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  • Kinmana Organics Sommerlad Chicken Fact Sheet and Story

    17-Sep-2017

    What's the difference between a white free-range meat chicken and the new Kinmana Organic's Heritage Bred Sommerlad chicken???

    Good question! 

       
    Click here to view as a PDF

      

    Here are the facts:

        

     1) The white meat chickens you see in the pictures on free-range farms are a hybrid bird, commonly called Cobb or Ross. (We used to grow them on Kinmana Farm). Almost every meat chicken in Australia (including the certified organic and free-range labelled), come from these two breeds.

      

     2) The parents of these birds are kept in large commercial sheds, and the females are mated with hybrid roosters to lay eggs for incubation. From these eggs, the chickens that hatch are extremely fast growing - just 35 days from egg to slaughter. These chickens are extremely efficient at converting commercial feed to meat/muscle. They are the heavy-breasted tender chicken that we've all come to accept as today's table chicken.

        

     3) The Cobb chickens that were grown on Kinmana Organics’ farm were 100% free-range, fed on 100% organic feed, and allowed fresh air, sunshine, predator protection, and given high quality of life. BUT, we were left dissatisfied with the breed. The chickens needed to be slaughtered at 6 weeks or they died of heart failure, their legs would give out under their weight, they would hobble around between the feed bin and water dish and back to the feed again... You couldn't convince them to scratch and peck bugs and grubs... it was like they were addicted to the feed! The birds couldn't tolerate a hot day, and would need careful monitoring during Summer. 

         

    4) Most Australian meat chickens (including Certified Organic and Free- Range) are feed a grain mix containing the very controversial SOY meal/SOY by-product. You might like to read these interesting pages:

       http://www.wellfedhomestead.com/should-­‐chickens-­‐eat-­‐soy

       http://www.wellfedhomestead.com/4-­‐reasons-­‐to-­‐avoid-­‐soy

        5) The breeders of the Cobb meat chicken claim that their breed is:

       Lowest cost per kg of live weight produced for the growing market

       The world's most effective broiler

       Superior performance on lower cost feed rations

       Most feed efficient

       Excellent growth rate

       Best broiler uniformity for processing

       Competitive breeder

      

        

    Here is our story:


    Kinmana Organics
    have a passion and desire to produce the very best organic, free-range, soy-free chicken that is Healthy for the Earth, and Healthy for You. So this is the cross-road we came to 18 months ago! So where to from here?

      

     We decided that we would have a go at producing our own ‘Old Fashioned’ breed chickens for meat. Our daughter, Jacinta (12 years old at the time) came with us to pick out the first of the Kinmana Farm Indian Game hens and roosters. We also got her to choose the Sussex and Plymouth Rock parents, and she started to breed her own "old fashioned" meat birds that we've been using for our own farm table meals! These birds have strong legs, firm muscle tone and fat covering. They make wonderful broth and stock. And they have the wonderful, traditional chicken flavour!!

        

    Next, we wondered how to breed enough chicks to hatch and grow in small batches to be able to raise them for our customers.

      

    We had listened to our customers.... they told us that our chicken tasted better than "other organic chicken". But this still wasn't the answer for us! They also told us that the old fashioned taste was there.... that was the clue we needed!! Old fashioned!! YES!! So, we went searching for "old fashioned meat chickens", and guess what? We found some amazing people in our search!

      

    This is when we found Sommerlad Poultry! A homeschooling family near Tenterfield, NSW, Michael and Kathryn along with their children and team, have been behind a quiet revolution. They have invested heavily in preserving the artisan knowledge of breeding heritage meat chicken strains that thrive in Australian conditions.

        

    In March this year, we were approved to be SA's first Sommerlad Poultry grower. We visited the Sommerlad family and saw first-hand their careful stewardship of the animals and land. Jacinta came with us also to complete the Grower training course, held at Milking Yard Farm, near Trentham, VIC.

    Our first chickens arrived to our farm in June this year, and Jacinta has been in charge of the daily chores and animal health. She records and manages the feed requirements (we blend our own organic seeds and grains here on-farm), and keeps a close eye on the Maremma pups that are growing used to their guardian job! We are proud to be able to produce an amazing table bird that has a great story behind it!

    The feed we give them access to is 100% soy-free, and blended on-farm from seeds and grains grown right here on Kinmana Organics’ farm, Marama. 100% certified Organic, no antibiotics, no GMO, no growth promotants.

    Chickens are omnivores, which means their natural diet consists of a mixture of foraged seeds, insects, invertebrates and plant matter. We try to replicate this in the chicken ranges on Kinmana Organics’ farm, giving them access to our fruit tree orchard, tagasaste and saltbush plantations. 

        

    The Sommerlad chickens have grown 84 days from hatching, and have reached maturity before slaughter. They enjoy the outdoors every day, scratch, peck bug and grubs, flap their wings and run, dust bath and are very well adapted to our Cold winter and hot Summer conditions. Their legs are strong, their muscle is firm, and we know you'll agree that the taste is outstanding!

      

    It takes more time, more feed, more space and more work to produce a Heritage-bred meat chicken. This is why they cost more! We won't compromise on cheaper feed, smaller areas or less quality! We're sure you'll agree that the taste is worth every cent! 

      

    So our journey is also your journey. Please let us know what you think!!

       

    Kinmana Organics Farm.

    www.kinmanaorganics.com.au

    0418  805  075



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