Our philosophy recognises that “…its all connected and all interdependent”…all the systems of this planet, including the human ones. That nothing happens in isolation. That eating well, moving well, and thinking well for all life is interdependent on the wellness of our environments… physiological, environmental, ecological, emotional. This is embodied in our logo: its all alive, its all intelligent, its all connected. The shovel connects us to the non-industrial, non-intensive roots of all farming, and a farming tool that has been used for over 10,000 years. If you examine the leaves of the tree closely you’ll understand they symbolise abundance, and inspire us in what we can grow here in this valley.
How we farm
Southampton Farm raises livestock using Holistic Management – a biologically active, and herd-based system of carefully planned grazing of livestock. We were recently recognised by the Australian Government with a Landcare Award for Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices.
The practice is based on managed grazing of domestic livestock to mimic the behavior of wild herbivores interacting with grassland ecosystems. Animals are grouped and herded by portable electric fences and moved frequently. This concentrates manures, and prevents overgrazing, allowing grasses to rest and regenerate. Ducks and chickens on our farm follow larger herds such as beef and dairy cows, and sheep.
Holistic Management is simple and effective because it:
- Strongly recognises and works with the ecosystems connectivity and complexity (what happens in one area impacts another)
- Builds up and stores carbon in the soil, and therefore water as well
- Restores and regenerates land and water health.
Southampton chickens and ducks are raised and prepared in a way that produces highly nutritious and great-tasting poultry beyond the highest welfare standards. Our birds have the opportunity for natural social and foraging behaviours, yielding them a diet rich in whole foods – vegetation, earth, soil microbes and naturally-present insect life. This gives them a high quality of life and allows our animals to fully express health in their physiology. This is why they are so good for you to enjoy as food.
Our poultry are pasture-grazed in mobile shelters on a variety of perennial and annual grasses on input-free paddocks. This includes free from chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. The grasses found in our pastures include Chicory, Plantain, Fescue, Phaleris, Cocksfoot, perennial Rye, Clover, and Lucerne. Approximately thirty other species of annual and perennial grasses are also present. Animals are rotated frequently to maximise access to fresh forage and to stimulate the pasture itself through low density manure and grazing.
As most poultry birds are omnivores, their diet must contain a significant proportion of protein. Our supplemental feeds comes from Western Australian certified sources to provide full traceability. This supplement has NO antibiotics, NO hormones, NO Soy and is GMO-FREE.
Our ducklings and chicks begin their life in our brooder to keep them protected from exposure and predators. Once their plumage has developed, they graduate at 3-4 weeks of age to portable shelters called chicken tractors. This safely introduces them to the outside pasture environment and a significantly more diversified diet. For their last few weeks, ducks and chickens alike range openly on the pasture, kept safe from predators inside a portable electric fencing cell (to protect from foxes and other predators), and by our Maremma Guardian dogs – Bonnie, Archie and Mango.