HEALTH conscious consumers are helping Australia’s largest organic poultry farm better utilise the whole chicken product with the release of a new bone broth in independent stores.
Inglewood Farms, a family business led by directors Andrew Youngberry and his daughter Katrina Hobbs, hatch, grow and process all of their Ross 308 birds on their Inglewood property.
The business processes about 28,000 chickens per week selling cuts and whole birds both domestically, to Coles and independent stores and export to Hong Kong and Singapore.
Only in the last month have the family partnered with Cherry Tree Kitchen in northern New South Wales to create an organic chicken broth using Inglewood Farms’ frames and wings.
The product has already been well supported and Inglewood Farms sales manager Greg Youngberry said consumers were not only using it in meals but were drinking it for its healing properties.
“Everything gets utilised but if we can make it into a human grade product, like a broth, it’s better than going into the pet food industry,” he said.
“The organic consumer tends to be market leading on health issues and a broth is very very hot right now.
“Grandma used to make chicken noodle soup when you were sick so I think we are just coming around and starting to realise a lot of those practices. There is starting to be a lot more evidence that actually these remedies have some science behind it.”
Currently about 270,000 to 300,000 birds call Inglewood Farms home.
At one-day-old the chickens are moved to the brood sheds weighing about 40 to 50 grams and spend 19 days in a climate controlled area until they gain their feathers.
From this area and weighing about 620 grams, the chickens are then moved to outside pens which features no closed in walls.
They are then killed at about 60 to 65 days at 2.8 kilograms live weight.
The Youngberry family became the third owners of Inglewood Farms in November 2013 as a way to vertically integrate their organic feed business, Country Heritage Feeds at Pittsworth.
Grain from Country Heritage Feeds are used at Inglewood Farms with things such as lavender and apple cider vinegar added for optimum gut health.
It’s not a cheap industry, with feed costing three to four times that of non-organic and the birds living two to three times longer than most.
The family are looking to increase production in the near future starting with a cold room expansion to begin in the next 12 months.
General manager Andrew Hooker said the Youngberry’s had seen an increase in yields since taking over operation due to better farming practices in the way hygiene and attention to detail.
“To maintain our competitive side the minimum is we need to gain three to five per cent productivity increase just to stay where we are in the market,” he said.