Fox River Chicken by Mt Barker, Australia
Mount Barker chickens roam free outdoors on farms in Australia’s Great South West pecking on Australian grains as well as an abundance of natural forage and pasture. Mt Barker has welfare at their heart and the chickens live long and happy lives in a sustainable farming environment, cared for by dedicated family farmers.
Australia’s Great South West is clean and green making it an ideal place to rear chickens outdoors. The quality of the air, water and soil are important to Mt Barker’s farming business as they work hard to support environmental management and biodiversity to ensure they can continue farming for many generations to come.
This chicken is truly exceptional and comes with extra love and devotion. It’s certainly been a journey to get it here but I hope you will agree, when you try it, that the journey has been worth it. Do click on the video below which is of my recent farm visit. You can see for yourself what a wonderful farm this is.
It comes as no surprise that this chicken is the preferred choice of world-class chefs too. After visiting the farm of Mt Barker Chicken in 2018, Dinner by Heston’s Ashley Palmer Watts and Evan Moore had no hesitation in selecting their chickens for their award-winning Melbourne restaurant.
“When it comes to produce, in particular poultry, we have very strict policies and high standards around welfare and sustainability.
We choose our chicken on quality, diet and environment.
We are impressed by the processes at Mt Barker Chicken and can attest to the quality of their birds.”
- Evan Moore, Head Chef, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Melbourne
Sutton Hoo Chicken Farm, Suffolk, England
I love visiting Sutton Hoo Chicken farm. This is a farm like no other, where the chickens are cared for like children, right down to the pioneering portable shelters which enable the chickens to peck fresh ground rather than pecking over the same trodden areas.
In the heart of the Suffolk countryside next to the ancient Anglo-Saxon National Trust site at Sutton Hoo is another heritage treasure for you to enjoy. Sutton Hoo Free Range Chickens are chickens with a difference. Charles and Belinda were farmers with a mission which was to rear truly free range chicken in the Suffolk countryside they loved.
Their poultry enjoy an additive free diet without antibiotics or drugs of any kind. This chicken has gained a national reputation for its quality and unsurpassed welfare. The birds live in small groups and shelter from the elements in mobile houses that have no artificial lighting and are naturally ventilated. Their playground is the tussocky grassland at Sutton Hoo. From about two weeks of age the happy chicks venture outside to enjoy exploring under Suffolk’s vast open skies.
From then on all feeding takes place outside by hand with additional nutrients foraged from the surrounding vegetation. Lovingly reared on an additive free diet, Sutton Hoo Free Range Chickens are not just any chicken. They represent a farming family’s dream which is to produce an entirely natural chicken that is exceptionally tasty and nourishing.
Our beautiful French ‘poulet chicken’ is supplied to us by the lovely Kenny whose family owns and runs the best chicken farm in the region just over the border to the north of Johor Bahru, Malaysia. I have had the pleasure of working with Kenny for many years and was amazed when I visited the farm for the first time, to see that the chickens were so relaxed and friendly. Within minutes they were all around me, pecking at my wellington boots and chirping away. It was lovely to see them so happy and relaxed, truly comfortable in their environment and a far cry from some of the shocking caged chickens we have all seen images of.
Every day, the farm flies in day-old chicks straight from Sabres, France, to be reared as breeders at the farm. The chicks are housed comfortably in sheds equipped with warmers to protect their immunity system. They are kept separate from the older chicks as they have different “housing” needs. Their litter is also regularly changed to prevent the build-up of ammonia, which damages their health and eyesight. For the first ten days of their development, the chicks are fed a special in-house formulation of pre-starter feed, consisting of a nutritious blend of milk, natural amino acids, corn and soy. After they have grown, the chickens are allowed to roam freely in spacious pens with plenty of natural light and elevated perches.
The staff enter the farm daily to clean the area and encourage movement within the flock. Chickens from 10 to 30 days old are fed through an automated feeder, which provides a mixture of corn, soy, vitamins, organic selenium, orgacids, origadia and glucosamine. No growth promoters are administered to the chickens.
In their final stage of growth, the chickens are reared on raised floor poultry farms, which minimises ammonia levels and prevents blisters and damaged feet. After 60 days+ of growth, the chickens are available for sale. They are sheltered in well-ventilated poultry farms with raised floors that have a stocking density of 10 chickens per square meter, a very comfortable difference from the RSPCA maximum of 19. Our birds are able to age naturally, giving their meat more flavour and succulence. The chickens we sell are grown to approximately 75 days in order to reach 1.3kg. It will be slightly longer for the larger chickens.
We are so happy to be selling the freshest chicken in Singapore. The live chickens arrive in Singapore in the middle of the night and are processed and delivered to our warehouse by 6am – literally within a matter of hours. If you have ordered fresh chicken, this is what you will receive in your delivery that day – it will not be more than a few hours old. Anything that is not sold fresh on the day is immediately frozen. The only exception to this is fresh chicken that is delivered to you on Mondays – these chickens will have been processed in the middle of the night on Saturday night/Sunday morning but they are still incredibly fresh!
Our chickens have as much exposure to sunshine, daylight and fresh air as is possible. They are raised in open structures, so very breezy, with only wire mesh as walls to prevent the birds being attacked by prey. They have "play" areas where they can exercise to emulate a natural environment and constant water and feeding supply system. To prevent disease, there are disinfected walkways at the entry to each farm and at the entry to each enclosure. The farms are all at least 1km apart from each other, just in case one farm experiences disease and this will prevent spreading.
Chicken restrictions in Singapore
You will not find fresh chicken in Singapore that is "free range". The reason for this is that the AVA have strict rules governing the import of poultry into Singapore. Chicken can only arrive in Singapore in 2 ways – either alive or frozen. If alive (i.e. from Malaysia) the AVA will not allow the chickens to be free range because of their fear of bird flu. They will however allow "free roaming" which means that the chickens (like ours) have to be an "enclosed environment" which can be a very large environment, but it cannot be an open field.
Jamie Oliver endorses the local chickens we sell
Jamie Oliver has selected the same chickens that we sell for his restaurants here in Singapore. Jamie’s head chef has visited our local supplier’s farm and is satisfied that all of his standards have been met and indeed, often surpassed. Jamie, world-renowned for his passion about poultry farming, has exceptionally high standards when it comes to what chickens are fed and how they are raised.
As well as being concerned with their food, Jamie has strict welfare requirements – e.g. the chickens must have ample drinking tips, appropriate air ventilation and sufficient lighting. He will only serve the best quality chicken in his restaurants from chickens that have been reared in accordance with his strict policies and standards.
KellyBronze Turkeys, Essex, England
I enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon with Paul Kelly and his wife, witnessing for myself the free-range environment of the birds - woodlands and open pastures, as nature intended. Not only did I get to see every aspect of the farm, the Kellys served up a freshly roasted KellyBronze turkey in their garden – it was so succulent and full of flavour, truly the best turkey I’ve has ever tasted.
From start to finish, the methods used to produce a KellyBronze turkey out-class standard benchmarks. It starts with the breed – having gone to great lengths in the 1980s to rescue the bronze breed from near extinction, this bird has to be well cared for from start to finish.
Farming the slow-growing turkeys with care and passion for three generations, the Kellys follow nature's clock with the hens laying their chicks in spring and the chicks then hatch naturally in the festive season. The Kellys are proud that they produce turkeys using the slowest method in the world, as opposed to the all-year-round intensive production.
Bred to be wild, the birds live as nature intended. They are fed on a natural diet and roam free in the woodlands and pastures – foraging for grubs, berries and nettle.
The Kellys' free-range stocking density is 500 per acre versus an average of 16,000 per acre in commercial turkey barns. Because of this, the turkeys live as nature intended, with lots of exercise. KellyBronze turkeys have a wonderful life as you will see in this lovely short video.
The birds are grown to full maturity and are twice the age of a standard intensively farmed turkey. Maturity has the biggest single impact on flavour. Whilst this doubles the farming cost, it quadruples the flavour. By allowing them to grow to the equivalent of adult age, they develop a layer of natural fat, and mature carcass and bone – all essential ingredients for award-winning flavour. For every kilo of weight they gain, the birds have eaten 30% more feed than a modern commercial turkey.
The birds are hand-plucked on the farm when they are mature and ready to eat – not when they reach a particular weight. Because they are plucked by hand, no water is needed as in modern factories. It costs 10 times more in labour, but dry plucking enhances shelf life and allows dry ageing. A KellyBronze does not touch water, so you don’t pay for water uptake as with other turkeys. Little black feather quills can be seen in the skin - the KellyBronze designer stubble!
Because the birds are hand-plucked, the Kellys can take extra time to hang their turkeys, allowing them to age their birds in the traditional way, intensifying the flavours and tenderising the meat – both labour-intensive and time-consuming methods that give award-winning results.
KellyBronze slow-growing, free-range, mature turkeys are a joy to cook. They offer more flavour, have superior meat texture, juicier self-basted meat, and the promise of richly flavoured natural gravy stock. KellyBronze turkeys cook in half the time of a standard bird because of the exceptional marbling in the meat.
We are thrilled to be the only company in Singapore selling KellyBronze Free-Range Turkeys, direct from the Kelly farm in Essex, England.
Awarded the best turkey in Britain eight years in a row, read more from Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and many other outstanding chefs who chose KellyBronze turkeys every year.
For a quick summary of why Sasha only sells KellyBronze, check out her turkey blog here.www.kellybronze.com