Meet the healthy, happy chooks at Inglewood Farms
Katrina Hobbs, co-owner of Inglewood Farms, uses quality organic grain, apple cider vinegar and garlic to ensure her chooks are happy and their immune systems stay strong.
Your family took over Inglewood Farms 18 months ago. What inspired this?
Our family has been in the organic industry for a long time, operating in organic grain, cattle and stock feed. Due to the challenging organic industry and cost pressures, the Inglewood Farm business came up for sale. As we were already operating in the industry and believe in the organic sector, we could see the farm as a great business opportunity. We took over Inglewood Farms and implemented a different approach, which has seen the business grow in strength.
Tell us about the Inglewood Farms family?
Inglewood Farms is a completely family-owned and operated business. My parents Andrew and Jennifer, along with my partner Adrian and me, own the farm and my brother Greg manages the sales of Inglewood Farms. While there are two generations of the family involved in the business, the third generation — our five children — are also very interested in the chicken farm and hope to one day join the business. But first they have to finish school!
Has your vision for the farm and its practices changed over time?
We’ve only had 18 months with the farm, but our approach has been fresh eyes and a deep understanding of the organics industry. We’ve been looking at the ways things are operating and trying to solve any problems that come up, like health issues. We’ve been researching and trialling natural alternatives to ensure the chickens are growing at the optimum level of Health.
Where is Inglewood Farm located and how many chooks do keep there?
Our farm is located at Inglewood in Queensland, across 4000 acres, and we have approximately a quarter of a million chooks on the farm.
How important is it to raise your chooks in an ethical manner, and how do you ensure their health and wellbeing?
We are governed by the Australian Organic Standards and are proud to say our chooks are all raised certified organic and free-range. These standards state that organic farms must be sustainable and free from chemical inputs, plus the farming methods adopted must be environmentally friendly. We place a major focus on the health and wellbeing of our chickens and adhere to these standards.
Why should one choose to eat certified organic chicken?
Organic chickens are not fed hormones or antibiotics, or treated or fed with any other medications. Our Inglewood chickens eat certified organic grain-based feed and are allowed 24/7 access to free range in the paddock once they are placed in the growing sheds. When they are small chicks, they are kept in heated sheds to keep them warm and safe from predators. They are also fed natural health products such as apple cider vinegar and garlic to keep their immune systems strong.
How does Inglewood Farms care for the environment and what farming practices do you have in place?
Our farming practices are all based on an organic management plan, which influences everything we do. Free range is integral to organic farming, but the practices in place on the farm and in the chicken sheds are also important to maintain organic status. Our chickens’ waste is not discarded as we have our own composting, which we use to improve the soils on the farm.
What’s next for Inglewood Farms?
Inglewood Farms has a new brand look that we’re about to launch, which is very exciting. This will modernise our brand and help customers see Inglewood Farms standing out on the shelf. It never ceases to amaze us when customers wrongly perceive free-range, thinking it means organic when it doesn’t. Our organic chickens are free-range and grown on certified organic feed without the use of chemicals, pesticides or medications.
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