“For us, this is more than just producing chicken meat; it’s about having access to healthy, ethically grown food that tastes great. This was a key motivator when we started our poultry business… We wanted to be able to eat well and have faith that a product is truly healthy and regenerative. It’s not always easy to find poultry that ticks those boxes.
From our experience with cattle and sheep, we knew that great taste takes care of itself when animal welfare and sustainable farming are the priority. When it comes down to it, taste is everything, but fortunately, this is the easiest of all to take care of when the integrity of the bird comes first.”
Bryan & Kim Kiss – Grassland Poultry
The Grassland Poultry Difference
BETTER ANIMAL WELFARE
HEALTHIER, HAPPIER BIRDS
FREE OF CHEMICALS & MEDICATIONS
HIGHER NUTRITION VALUES
SUPERIOR TASTE & TEXTURE
The Best Genetics
Our heritage breed chickens have a slower optimum growth rate than most chickens grown for meat in Australia. The result of extensive development of heritage genetics by Sommerlad Poultry, these birds are active, will naturally forage and are well-suited to Australia’s tough weather conditions.
In stark contrast to most other chickens that are designed to grow very large, very quickly, our birds grow at a normal pace. They build the strong bones and healthy organs that allow them to have the active lifestyle they were naturally born for.
An important part of their activity is foraging. This gives them a diverse diet of leafy greens / grass, insects, worms and other microorganisms found in the soil.
Our birds have continuous access to high quality, chemical-free, natural pasture which significantly lifts the levels of Vitamin A and E, carotenoids, good fats and Omega-3 fatty acids within the meat. Not only do they taste better, they are better for you.
More important, they are healthier and happier.
By incorporating alternate natural feeds and moving onto fresh pasture regularly, we significantly decrease the disease level within the flock. This means we don’t need to use medications in their food or water. In fact, we avoid medications altogether and instead use natural remedies if needed with great success.
The Perfect Environment
We believe that the best produce comes from the best environment; one that is clean, regenerated, nourished and sustainably farmed. That’s why we’re passionate about sustainable, regenerative farming practices and have been following these principles in our grazing operation since 1996.
“Meramie”, the home of Grassland Poultry, is a 1500ha property at an altitude of 540m to 640m. We’re situated in the foothills of the Central West Slopes and Plains, NSW, we enjoy a mild climate of cool to cold winters and moderate summers, with an average rainfall of 650mm.
The land is gently undulating rising from creek flats to lower slope grazing and grazing ridges with out-crops of granite. The predominately, granite soil has pockets of loam along the creeks, and there is an original community of Yellow Box as well as Gum, Stringy Bark, Kurrajong and Wattle that we preserve.
Our property vision is to maintain an environmentally-friendly, productive farm with healthy, perennial pastures. It’s a return to nature in many ways with a simple, low-input (low-intervention) philosophy that involves synergistic projects that benefit each other and the land.
We work to achieve this vision by having a holistic approach to the management of our resources and our experience has been that the more we foster regenerative and complimentary activities (and the less we intervene), the better the outcome at every level…
… The land benefits because it’s farmed in a sustainable and supportive way;
… Our produce, the livestock and poultry, benefit because they’re free to roam, graze, forage and be healthy and happy;
… And you benefit because that natural health and vigor is what makes for the best tasting, healthiest produce available… Just as nature intended.
Bred, hatched, raised & processed on-farm
Our chickens live at Meramie for their entire life. This means we can carefully control every single aspect of what we do and we can know for sure that it’s been done according to our ethics and philosophy.
Breeding our birds on the farm allows us to maintain (and possibly improve on) our award-winning heritage genetics. When the chicks are hatched out, they’re lovingly raised inside until they are big enough to join the flock out in the paddock.
They’ll spend most of their lives out in the pasture where they’re free to go where they please and forage to their hearts’ content (under the watchful eye of our Maremmas). They have purpose built shelters which we shift to fresh pasture on a regular basis. The shelters are there to provide a warm spot to roost, especially on Winter nights, but they’re never locked in. Some of the birds never use the shelter at all, preferring to roost in the trees.
The birds are provided with clean water and grain so the foraging they do is a bonus for their health and nutrition.
Finally, the way chickens are processed makes an enormous difference to both the welfare of the bird and the quality of the end product. Our on-farm processing facility allows us to have complete control over what we do. Our birds are spared the trauma of travel and are processed in the most humane manner possible, by hand, resulting in superior quality produce. Air chilling allows us to avoid the introduction of chemicals and liquid weight and any waste is composted back into the farm.
When you buy a Grassland Poultry chicken, you’re supporting ethical growing and sustainable regenerative farming in Australia. Your chicken lived well, foraged, followed its natural instincts, grew at its own, natural pace and was processed without chemicals or stress on the farm. It is filled with nutritious goodness that can only come from healthy, nurtured farmland and fastidious dedication to animal welfare.
The Best Result
The differences between our heritage breed, pasture-raised chickens and most chickens available in Australia are not just the genetics and the way they are raised and processed. These differences make the greatest difference of all to the end product.
Many people have stopped eating chicken simply because it’s so hard to find poultry with the flavour and texture it used to have. There are a lot of reasons for this but the way we raise our birds means they taste like they used to… like they actually should! The texture and the flavour is literally award-winning.
Grasslands Poultry chickens don’t shrink, so the size you buy is the size that comes out of the oven. Our customers are constantly commenting on how far their chicken goes… dinner, lunches, another dinner even. If you’ve come to expect your chicken to shrink the moment you roast it, you’re in for a pleasant surprise with nutrient-dense Grassland Poultry birds!
Plus, there are absolutely no chemicals or medications used at any point in our process.
Wellington, Dubbo, Orange and Mudgee locals can order Grassland Poultry here on our website and collect at their preferred location.
Grassland Poultry is available through a selection of specialty produce outlets & distributors in most states.
|Conventional Free Range
|Type of chicken
|We breed our own heritage Sommerlad birds on the farm. These birds grow at a natural pace (slow by comparison to conventional meat birds), and are well-suited for all Australia’s extreme seasons.
|Use Ross or Cobb breed fast-growing genetics, developed for shed raring not free range.
|Age when processing
|Less than 600
|Up to 50,000
|Access to outdoors
|24 hours per day
|8 hours per day
|Up to 20 hours of light provided per day
|24 hour access to forage in Box Gum grassy woodlands and free-choice system of a crumble & whole grains. No medications (antibiotics) are used.
|Purpose-built mobile shelters
|No chemicals or chlorinated water used. Water is treated with ultra- violet light and is chemical free. The birds are air-chilled for 24 hours before packaging so there is no water in the bags.
|Chill baths in chlorinated water and chlorinated water used in the wash down. Birds are packed straight from these baths into bags.
|No weight loss.
|Weight loss when cooking can be up to 10% moisture loss due to water intake in the processing.
|Firmer texture due to being active foragers and long growing time. Deeper flavour, great fat, the most amazing skin and moist, flavoursome meat. Stronger bones and cleaner tasting offal.
|Softer textured meat and bones due to shorter growing time, meat tents to dry out in the cooking process, with less flavour.
Authorised grower of Sommerlad heritage chickens
Thanks to their heritage genetics, Sommerlad chickens are naturally slower-growing, have an instinct to actively forage and the ability to flourish in Australian conditions.
This award-winning chicken is highly sought-after for unparalleled texture, flavour and nutrient density.
Pasture Raised On Open Fields (PROOF) certifies that all animals are born and raised outdoors with continuous and unconfined access to pasture throughout their life time. They are kept at a stocking intensity that will ensure forage is always available in a sustainably managed rotational grazing system.