Tag Archives: Free range

Happy Fathers Day

It’s father’s day in Australia and most families celebrate with a get together, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. But living the distance that we do it’s hard at this time of the year. I know I have siblings in other states that would also like to make the trip but they are good fathers themselves. I even have a brother who is in another country traveling for work and I suspect he would be feeling the loss of not being with his family.

We also have the Royal Adelaide Show on here at the moment and I suspect many families would spend their day together at the show. I loved the show, I would eat all of the wrong things fairy floss, hotdog on a stick covered in batter and then drowned in ketchup, the farmer hates them. I think they are known in America as a Corndog. Nothing like the breakfast I prepared for myself this morning to celebrate Fathers Day.

I suspect many a father will get breakfast in bed, made by their spouse or children or step children, my father this year got to spend it with one of my lovely sister in laws and a couple of his grand children. As I stated we are far and wide this year. I was lucky they came and stayed with us at the farm last weekend. We are lucky we were given nothing but encouragement, confidence and love when we were little, which turns into confident, competitive and successful adults which we are all passing onto our children, nieces and nephews.

I’ve decided to change some eating and drinking habits over the coming months, I have been absorbed with work and creating avenues for our lamb and beef business and this absorbs most of my working time. I try and get to exercise (not as much as I like) but being a farmers wife I try and use homegrown products, especially our grassfed meat #BullysBeef locally grown like the #EarthEggs the number 1 pastured ‘free range egg farm in Australia (and a good friend). When eating chicken I go for the #LittleGreenbushPoultry another good friend and South Australian product.

fathers day breakfast

I’m moving bread out of my diet so I decided to lightly grill a wrap this morning, poach my egg and lay it on a bed of baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. It tasted as good as it looks. I will admit though had we been going to the Adelaide Show I would have eaten a dagwood dog instead. Happy Fathers Day to all the men out their who take the responsibility of rearing children with love, whether they are biologically related or related by marriage, uncles, big brothers, step-dads and grandparents.


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The Chooks are Finally Laying

Its taken a while this time, we rescue chooks from caged farms and bring them to our farm to get a better life and to lay eggs for us, normally they arrive here we put them in the coop and they within a matter of 5 days start laying. It is funny to watch a new chook come to their new home as they find walking on the sand and dirt and grass a funny sensation on their feet, they walk and pick one foot up at a time until they get use to it.

Once the are happy they start laying beautiful farm fresh eggs, this time it has been a bit different, we look after my in-laws chooks whist they travel for a few months of the year and when they come to get them it upsets the balance in the hen-house. There is such a thing as a pecking order and I have come across them (many years ago) they had pecked a fellow hen to death and continued to eat her – it was quite horrific, I found the wing span left, apparently they do this to injured or sick hens, hence the pecking order.

We love our farm freshly laid eggs they are very different to the caged ones and even look different in colour. Their yolk is almost orange / golden where as caged hens, who are fed grain it is yellow, once you have eaten a real farm fresh non grain fed egg you will be able to see the difference.

We let our chooks roam free on the property as they love to wander and scratch and they get themselves back home to their coup come night-time. We have to do a head count before we shut and lock the coup door so that foxes and feral cats don’t get in to help themselves to an organic free range chicken. lately we have had to leave them in their great big coup as our working dogs love to try to round them up, we don’t encourage this as sometimes the excitement of the flapping of wings, bites will occur and deaths may be the end result.

If you can afford it buy fresh non caged eggs, they are great to eat and cook with. Chooks are also good pets for children, if they are held at the yellow fluffy chick stage they will always allow children to pick them up and cuddle them. They will eat house hold left overs and keep the bugs down in you yard as well as produce eggs. Our cats sometimes will follow us up to the coup and Frankie has been known to sleep in their to catch the mice and the chooks don’t seem to be bothered by her.

One of my friends has started a fabulous chooks in a van business here in SA, so if you see this label about the place, jump in and buy them. totally Natural & free range, tastes very much like our own, I purchase them when our chooks forget to give us our breakfast rations. Hoods Earth Produce


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Is this what you are feeding yourself or worse still your children


Follow this link, it will show you what you are eating, if this doesn’t make you think twice about the products you are buying to feed to yourself and children, then nothing will.

Australia has such a stringent food laws that this does not happen, but they would not be buying free range, grass-fed chicken. Most birds that are for meat are raised in houses or barns, some are given growth hormone so that the breast meat becomes ‘thicker’ when they are sold.

McDonald’s have a website that you can check the ingredients – it states that they purchase “from places like Ingham” I wonder what this means. is there a place “like Ingham or is it Ingham? one should ask the question.

Chicken is not the first meat to be substituted Beef and Pork have a history of this unscrupulous practice. So if you wish to eat healthy and of late ‘clean’ then you should be looking to  purchase grass-fed, free range from your local butcher or market. Better still contact a farmer through face book, or twitter you never know where they may be for what you want and though not as cheap as take away meals like this, at least you will know what you are purchasing is not only good for the family, it’s good for your health.

Is Organic better than Grassfed?

We are hearing the terms ‘organic’, grass-fed, ‘free range‘ and feed lots lately and in relation to cattle, sheep, pork & chicken. Do you have any idea what this means and have you wondered why it affects you and should you change your purchasing meat requirements to go organic? This is a question I get asked a lot, are you ‘organic’ – no we are ‘grass-fed’ you can not claim to be something that you are not without implications.

Organic is what it says it is, these producers must adhere to strict standards including not using antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, irradiation or bioengineering; they must adhere to certain soil and water conservation methods; and to rules about the humane treatment of animals. Certified organic producers are audited and inspected annually and are subject to surprise inspections to ensure compliance with the strict guidelines. “Organic” and “Natural” don’t mean the same thing. Organic producers work hard to produce quality meat whilst sticking to these strict standards, it also costs them a lot of money to have the herd, flock or mobs or animals certified, in setting an enterprise up like this all animals and property need to be assessed and maintained in this permanent state to maintain the certification, both here (Australia) and in the US.

All products that come off that property will then have the rights to label it ‘organic’, it does not mean however that animal has spent all of its life in pasture, it means that they had access to pastures, not given hormones, no antibiotics or injections. Their diet is based upon naturally occurring grasses, hay and can be given a percentage of grain which also has to be certified organic. Some producers feed their animals significant amounts of grain, a proven way to speed their growth and increase milk production. The more grain in a ruminant’s diet, however, the lower the amount of omega-3, CLA, vitamin E and beta carotene in their products.

It has been said for optimal nutrition, it’s got to be grass-fed. By this it is taken to mean, the naturally occurring grasses limiting gain feeding, that will grow within that specific region, under climatic conditions of the area (not introduced) and on properties that have limited human access. This means, humans walking from one property to another getting dirt & seeds on shoes and they become planted accidentally. If the animal needs a supplement say of hay then it is best to try to buy from within your region so that they still are getting the natural nutrition or grow and cut your own (which is what we do) Raising cattle and sheep on grass, boosts the beef’s level of a conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in beef, lamb and dairy products. Over the past two decades, numerous health benefits have been attributed to CLA in animals, including a reduction in cancer, heart disease, onset of diabetes and accumulation of body fat.

What does free range mean? this relates to the captivity status of the animal such as with chickens that are kept in cages against chickens that are allowed to wander over a substantial grassed area so they scratch and peck at the naturally occurring food sources, not just grain, barley and seeds with human feed scraps. For larger animals this means the same, not kept in close proximity to each other as in feed  lots , but are able to walk through paddocks that are fenced purely to keep stock from swapping properties. To not be free range does not mean this is bad, neither does feed lots, it puts a different finish on the taste and quality of the meat.

For those wanting to know if you get a tough piece of meat, be it beef or lamb, it can be because the animal was stressed at slaughter or that the butcher has carved against the grain. This will be another topic for later in the week. Regardless, buy meat for protein and pleasure and get the most you can out of the hard work of all producers, ask your butcher, check the labelling and most off all enjoy.