We want to grow the best tasting, and more ethically-farmed poultry in the UK
Our family set out in early 2009 to produce the best possible free range poultry available in the UK. This proved to be no easy task, but with hard work and no little determination, eventually we started to see some light. Not surprisingly we found that if we let the birds grow at their own natural pace, not only did they have a much longer life but they tasted amazing. This type of farming is low impact, sustainable and ethical, is a natural type of farming, traditional and hard graft, but it produces outstanding products which now grace some of the UK's greatest tables.
From small beginnings come great things..
We soon found that the demand for our poultry was outstripping supply. How could we improve the farm in order to meet this demand, bearing in mind normal channels of finance are not an available to us? Crowdfunding seemed to be an ideal option allowing us to make significant improvements to deal with the ever changing weather patterns and also, install an on farm slaughter facililty while allowing food enthusiasts to get involved and try our wonderful produce.
How we're going to do it.....
Birds are fragile when young and need a lot of TLC before they are hardy enough to deal with the variances of the Scottish weather. Our traditional wooden sheds are just not cosy enough for the young chicks, we would like to house them in warm, well insulated, tunnels which will let them flourish before being turned out onto the range.
If we are serious about high welfare it makes sense to minimise the stress when it comes to dispatching the birds. It is preferable not to transport animals long distances, an onsite slaughter facility would allow us to minimise this stress. Not only will this improve the welfare of the birds, but also help improve the quality of the finished product. We would like to dry pluck and wax finish the birds which is the traditional way of preparing high quality poultry.
So how much is this going to cost.......
The total cost of the project is circa £80k. This is made up of match funding grants, crowdfunding and our own savings.
Working towards a better future are.......
Anne Jane, Naomi, Josh and Robert
Where we are......
St Bride's Free Range Poultry Farm Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, Scotland nestled in 10 acres of rolling countryside.
What we produce........
Chickens, ducks, guinea fowl, capon, cockerels and turkeys. All grown slowly and naturally in a totally free range system with no fences. Fed on 100% grain +vitamins +minerals+grass and finished with locally grown whole wheat, barley and oats.
Who loves our produce?....
Local people, not so local people, chefs and super chefs. We are fortunate to have worked with some of the country's top chefs including Andrew Fairlie, Martin Wishart and Tom Kitchin in Scotland and Brett Graham, Pierre Koffman, the Roux family, Claude Bosi and Philip Howard south of the wall (Hadrian's)
To sum it up........
There are less than a handful of farmers producing traditional, small flock, free range poultry in Scotland and none employing the methods of St Brides Farm. We believe we produce a unique "old fashioned" bird which appeals to an increasing discerning market. We passionately believe there is a place for this type of slow, sustainable agriculture amongst the fast growing , stack them high, get bigger, produce more for less, type of food production which dominates our supermarkets shelves. Please help us buck the trend and prove our type of farming is a viable option and there is a future for small scale farmers in the UK. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
We are immensely grateful to the following people for their help and support for getting us this far
Matt Pinder - for shooting the film and allowing us to become famous, for a short period of time
Andrew Fairlie for his undying support and help since day one of St Bride's Farm
Douglas and Gillian Lamb for believing in us and being there when we really needed them
And of course our wonderful customers who have supported us over the years