Lars Odefey’s secluded farm in the village of Uelzen in Lower Saxony has no quantity on the door to let you know that you simply’re in the proper place, nor does an indication present any clues.
Odefey is a poultry breeder and solely these who are invited come by – his will not be a farm open to visits by curious members of the public.
What he gives is poultry of the best high quality, destined for gourmand delicacies, together with his shoppers together with a few of Germany’s and Austria’s prime chefs.
Odefey, 38, retains a whole lot of birds of various breeds in cell trailer coops he constructed himself. French Bresse chickens are significantly tasty.
“It’s all elaborate and loopy what we do right here, and in addition approach too costly,” says Odefey.A educated agronomist, he took over his dad and mom’ farm 4 years in the past. Since then, he has constructed up a enterprise mannequin that has enabled him to repay his money owed.
The most pleasurable facet of his work, Odefey says, is supplying eating places and resorts, and so when the Viennese three-star restaurant Amador determined it will solely serve his Bresse chickens, Odefey says that was the highest accolade conceivable.
When the pandemic struck, many Berlin chefs and restaurant managers took benefit of their sudden free time to come back to Uelzen for the weekend and to see for themselves how he breeds his chickens.
Once lockdown got here to an finish, Odefey says, orders shot up.Every Sunday night, he tiptoes gingerly into the coops stuffed with sleeping chickens which can be unfold throughout his sprawling property, and selects the birds which have reached their ideally suited dimension.
He tries to finish their lives as gently as potential, as soon as they’re round 18 to twenty weeks outdated.
They are slaughtered on Monday mornings at 5am, by means of a course of that stuns the birds earlier than killing them. Odefey then bleeds them out, scalds them in a pot to loosen their feathers after which plucks them.
Next they’re gutted by his one workers member, aided by two helpers. “This is finished dry by hand, no water is used,” he says, including that “you will need to know the way to intestine them so issues do not get all bloody”.
Often, equipment processing on poultry farms can result in the unfold of germs.
Once shrink-wrapped, the poultry will be saved for 10 to 12 days. Some eating places order birds whose head and ft having been matured in an oven often called a Dry Ager.
Currently, the farm dispatches some 200 birds every week in refrigerated vehicles to upscale eating places akin to the Atlantik and Vierjahreszeiten in Hamburg, the place the chefs have turn into loyal clients resulting from the poultry’s high quality.
“The rooster will not be corresponding to snow-white grocery store rooster,” says Odefey. He factors out that the chickens have sand baths for hygiene and spend their days outdoors come rain or shine, which builds up buildings of their muscle tissue and connective tissues.
All because of this a single Bresse rooster prices €36.90 (RM176), 5 euros (RM24) greater than the pasture-raised chickens, Odefey’s traditional providing. He additionally raises just a few Sulmtaler and Marans chickens for followers of these breeds, too.
Odefey’s farm doesn’t have natural certification.
“The rules are too lax for me. I’d be allowed to maintain as much as 4,800 animals collectively, however we do not even have that many complete in our 10 barns.”
When it involves feed, solely the highest requirements will do.
Odefey comes from a protracted line of farmers, however was however in a position to be taught just a few issues about the way to rear pedigree animals, when someday again he spent a season working at Prince Charles’ Duchy Home Farm in England.
One facet of rearing poultry expensive to Odefey’s coronary heart is that each sexes are raised, not like on many farms the place solely hens are saved, and male chicks are culled. The chickens develop up being valued equally, he says. Some shoppers request orders of male-only chickens, however Odefey does not settle for them.
Carsten Bauck, who runs Germany’s largest broiler farm close by and has Demeter natural certification, additionally raises female and male chickens – and has a flock of some 12,500.
Of Odefey, he says his work will be described as gourmand poultry that may actually solely be present in France these days.
“You can style the distinction. The animals have much less breast however extra leg. In addition, the meat is extra marbled and firmer,” Bauck says.
Odefey in the meantime is completely satisfied working a small industrial poultry farm, although the rules imply he might not slaughter greater than 10,000 birds yearly. Should he achieve this, his enterprise can be in a distinct class and topic to tighter veterinary supervision.
“I work seven days every week for 10 to 14 hours, I’m pleased with that and we handle. It cannot get any higher than that,” says Odefey.
However, not increasing implies that when demand turns into too nice, as was the case in 2019 when a two-star restaurant on the German island of Sylt purchased up his inventory, then for weeks on finish Odefey is unable to fill orders.
Meanwhile, Odefey can also be making an attempt his hand at rearing guinea fowl. – dpa