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Producer Profile: Milking Yard Farm

For many of us, chicken is a go-to protein for weeknight lunches and dinners. But did you know that not all poultry is created equal? Enter Milking Yard Farm – locally reared, free-range, and delicious.

Based in Trentham, Victoria, Bruce and Roz Burton of Milking Yard Farm are dedicated to producing ethically raised, delicious ‘Sommerlad’ chicken.

We found out more about these tasty, award-winning chooks.

The Milking Yard Farm Story

While living in the city, one Sunday morning Bruce and Roz took a scenic road trip to the beautiful countryside of the Daylesford Macedon region. Looking for an alternate lifestyle to their full-time city jobs, they began a search for a weekend retreat.

The pair fell in love with some land with a lake, rolling hills, and deep red soil that belonged to a dairy farmer. They were inspired to create a “paradise of naturally grown, clean food”. And the Milking Yard Farm journey began.

After a few years of planting, repairing and building a home each weekend, Bruce and Roz now have a full-time passion and love for growing beautiful, old-style ‘Sommerlad’ chickens.

Milking Yard chickens have been awarded the 2016 Australian Food Awards Champion Poultry Trophy and were recognised by the Delicious Produce Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

Animal Welfare and Sustainable Farming Practices

Milking Yard Farm has animal welfare and sustainable farming practices at its core. They are certified by PROOF (Pasture Raised On Open Fields) for their animal welfare standards.

The chickens are grown as naturally as possible in an environment that is as close to their natural forest habitat as possible. They are free to roam stress-free in their beautiful environment, grazing on a varied and nutritious diet that replicates their natural foraging instincts. There are no hormones or antibiotics used.

The farm also does not use chemicals or unsustainable farming practices.

The chickens sleep in purpose-built huts that keep them warm in winter and cool in summer, while protecting them from weather and predators.

What are Sommerlad chickens?

Sommerlad chickens are a slow-growing breed. Unlike the chooks available in supermarkets, they are succulent and rich in flavour.

Grown to 70 to 100 days old, instead of the standard 35 days on industrialised factory farms, Milking Yard chickens have firm meat, and a deep, rich, old-fashioned flavour – the way chickens should taste.

Sommerlad chickens are reminiscent of the famous Bresse and Label Rouge chickens from France.

Interested in trying Milking Yard Farm Sommerlad chickens at home? You’ll be pleased to know that they’re available at Hagen’s Organic Butcher in Bracher Arcade.

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