitlement is expecting people to treat you differently because you perceive yourself to be on a different level than others. Me, I just want decent quality chicken to feed to my family, which is what everyone who has commented has wanted. There is absolutely nothing wrong with, and no sense of entitlement to, expecting your purchase to meet certain standards.

  • Megan

    Just reading over your blog am came across this!
    Last week I found out about the chicken I was in Winter Haven
    And saw the truck so I had to google it lol.
    Needless to say I won’t be ordering from them
    It would take us a year to eat that much meat.

  • Maggie

    I ordered 4o lbs of chicken and was amazed by the size of the breasts. I processed and froze it all and thought all was well. My chicken has a funny texture (reminds me of a chicken breast from mcdonalds) and after it’s fully cooked it has a slime to it ( we grilled it, has happened twice). No one has gotten sick so I’m not really sure what to think of it. Doubtful that I will buy again.

  • Anne

    We have been buying Zaycon chicken and hamburger for a couple of years. Pick-up cannot be easier or more efficient!! They do a great job. It takes us as long as expected to cut and put into quart freezer bags. We buy mainly for the bulk price. In our experience, the quality has always been as good as what we would buy in the store. This April shipment was the first that we questioned the size of some of the breasts. Usually they were equal enough to cut into 10 1# bags. This time, some were huge enough to question, but will continue to believe that their chicken is natural. We love Zaycon. LOVE not having to buy meat every time we shop.

  • Danielle

    A few months ago I split a case of Zaycon chicken with a friend. Bonus for me as my friend had already cut and bagged 20lbs for dinner size portions!

    This time around, my husband picked up our chicken and said the pick up process was extremely smooth and organized. The breasts are HUGE (made me question if they really do not use growth hormones). Thus, my internet search which brought me to your blog. After reading your blog, I feel a little more trusting of Zaycon. The was little to no fat on the meat and no odor that I sometimes find with hormone fed chicken. I am pleased with our purchase. Thank you for your review!

    • nacole

      Size of the chicken breast, is my one thought/hesitation on Zaycon’s chicken. I have a friend, who has ordered a couple of times, and she has been happy with her orders however…. she showed me the size of one of the chicken breasts and it was HUGE. I walked away thinking, “I’ve never seen a chicken that big roaming around on a farm”. How do they get poultry that large, without using hormones? I want to place an order, because the price is so appealing, but haven’t done so because the adage, “you get what you pay for” keeps coming to mind.

      I don’t know….

      • Marcy

        Just found this, so I’m late in an answer, but thought I’d share what I was told. I felt like it had to be a turkey sized chicken the first time I saw them… the breast is as big as a whole chicken in the grocery store, huh? I used to work with a woman who was raised on a farm and still raises her own chickens (just for the eggs) and she told us that it is a specific breed of chicken bred just for the large breasts. It’s not the best situation for the chickens, as they get to the point that they can’t stand up due to the breast size. However, as far as growth hormones being in the meat, there is no worry as far as THAT goes, so now you know. Sometimes it’s better to know and sometimes, it just isn’t.

  • Steve

    I recently received an order(March 7, 2015) of the Zaycon chicken (my 4th or 5th order over the last three years – sometimes split with friends) and the breasts were grossly large, cover in fat and had a fowl (pun intended) smell to them. If I remember right, I weighed about 1.5 lbs of “trimmed fat” form 30 lbs** of chicken (**split order with a friend). Zaycon did credit me for the trimmed fat. We washed and dried each breast in hopes that the odor would go away once vacuum packed and frozen, but it hasn’t. It still smells like chicken on the verge of going bad when we defrost it. We have since bought chicken locally that is much better quality and freshness to replace the Zaycon chicken. We boil the chicken to kill any potential bacteria and then mix it in our dogs food (he loves it), so far no issues with him- LOL. Personally, I wont buy chicken from Zaycon again as I have seen a consistent decrease of quality and increase in size over the last three years. Just my preference, I am sure that others are pleased with their orders.

  • Jamie

    This will be my third order from Zacon of which I referred my sister and she has bought one time (port filets.) My first chicken order was great, chicken was consistent and seemed like a great deal. I then ordered the pork filets which were “okay” no fault to Zaycon I just didn’t realize filets are a bit of the darker meat. I recently ordered another order of Chicken. It looked great but the consistency after cooking had not been good. Every meal I’ve cooked with the chicken no matter how it’s prepared there is always one to two pieces that are rubbery. Too rubbery to even swallow. I do not over cook the meat it is never frozen and I usually pound out the chicken before cooking depending on the recipe. I’m not sure what the problem is. Not sure if I will order again which is a bummer because the first batch of chicken was good.

    • Jordan

      We have had the same problem. We keep trying different cooking methods but roughly 50% of our chicken has an odd rubbery texture. Our dogs love the food scraps but I’m irritated that this great deal on chicken is turning into the most expensive chicken we have ever purchased.

  • Monica

    I stumbled upon this after reading about Zaycon on another blog. I have never tried Zaycon, I am a small farmer and raise all the chickens my family and I eat. The use of growth hormones is not allowed in any poultry farms in the United States. The breasts are so large because the chickens are bred specifically for meat, fed heavily and live quite confined. If you are concerned about eating animals raised humanely, I wouldn’t say this company is for you.

    • Grace

      Thanks for writing as you helped me make an informed decision not to order from zaycon as animal cruelty affects the quality of the meat IMO.

  • Elizabeth

    I bought chicken breasts a while back and they are the toughest, chewiest chicken breasts I have ever had. Horrible. I even decided to only use them in the crockpot for soups, thinking that would help. They even come out of the crockpot to hard to chew. I would not order again. I would prob not even want to try other meats or recommend them to anyone.

    • mm

      I am wondering if these chickens are older birds. As their meat is rubbery. Imam hesitant to,order now after reading so many posts about the texture and smell of their chicken.

  • Andrea Guy

    We ordered from there for years,but when I called and the could not tell me exactly what was in their chicken or salmon,I could not order anymore. That is the only time I called that they were rude.If that is not big deal,it is a great price.Over several years we only had a few bad pick up hassles.Also, in those years we only had once when there was questionable looking chicken.

  • Becky Sunderman

    I’ve been ordering all the meat my husband and I eat at home from Zaycon’s for several years now – that includes chicken breasts, bacon, pork tenderloin, ribeye steaks, ribs and roasts. We drive 2 hours one way to pick up our orders. We wouldn’t do that for average meat, and certainly wouldn’t do that for inferior meat! (We have referred family and friends and they love Zaycon!!) The trucks have either been on time or a bit early to every single pick-up location/date. The driver called me twice to let me know he was going to be at the location ahead of the scheduled time, if we wanted to pickup early! Trucks break down, highway and traffic conditions are unplanned and mostly unavoidable situations that are beyond the control of the drivers, and weather happens! Yes, all those things can and do cause delays, and no business plans or wants to delay shipments to their customers( how counterproductive and business killing would that be??) As far as the quality of the meats goes, of course we and all customers expect it to be excellent! This is what they offer: “We bring products direct from the farm / processor (or as nearly as direct as possible). The products are as fresh as if you had your own farm, but without all the chores” “We sell only what we eat ourselves—high quality, healthy food. Our focus is on a select number of commonly consumed food items such as fresh meats like chicken, beef, turkey, pork and fish.” Mistakes happen and if you are unlucky enough to receive something that doesn’t live up to what they say they offer, they will make it right.
    They don’t advertise as organically grown, free ranged meat – if you want that, go elsewhere, and expect to pay big bucks for it. (Surprise – the vast majority of the meats offered in your local grocery aren’t free ranged, organically grown either, but it IS more expensive, not as fresh, and the employees don’t have a clue about who raised/butchered/processed it)