At Hovelsrud farm, we believe that animals that have had a good life taste better. Our chickens live longer and grow at their own pace. Plenty of space, natural food and activity give the chickens a happy life - it makes both the taste better and the meat juicier.
There is a lot of talk about chicken hybrids. We use Ranger Gold, a chicken that is slow-growing, with good, strong legs and more colorful feathers. It is well suited for organic production. They are lively, they love to waddle, they jump and bottle - and they like the outdoors. And they get the time they need to grow big.
“Hovelsrud farm shows that it is possible to operate large, at the same time as you have an eye for small and important details. The result is good animal welfare and top quality. The jury sees them as enormously important for today's food production, and not least a beacon for the future "
From the jury's reasoning during the nomination for the Food Prize 2017
Animal protection label
chickens should have
a good life
Here at Hovelsrud, we work to ensure that the chickens are as well as possible during the time they are with us. Good animal welfare is the most important reason why we switched to organic chicken production. We are therefore proud to be the first chicken producer in Norway to be awarded Animal protection label.
The animal protection label guarantees that the animals in production have had a better place, a healthier body and more activity. Animal protection-labeled chicken must have good opportunities to get an outlet for activity needs, via environmental enrichment and more space. The requirements for the Animal Welfare Label have been prepared by the Animal Welfare Alliance's professional team of veterinarians, biologists and civil agronomists. Read more on Dyrevern.no
If you want to choose pet friendly then give The Animal Welfare Alliance's guide to the best producers here. Hovelsrud is the only chicken producer to have received the Animal Welfare Alliance's best rating.
Vi oppfyller den internasjonale dyrevelferdsstandarden European Chicken Commitment (ECC); Kravene som stilles gjennom Debio og Dyrevernmerket gjør at vår dyrevelferd ligger over ECC-nivå.
The requirements for organic chicken are very strict and mean that the chicken must have plenty of space, access to outdoor areas, daylight, organic feed produced without fertilizer and pesticide, slow-growing breed and the opportunity to play and beat with the wings.
Conventional industrial chicken lives for about 28–32 days, a land chicken typically lives for 40–45 days and a debio-approved organic chicken lives for at least 70 days.
Land chicken, farm chicken and corn chicken are not organic chicken. These are the names of chickens that are allowed to grow a little longer than ordinary conventional industrial chicken.
After 70 days, our organic chickens are slaughtered at Norturas in Elverum. The slaughterhouse is only one hour from Hovelsrud. Nortura's slaughterhouse at Elverum is approved by Debio.
Organic chicken has ample access to daylight and its own circadian rhythm, in contrast to conventional industrial chicken which has no daylight and no normal circadian rhythm.
Many conventional chicken producers use a lighting program that gives the chicken a shorter day with four hours day and four hours night. It does this so that it can eat more and grow faster. The chicken eats when it is light and to be able to control the day, there are many chicken houses that do not have windows.
The biggest difference between conventional and organic chicken is that organic chicken should have access to a large outdoor area. Conventional industrial chicken and land chicken do not normally have the opportunity to go out. Organic chicken has access to a porch and an outdoor area equivalent to 4 m2 per chicken.
At Hovelsrud we have made a nice outdoor area with apple trees, currants, herbs and flowers where the chicken can be. Instead of a large floor with close-fitting chickens, the organic chickens have plenty of space, in small groups, with sand baths, soil, hay, quails and a porch.
Organic chicken has 2.5 times as much space inside plus access to a large outdoor area which means that the space is up to 80 times larger than for conventional chicken.
Organic chicken gets feed that is guaranteed organic; and that means pure raw materials that are made without pesticides and fertilizers. Conventional industrial chickens are fed a feed that will ensure the fastest possible growth. Land chicken and farm chicken are referred to as corn chicken because they often get a little more corn in the feed.
The feed that our chickens receive consists of wheat, oats, peas and beans. Because we in Norway do not make enough organic feed, some of the raw materials come from Sweden and the Baltics. In the first weeks there is a little soy in the feed. The soy content is less than 1% of the total feed. We are advised not to remove soy completely because soy contains important amino acids for the chicken's growth in the first few weeks, but we are working to phase this out completely.
The specialty brand
A Norwegian specialty
Chicken from Hovelsrud has been awarded the Specialty label. The brand is awarded the best local food and guarantees that the food is based on the best Norwegian ingredients and approved by an independent jury with high food expertise.
recipes and tips
Sharing chicken is not difficult. Stay tuned here and learn how to do it:
You have heard that good kitchen hygiene is important. This is also true for organic chicken. Chicken is prone to campylobacter. Campylobacter does not tolerate heat. In fact, they disappear already at 48 degrees, so there is minimal opportunity to get campylobacter from the fried chicken. On the other hand, it is easy to spread campylobacter from the cutting felt to vegetables or other that you cook and that are not heat-treated. That is why good kitchen hygiene is so important.
Getting rid of Campylobacter is a function of temperature and time. For those of you who want to fry the chicken at low temperature, there is one scientific article here.
At 73 degrees the chicken will be pasteurized immediately, while at 57 degrees it will take at least 68 minutes before the chicken is pasteurized. Chicken changes from pink to gray at temperatures from 58-63 degrees. If you want a juicy but not pink chicken, then 63 degrees is the right temperature, but it is important that the whole chicken reaches 63 degrees for at least ten minutes. Low temperature gives juicy chicken, but it is important to spend plenty of time.