Have questions about our product, process or our goodness? We’ve got the answers right here.
At Golden Farms there are many frequently asked questions about chicken that we answer daily.
Golden Farms is a member of the Australian Chicken Meat Federation. If you have any further questions that are not catered for here please visit their website www.chicken.org.au
What is "Free Range"?
The term “Free-range” means chicken have access to paddocks outside the day (weather permitting) to scratch and peck. Free Range chickens are herded into their sheds at night to prevent attack by natural predators such as foxes.
Are Golden Farms chickens "Free Range"?
No, Golden Farms chickens are not Free Range. They are reared in the same way as all other commercially grown chickens. They are able to walk around in substantial poultry houses with no restrictions for accessing water and feed. All sheds are well ventilated and temperature controlled. Shedding also protects chickens from the elements, as well as possible contamination from outside items, including harmful diseases, which may be carried by flying birds.
Are Golden Farms chickens kept in cages?
No, Golden Farms chickens are not kept in cages. Only some egg-laying hens are kept in cages. Golden Farms do not produce any egg laying hens.
What are chickens fed?
Our chickens are fed balanced diets consisting of natural grains, protein meals, vitamins and minerals, designed to promote well-grown healthy birds.
- Feed is made up of 85-90% grains, such as wheat, sorghum, barley, oats, lupins, soybean meal, canola and other oilseed meals and grain legumes.
- Hormones are not added to chicken feed or administered to commercial meat chickens or breeders in Australia. Hormone supplementation is a practice that has been banned internationally for forty years. The ban is supported by the Australian Chicken Meat Federation (see ACMF hormone policy).
|Nutrient Specification of a Broiler Diet (Grower)|
|Total sulphur amino acids (digestible)||0.7%|
Diets fed to meat chickens in the south eastern states will predominantly be based on wheat, whereas sorghum provides a greater contribution to the diet of meat chickens in Queensland.
Generally speaking, cereal grains provide the energy component of the diet, soybean meal, canola meal and meat and bone meal primarily provide the protein.
Vegetable oils or animal fats (such as tallow) might be included in the diet to provide additional energy.
Meat chickens have very specific requirements for particular amino acids, which are the ‘building blocks’ of proteins. The amino acids lysine and methionine are also added to diets because they are generally not present in sufficient amounts in the grains and protein sources to meet the nutritional needs of the birds.
Meat chicken diets are also fortified with additional vitamins and minerals and, where necessary, other essential amino acids to ensure that the broilers’ very precise requirements for these nutrients are met.
A ‘typical’ broiler feed might look something like the following.
|Composition of a Typical Broiler Feed|
|Meat & Bone Meal||7%|
|Vitamins & Trace Minerals||0.5%|
As the chicks grow, the composition and form of the feed is changed to match their changing nutritional needs and increasing mouth size.
Almost all broiler feed used in Australia these days is steam pelleted (in crumble form, in the case of baby chick feeds). Ingredients are ground, mixed together, steam conditioned and compressed into beak sized, well-formed pellets.
Some companies include whole grain mixed with pellets.
Do the chickens contain hormones or steroids?
The chickens contain only those hormones, which their bodies naturally produce. Hormones and steroids are banned in Australia, and have been since the 1960’s. All Aussie chicken is free of any hormonal additive.
Why do many people wrongly believe that chickens are fed hormones?
We believe that one reason might be that people note that the chickens sold these days in supermarkets, butcher shops and chicken shops are much bigger than what they may recall them to have been 20 or 30 years ago. They may wrongly conclude that this must be the result of some unnatural intervention. The actual reason for this increased growth rate and size is the ongoing extensive selective breeding programs that have been adopted by the industry over the past 50 years, which aim for not only faster growing birds but also for healthier and more disease resistant chickens.
Are chickens given antibiotics?
There is no routine and unnecessary use of antibiotics or any other medication. Chickens are only medicated if there is a risk of disease, which threatens the flock. This is rarely the case at Golden Farms as our farmers take extreme care to prevent any risk of infection through careful management and the strictest hygiene procedures.
All chicken products supplied to our customers are 100 percent free of any antibiotics.
Are chickens genetically modified?
Chickens are not genetically engineered or modified. Improvements in their growth, feed conversion efficiency, tenderness and other characteristics are entirely due to traditional cross-breeding and selective breeding techniques.
Are Golden Farms chicken products Halal?
Golden Farms chickens are Halal certified.
What is the difference between free-range chickens, organic chickens and conventionally farmed commercial meat chickens?
As the name indicates, free-range chickens are allowed access to an outside run in which they can freely range outside their sheds during the day. Organic chickens are fed on diets prepared from ingredients that are not treated with insecticides or pesticides. In addition, space allowances are higher, and only chickens that have not been given antibiotics at any stage during their life should be sold under the free range or the organic labels. For more information, you may wish to consult the website of the specific industry organisations, for example Free Range Egg and Poultry Australia Ltd (FREPA) and the Organic Federation of Australia.
If a chicken, like any other animal, has a disease, can the consumed meat affect humans?
Most diseases of chickens will not affect people. Some organisms, which can cause illness in people, may be carried by chickens (e.g. Salmonella species) but these are not dangerous if the meat is handled and cooked properly.
How do you know chicken is properly cooked?
Chicken should always be thoroughly cooked. While cooking to a temperature of 72 degrees should be sufficient, we recommend that, to be sure, you should cook chicken to about 82 degrees at its core. The amount of time you need to cook chicken of course depends upon the type of cut and how big it is, although a good rule of thumb is you cook it for about an hour per kilo. A simple way to get a good indication of whether it has been cooked enough is to stick a fork into the thickest part of the meat – the juice that comes out should be clear; furthermore there should be no pink coloured meat left right through the thickest part.
How do I make a complaint or comment about Golden Farms or any of its products?
To make a complaint, comment or raise any concerns about Golden Farms please select the ‘contact’ page on this website and choose any of the options available. Click here to view our Complaints Handling Policy