More and more consumers are quite rightly starting to question the term 'free range chicken'.
Rather than venting how many producers fall well short of meeting customers' expectations, we thought we'd just let you know what the term means to us at our farm.
The team at Koallah Farm is now growing our own meat birds on our property near Camperdown in south-west Victoria.
All our poultry live in our paddocks - protected from predators by Saydi our trusted Maremma (pictured below). The chickens can do whatever they want, all the time. We don't even lock them up at night time.
This means our chickens are genuine 'pasture-raised' chickens as they can eat grass and roots and forage for bugs, worms, larvae and more. They also benefit from lots of natural sunlight.
Although we still provide a feed pellet for additional nutrition, the natural proteins and minerals from our rich volcanic paddocks are essential in growing healthy, fully-feathered chickens with thicker skins and darker, stronger-flavoured meat.
It takes us a full 12 weeks to grow our chickens and it's worth the wait. As you can see, they develop quite differently with much more muscle in the legs from roaming around.
There's no doubting you can taste the difference. Pastured chicken is much less watery, not quite as soft and has a distinctly earthier and more gamey flavour.
If you cook it a bit slower you'll release all the natural flavour and we think you'll love it.
Keep an eye on the website for more Koallah Farm-listed chicken products. At the moment, we've started with whole birds, but very soon we'll be able to provide all your favourite cuts as well.