Properly Free Range Chicken
Nothing has had a stronger influence on the development of Pipers Farm than the way that we were producing chickens with my father in Kent 30 years ago, for one of the well-known high street food chains. We were growing food that we were not prepared to feed to our young children. As farmers, we were determined to do something about it. There is a world of difference between that industrial system of growing table birds in Kent and the Pipers Farm properly free range chickens of today.
Our free-range chickens are hatched year-round from eggs laid by the breeding flock. The breeding flock is made up of slow-growing Hubbard birds born on a healthy hillside farm in Devon. Living outside in small groups the handsome cockerels ensure the next generation of our healthy natural chicks.
After hatching, our chicks grow indoors for their first 3 to 4 weeks until they have feathered up and are ready for a life outside. They are tucked up in warm barns with cosy chippings, heated by 'electric hens' a natural way of brooding chickens that creates a similar environment to being tucked up under their mother's wing. Once feathered our chicks head out into lush Devon pasture.
Properly free range
Our free-range chickens are slow-grown in small groups, free to roam outside on healthy hillside pastures in natural light, and with the freedom to display their natural instincts such as scratching for food and dust bathing. These contented birds have properly developed bones and muscles and a strong natural immunity.
Our free-range chicken's diet is simply straightforward cereals and grass, with the emphasis on developing a healthy digestive system. We do not use any additives to enhance unnaturally fast growth. We want our chickens to grow slowly, healthily and lead a properly free-range life.
Hung for 7 days
We grow our chickens slowly to 12 or 13 weeks old, at least double the length of intensively reared birds, and longer still than some free-range and organic chickens. We kill each chicken individually by hand on the farm where they have been living, which means they never have to travel anywhere. Each Properly Free Range Chicken is plucked and hung uneviscerated, in the traditional way, for at least a week.
Pipers Farm Properly Free Range Chickens are healthy, nutritious food, grown without the use of antibiotics, and safe from all the food poisoning bacteria associated with intensive farming and factory slaughterhouses.