Situated just outside Bendigo in rural Victoria is Hazeldene’s Farm, where Cannings Free Range Chicken is raised. Hazeldene’s are a family owned business that have been producing chicken for over 70 years.
Their free range birds are raised under RSPCA and FREPA (Free Range Egg and Poultry Australia) accreditation; – two bodies that enforce strict regulations on the rearing of chickens. They protect the welfare of the birds by making sure they have free access to the outdoors during daylight hours, comfortable shelter to roost in during the night and the freedom to express their natural behaviours. These accreditations also forbid the use of hormones and antibiotic growth promotants.
Hazeldene’s hatchlings are raised for the first weeks of their life under specially designed heat-lamps that regulate the warmth and humidity of the atmosphere of the hatchery and once they can fend for themselves the chickens are released to the great out-doors. They live in low-stocking density environments so that they are never cramped or stressed. They spend their days foraging in the grasses of their paddocks – with access to sun and shade.
The chickens are processed in neighbouring Lockwood at Hazeldene’s state-of-the-art processing facility which utilises aeroscalding to assist in plucking and air-chilling to increase shelf-life.