I just saw a commercial from Perdue saying their chickens are not given homones and steroids. I am sure this "new," more healthy alternative will cost you a bit more at the grocery, if food prices weren't high enough already.
Well, guess what? All the chicken at the grocery store is produced without hormones and steroids. My good friend who works for the Kentucky Poultry Federation told me that hormone use in chickens has been illegal since 1952. So, leave it to good old-fashioned marketing to make you believe you are getting a better product.
Now, if someone tells you that your food is full of homones, they are correct. Any living thing produces hormones naturally. Even plants.
Let's talk about a hotter topic, antibiotics. I am not one to pay more for animal products produced without antibiotics. One, there are strict guidelines that require the animal to be free of antiobiotics before harvest, and the products are tested, especially milk. If antibiotics are found in a truck load of milk, it is destroyed and the dairy farmer is not paid. I have heard that milk is more heavily tested than your drinking water.
My second line of reasoning is for the well-being of the animal. If an animal has an infection, I want it to be given medicine to be healthy. We do the same for ourselves and our children. The simple logic for me is, "why would I want to eat an animal that has been sick?"
That said, I am a regular consumer of all natural venison... free range and grass/bark/dirt fed. But I am very careful to make sure the meat is cooked properly... who knows what kind of diseases the local deer might have. I am much much more confident about the safety of meat I get from farms.
I heard an interesting story not too long ago. A chicken company that I won't name told me that they also started a "more natural" brand of product touting no antibiotics, which was obviously done to meet a marketing niche. He said that the chickens became infected with e coli within a week of being placed in the facility, yet they had never had a health issue with the conventionally-raised chickens.