Do you want to eat superior quality free range chicken which is drug-free, stress-free, antibiotic-free, and animal by-product-free then Elgin Free Range Chickens is the brand for you. These chickens are bred in the picturesque ElginValley and Overberg, and as of 30 May, will be expanding to the Garden Route areas of Mosselbay, George, Knysna, Sedgefield, and Plettenberg Bay. So look out for Elgin Free Range Chickens in your local Checkers, Pick n Pay, & soon in Spar, and begin to enjoy our free range taste experience.
Although the word FREE RANGE is a loosely used term that has no official authority body to ensure standards inSouth Africa, this family owned business pride themselves in maintaining the most stringent of standards to consistently produce authentic free range chicken of a superior quality whilst upholding their core value of respectful and humane farming practices.
Elgin Free Range Chickens’ passion continues to educate consumers on the benefits of eating free range chicken, thereby promotinggeneralwell-being through nutrition and is evident through the continued support and recognition as one of the trusted producers of authentic free range chickens inSouth Africa.
Their ethics reach beyond the humane and health issues as their management team continue to focus on growing, training and developing their employees to ensure a workforce that is both dedicated and motivated and who, as a result, make a positive contribution to the community.
Jeanne Groenewald explains a day in the life of an ELGIN Free Range Chickens chicken
The chicken sheds have pop holes on both sides so chickens can move freely to the outdoors. Sheds help keep chicks warm in the brooding process and provide protection and shaded feed and water for our chickens. If the weather is good, the sheds are left open up to 24 hours a day for birds over 21 days to forage freely, and eight hours a day for younger birds that still haven’t developed sufficient feather covering and will be susceptible to the cold. Elgin Free Range Chickens plants kikuyu pastures and worms, insects, grass and small pebbles are part of their natural diet. There’s a period in the rearing cycle when there are no birds in the houses, so pastures do have time to recover. Our chickens are never fed animal by-products, antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) or routine medication. They’re raised in a stress-free environment, so their immune systems are enhanced, which is why we don’t use AGPs, which are banned in the EU.
Our chickens are housed at a lower stocking density and have access to natural grass pastures. Our chickens can’t reach the same body weight in the same time that commercial chickens can because we don’t use AGPs and our chickens are far more active and so they eat a lot more due to their energy expenditure. Even though at Elgin Free Range Chickens, feed is the biggest cost in chicken production we ensure our bird feed has only top-quality raw materials natural to a chicken’s dietary requirements.
Elgin Free Range Chickens’ internal code of standards, based on international best practice, is regularly audited. Woolworths, who we supply, also has a code to verify that we’re producing birds to aFreeRangestandard, and this is audited by an independent firm on a surprise-visit basis.
We have a very strong following ranging from the COMPASSION IN WORLD FARMING and NSPCA authorities, acclaimed Food Specialists and Celebrity Chefs, to our loyal fans and consumers which makes the effort of maintaining our standards and our mission to educate on the nutritional benefits of free range very rewarding.
DID YOU KNOW,ELGINFREE RANGE CHICKENS ARE:
· never fed routine antibiotics
· never fed animal by-products
· never fed fish-meal
· never fed growth promoters (AGPs) to ensure a natural growth rate
· fed high quality, all-grain food which boosts their immune systems
· given daily access to a natural diet
health & environment
· given daily access to plenty of fresh air and sunshine
· given grass ranges to roam, peck and dust-bathe
· provided with trees for perching and shelter
· surrounded by living vegetation, including Leonotis leonurus, a natural herb planted around the houses to promote optimal respiratory health
· able to naturally migrate back to their houses at night for warmth and safety
· not kept indoors in environmentally-controlled houses
· limited to maximum stocking densities of 15 birds per m2 excluding outside areas
· ensured at least 6 hours continuous darkness per 24-hour cycle for adequate rest
· caught individually at night in a calm, dark environment to eliminate stress
· raised in a stress free environment to ensure sound immune system development
· routinely monitored by competent veterinarians to ensure optimal health
· Receive the most humane treatment possible throughout all stages of their life cycle
· 100% chicken with no brine injection
· air chilled and not water chilled to ensure superior quality meat
· processed in a HACCP-certified factory
· reared on independently audited farms