Ben’s best on-farm chicken abattoir
Yesterday, I drove out to Taranaki Farm in Woodend to see Ben Falloon and his new on-farm micro-abattoir (that’s it and Ben above).
You may remember Ben’s Pozible campaign where eight hundred and fifty people pledged $111,507 supporting Ben’s vision to process his chickens in the most ethical, healthy and humane way he could.
Coming up the Taranaki Farm driveway the grass is so tall I can barely see the roofs of the chook-mobiles out in the paddock.
Ben is busy packing eggs. Ben’s always busy; earlier in the day he’d been knocking out a batch of sausages for some farm supporters picking up their Pozible rewards
Ben takes me to check out the new building. Made of two recycled shipping containers, set in an L-shape with large concertina windows and a wide verandah across the front, I comment that it looks like it could be a Farmstay.
Ben nods and reveals he wanted to make his abattoir as comfortable and as light a place as he could – it’s a balance to the emotionally hard work of slaughtering animals.
As his friend and mentor, Joel Salatin relates, taking an animal’s life is not something you look forward to or should be doing full-time.
We walk through, inside it’s clean and modern. The equipment is small-farm scale; there’s a repurposed stainless steel dairy vat for washing and in the next room Ben points out one of the last Australian-built feather-pluckers.
Ben explains, everything, that comes out of his abattoir is used; if it’s not eaten it’s composted and put back out onto fields to build soil life.
As proud as he is of the new facility Ben sees the micro-abattoir playing a bigger role as an educational tool for others to do the same.
To this end he’s openly sharing his research, facility designs and equipment details including all the licensing and bureaucratic challenges.
And like he’s done with countless Regenerative Agriculture courses Ben plans to run workshops for farmers to learn hands-on how it works and then ask them to pay their own learnings forward.
Ben believes that seeding new micro-abattoirs onto farms is one more crucial step down the road to making the land, our animals’, our farmers’ and our own lives better.
Christmas is a big time for meat eating – below are a few options for meat raised in the best possible way for animal, land and farmer (have a search there are plenty of regenerative farmers selling meat direct).
– Taranaki Farm (Beef, lamb, chicken, pork)
– Warrenbayne Farm Collective (Lamb and mutton) Orders close December 15th
– Jonai Farms, Daylesford (Pork and small goods) Farm gate Mon-Sat 10-4pm
– Prom Coast Food Collective (Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, duck)
– Provenir (Beef)
And as pig farmer, Tammi Jonas, always says – eat less meat and when you do make it the fairest meat you can find.
Christmas break heads up
Every year we shut down for a couple of weeks to give the Fair Food crew a break to spend time with friends and family and get rested for the coming year.
This year we’re delivering right up to Christmas Eve.
Break dates this year are:
Last delivery day for 2019 – Tuesday 24th December
Our first delivery day back in 2020 – Monday, January 6th
Have a great week