We farm in the traditional way – small-scale, and working with the birds’ natural instincts. From day-old chicks to ready-for-table poultry, the whole process happens on-site here at our Morvah farm.
The birds arrive as day-old chicks and live for the first three weeks in a brooder, a heated house with natural light. After this, they spend the next seven weeks in one of our fields, able to roam freely (but kept safe by an electric fence). They have shelters and small hay bales to explore, and make them feel secure. At night, they wander into their straw-bedded “ark”, and we shut them in, just in case Mr Fox comes along… The hatches are opened again at dawn, ready for another day of roaming and eating.
We keep numbers down to 200 chickens per flock – at that small number, they aren’t able to establish a “pecking order” so all birds have plenty of space to move about and feed happily. It’s true – a happy bird tastes better. A contented and healthy bird eats well and grows well – reaching around 1.7 to 2 kilos in our case.
When a flock “leaves the field”, that area then lies fallow for a year (we rotate fields with neighbouring cattle). This means that all flocks have access to fresh, uncontaminated grass. This traditional method of farming keeps them wonderfully healthy, so there is no need to feed them any antibiotics. A better-tasting meat, which is free from any nasties – perfect.