Our passion is for fresh, local, sustainably grown food. We feel it is important to know where your food comes from, uphold humane treatment of animals, and support local farmers.
Given the geographic distances in Victoria, we consider "local" to mean within a maximum of four hours' drive from where we live. By purchasing all your food from local farmers, the money you spend remains in the Victorian economy.
The ‘pastured poultry’ method
Raising pastured poultry is very different to conventionally grown chicken. It demands far more attention and time by the grower for each chicken compared to growing many tens of thousands of chickens in a huge shed. This not only includes the obvious daily chores, but careful observation of the flock and reacting to the daily weather conditions and the different behaviours and capacities of the chickens as they mature. By giving them the very best care we ensure that we get they very best out of each of our chickens.
Pastured Poultry relies on raising chickens directly on green pasture. The model has been developed over the last thirty years and allows the birds to receive some of pasture forage as feed. The birds are kept on fresh pasture, which allows the birds to be raised in a cleaner, healthier environment. Pastured poultry is raised the old fashioned way; on fresh green pasture and wholesome grain.
Step 2 - chickens moved to shelters on pasture
After about two-three weeks, once the feather cover and weather allows, the chicks can be placed on pasture in a 'chook tractor' style shelter. The picture above shows our first batch of chickens on the day they were moved to our fertile green pasture. The mobile enclosure is moved daily, so that the chickens cannot sit in their own mess!
Within the shelter, the chickens can forage naturally. This system allows our chickens to have a proper diet that is geared towards their digestive system (like worms and insects), and they are not unnaturally crowded and stressed.
This keeps predators both aerial and 4-legged type such as foxes out, yet allows the chickens to scratch and forage in the best place for them!
Step 1 - the chicks arrive!
Day old chicks in the brooder
The first stage in raising pastured poultry is to receive a batch of day old chicks. When they first arrive they are yellow, fluffy and very cute! They are placed in a temperature controlled brooder for two to three weeks.
The picture above shows the day old chicks in the brooder. They love the heat, and gather under the heat lamp. There is also water and chick feed for them. We have a custom made feed mix that includes kelp (seaweed) meal.
They are too vulnerable to be placed on pasture until almost fully feathered. In their first week of life the chicks need constant temperatures in the mid-thirties. This is slowly lowered so that in the second week temperatures are kept in the high twenties and lowered again.
Step 3- chickens sent for processing
Step 4- chickens sold direct to you
at farmers' markets
This production process is relatively new to Australia, but has been established in the USA by Joel Salatin at Polyface Farms.