Hello All!

It has been quite a busy time at Grassland Poultry since our last newsletter.

We are so incredibly excited to announce that we have once again won Gold at the Delicious Produce Awards! In our last edition we mentioned that we had won a state award, and explained a bit about how the Delicious Produce Awards work. So, we are so eternally grateful to be recognised one step further, on a national level! It is always wonderful to be highlighted out of such a large category, ‘from the paddock’ includes so many different farms and types of produce using exceptional ethical and regenerative practices. We would like to express our biggest thank you to Ben Geeno and his entire team at Hotel Centennial for nominating us for this award. As well as a big thank you to Feather and Bone Providores for supplying our Heritage Sommerlad Chickens to them in the first place.

Feather and Bone Providores have always been a great supporter of ours. We love the ethical practices that Laura Dalrymple and Grant Hilliard choose to endorse, it really aligns with our own values. They always go above and beyond, for example this winter we had a pretty special day were their entire team made the trip up from Sydney to do farm visit. It was a wonderful experience to tour their 15 staff members around the farm, explaining in great detail what we do here. They brought a videographer with them, so stay tuned for that footage.

At the end of May, we also received a very large, very exciting shipment – a shipping container full to the brink of our new, flash, ‘flat pack’ shelters. Last year we bought one shelter as a tester to see how if it would work for our management style. Thankfully our daughter was home riding out Covid and free to give Bryan a hand working out how to build it. So, when she mentioned she was coming to visit this winter, we jumped at the chance to have her helping out again. The shelters are too big to build in our machinery shed, and needing a level ground to construct, we have set up shop on our front lawn. Each shelter takes a few days to build, and would take a lot longer if it wasn’t for Bryan’s sizeable building skills. The plan once they are all constructed is to completely replace our old shelters. There are a billion reasons why we love these new shelters, and having had our tester for twelve months we are confident that they (like our chickens) thrive in every season. There are so many customisable features you can decide on when purchasing these shelters, meaning we were really able to tailor it to our needs and management style.

So how do these shelters work for us? At Grassland Poultry we breed our chickens ourselves on farm, so as one day olds the baby chicks can go straight into the shelter as it acts as a brood. In the wild their mum’s would keep them warm and protect them until they grow adult feathers and are able to keep themselves warm, this takes about 2-3 weeks. To mimic this, we hang a gas heater inside the shelter, combined with the double layer of insulation, they stay nice and warm and cosy. Once they have their adult feathers, the sides of the shelters open up and stay open. These flaps on the side are a customisable feature, normally they sell them with only one or two but we have added them all along. This combined with extra skylights we’ve added really helps with air-flow. Another feature we chose to customise was the flooring, in which we removed completely, which is a great choice for our soil regeneration. The shelters are designed to be easily towed, so there is always access to fresh soil. Because the adult chickens are never locked up they are able to follow their natural body clock, feed and rest whenever they choose. The shelters main purpose is to provide a warm spot in winter, shady spot in summer, and a dry spot in the wet. But as always, it’s up to the chicken if and when they choose to use it.

As always, we like to include a recipe in our newsletter, and being winter we couldn’t go past this one.

If you’d like to keep updated with what’s going on with us here please feel free to subscribe below.

With Gratitude,

Kim and Bryan Kiss, Grassland Poultry

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