"We simply didn’t have enough space for free range farming, so we opted for higher welfare indoor production which gives the birds more room and a longer, happier life than most indoor systems,” says Nick. “Our lower stocking densities and slower-growing breeds provide better welfare than those found in standard high production sheds, no question, with plenty of unusual objects inside our chicken houses to interest the birds and keep them active."
Straw bales, perches, dangling CDs, windows to allow natural light in and maize cobs for the chickens to peck at are all things that you will find in Frogmary Green Farm’s two houses, each home to 21,000 slower-growing breed birds – raised exclusively for the shelves of Sainsbury’s and Tesco supermarkets.
Video produced by NFU/Red Tractor.
The farm business supports two full-time employees and six seasonal workers – although the chicken houses are fully automated and require only limited expert stockmanship, which is important on a busy arable farm.
We want to continue to produce chicken to the highest welfare standards we possibly can, whilst protecting and enhancing the environment. We are also passionate about promoting agriculture and farming by opening our gates to local schools, our customers, clubs and other farmers. Our five-year goal is to continue to increase turnover, profitability, education and to organise a better work/life balance!”
And given the way that Frogmary Green Farm has progressed in the previous five years or so, you wouldn’t bet against them achieving just that.
07 December 2012