If you’re a conscious consumer looking to shop for humanely farmed products, it’s not always easy to know which labels you can trust. But fear not, your weekly shopping trip doesn’t have to be an exercise in confusion.
Here are four reasons to pick Mt Barker Free Range.
You’ll be supporting Aussie farmers
Based in south-western WA, Mt Barker is a local company that’s well and truly leading the way for better farm welfare. Mt Barker Free Range Chicken is Australian owned and grown. Buying local humanely farmed products will allow you to feel great about the chicken in your trolley.
Mt Barker is RSPCA Approved
There’s more to good welfare than just labels. With Mt Barker Free Range products, you can be confident that the chickens have been properly looked after. Why? Because they’re part of the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme.
The company has a proud history of working with the RSPCA – in fact, they were the first meat chicken producers in the whole of Australia to become RSPCA Approved. This means that their birds are raised to meet the RSPCA’s detailed welfare standards and have all their behavioural and physiological needs catered for.
To this day, Mt Barker is the only meat chicken farm in the country that meets the RSPCA’s outdoor standards. Trained RSPCA Assessors undertake regular on farm assessments to ensure that these higher welfare conditions are being maintained.
The birds enjoy a good life on and off the range
When you think of the term ‘free range,’ do you picture an idyllic pasture filled with chickens pecking, scratching and generally living their best life? With no legally enforceable definition of free range chicken, this scenario is not always the case in real life. The great thing about Mt Barker is that your expectations and the reality are actually pretty similar.
An important part of good welfare is providing the birds with the space and independence to exhibit their natural behaviours. Once Mt Barker’s birds are around three weeks old, they’re allowed out of the barn and given the freedom to roam as they please. They can forage, explore and dustbathe in the grass, and have special shelters to take refuge in on hot days.
At night, the chickens return to their barns, which are computer monitored to ensure they’re the perfect temperature. On really hot summer days, there are sprinklers to keep the birds cool.
Mt Barker go the extra mile to keep their birds happy
Mt Barker pride themselves on keeping their chickens relaxed and happy. They’ve even tried playing them classical music! When new chicks arrive in the barn, their stockperson will check on them at least once an hour to ensure they’re eating and drinking as they should be. (Chickens like seeing a familiar face so the same stockperson will stay with a flock as they grow.)
Once the birds are old enough to roam, the stockperson will visit twice a day to make sure everything is in order – otherwise, when the popholes open each day, the chickens are given the freedom to do as they please.
By choosing Mt Barker, you can be confident that you’re supporting locally grown and owned produce that has been farmed to the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards. We hope we’ve made your next supermarket trip a little easier.
Watch our video of Mt Barker chickens out on the range and to find a stockist near you search rspcaapproved.org.au