YORKSHIRE PASTURE POULTRY
PASTURE RAISED CHICKEN
HOW I REAR YORKSHIRE PASTURE POULTRY
Nothing has a stronger influence on the development of Yorkshire Pasture Poultry than its ethos and guiding principles. After working on intensive farms for 7 years I knew I wanted to farm differently and consider a much more holistic approach. This lead to the following principles and practices below, not only extremely important to me, but my customers, everyday operations on the farm and the future of the business.
As a first generation farmer I am committed to producing high quality food for local people. I pride myself on having happy, healthy, high welfare birds that are raised in an ethical, sustainable way.
Chicks arrive at the farm as day old hatchlings. Each one is carefully placed in their new brooder complete with dry fresh bedding and heaters to imitate mother hen's warmth. The chicks will stay in their brooder for about 3 weeks depending on the time of year and outdoor temperatures but as a rule they do not go out onto pasture until they have feathered up and are ready for the pasture life.
The chicks receive two vaccines just after hatching for common chicken diseases. After that they do not receive any routine or unnecessary medicines or antibiotics.
I rear my chickens slowly, 8-12 weeks depending on outdoor temperatures. That is up to twice as long as more commercially reared birds. I raise a slower maturing breed of chicken called the Hubbard. The strain I use has been specially bred to thrive in free range conditions, be active and forage through pasture.
An active life for my chickens is incredibly important to me not only does it promote a nature life for the birds to peck, scratch and roam but it ensures the birds develop as nature intended.
Every chicken at Yorkshire Pasture Poultry has 24/7 access to lush green pasture, fresh air and natural sunlight. Raised in small groups with low stocking densities they have mobile coops which are moved daily onto fresh grass. This ensures the land is naturally fertilised whilst not being over grazed and the birds always have fresh nutritional pasture to supplement their diet.
Certified High Welfare
All of my birds are certified animal welfare approved with A Greener World. This certification is recognised by consumer reports as the only 'highly meaningful' label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access and sustainably. Having this label means I rear the birds slightly differently to the majority of other producers. All of my birds must be handled with care, they must have a minimum amount of space and they can not be given any unnecessary or routine medications or antibiotics.
Regenerative Farming Principles
As the birds move around the pasture they naturally fertilise the soil, this a fantastic way of regenerating topsoil and improving growth. I do not use any pesticides or herbicides on the pasture. The lack of unnatural fertilisers or chemicals creates a diverse grassland and natural habitat that thrives.
The majority of meat production here in the UK is heavily reliant on Soya, however it is becoming more well known for its negative impact including deforestation in South America and transportation across the world. The chicken feed we use is soya free and instead contains grains grown here in the UK.