Our Birds

We get all our chicks from the hatchery when they are one day old and raise them on a bed of sawdust and straw which is refreshed every day. They live under gas or electric brooders at a temperature of about 29⁰C for the first week. The temperature in the chick houses is then reduced over a fortnight until the house temperature is similar to the ambient temperature. As soon as they are old enough, and depending on the weather, they are able to spend their days outside if they wish to.  In the summer this can sometimes be when they are as young as 5 days old if it is hot enough for them. As we produce them over a longer growing period (around 12-20 weeks for chickens and more for the other birds) than most mass production poultry farms, the birds have a longer time to enjoy the outdoors and develop a truly succulent flavour. We take great care to ensure the high welfare standards of the birds, as we’re only happy when they’re happy!  Food and water are available to every bird all of the time and we go considerably beyond the minimum limit in terms of birds per feeder and drinker.  Both the straw and their food is either produced on the farm or sourced from our neighbouring farms or local feed mills.

Chickens:

The chickens are a Cobb Ross cross breed and they come from a hatchery in Norfolk. We are always striving to balance our low carbon footprint with sourcing only the highest standard of chick, so the PD Hook hatchery in Norfolk combines locality with the quality we are looking for. You can visit their website at www.pdhook.co.uk

The chickens are initially fed on a specialist chick crumb, with carefully monitored vitamin and mineral levels then as they progress they move on to a mixture of wheat, grown on the farm, and wheat based chicken food.

Once they are old enough, the chicks are then free to go outside during the day and wander and peck around the meadows on the farm. Once night falls, to foil the fox, the chickens are put to bed!

Geese:

Our geese come from Norfolk Geese (in Norfolk...) and are a breed called ‘Legarth Geese’. You can view our supplier’s website here www.norfolkgeese.co.uk.  The breed produces a wonderful, full-flavour and a high meat yield. In fact our geese are renowned for their flavoursome, moist meat, that is rich and firm with a natural marbling of fat, it was these very qualities that startled the palate of Heston Blumenthal in a blind taste test into selecting our geese for his BBC Christmas special and naming them as the tastiest in the land. The geese arrive on the farm as day-old goslings at the end of June and, as with the chickens, when they are young they have heat lamps in their barns and are fed on a specialist goose crumb, before moving on to a wheat diet when they are older. When they are old enough the geese spend their days out in the meadows surrounding the farm and have access to graze on meadow grass and any fallen fruit from the trees around the farm. The geese love to inspect anything in their way and can often be found tackling any farm machinery in their field, loosening nuts and bolts and dismantling fences!

Guinea Fowl:

Our guinea fowl are a new addition to the farm and as with our other birds they are brought in as day old chicks and live under heat lamps, until they are older. They come from a specialist hatchery near Chelmsford, Essex, and we are now beginning to hatch our own on the farm. They are fed on a varied diet of wheat and specialist feed from our local mill in Chelmsford and live in a smaller barn on the farm, with access to their own area outside.

Ducks:

Aylesbury Ducks are our latest addition and are settling in on the farm. We also hope to be hatching our own Guinea Fowl soon.

Along with our poultry, we also produce a range of chicken dishes, such as kievs and escalopes chicken sausages, goose sausages, burgers, smoked meats, goose fat and quail eggs. Please visit the shop for more details and prices.

Now taking Christmas orders for 2016