Situated on the north west coast of the Isle of Skye with panoramic views of Macleod’s Tables and Loch Bracadale, Alastair and Glenys Maclean can be found working their croft to produce quality free range poultry and meat products for the local market.
Tradition is at the heart of the croft – having been handed down through the generations since the land was divided into crofts over 150 years ago. Alastair has followed in his father’s footsteps as guardian of the land, following in the traditional practices of crofting while rearing sheep and cattle. Kiwi wife Glenys introduced the idea of raising a few table chickens alongside the egg producers and found the flavour of the meat was completely different to that from the supermarket.
A gap in the market for quality free range chicken meant that in 2012, Isle of Skye Free Range was established. All of Isle of Skye Free Range produce is available direct from the croft. During the summer months Glenys is a stall holder at the Armadale Castle market held on the 2nd Saturday of the month from May till September.
Shetland cattle are a native breed of Scottish beef and are a smaller breed of cattle that are ideally suited to our croft and west coast climate. All our cattle are summered on the hills of Skye – feeding on the heather and rough grass.
The Shetland is a slower maturing beef so the meat takes longer to develop. Although the cuts of meat are smaller than commercial breeds of beef, the flavour is more intense. The beef is also hung for a minimum of 21 days before being butchered, helping to intensify the flavour.
In 2018 we plan on expanding our poultry to include ducks. Our aim is to incubate our own duck eggs from a large white Kaki Campbel cross duck with a Cherry Valley drake.
Like the chickens, our ducks will be given the freedom to roam, have fresh running water and ponds to swim in and be fed a natural diet of grains and barley. Watch this space for news of when duck is available.
Our chickens are reared from day old chicks through to maturity at between four and five months old. We mainly rear Sasso’s which is a traditional free range chicken suited to our croft.
All of our chickens are given the freedom to roam the croft scratching for bugs and grubs and we feed a diet of mixed grain and barley which results in a deeper flavour throughout the meat with a golden hue to the skin compared to your typical supermarket chicken.
All poultry is processed on site, reducing animal stress and creating low food miles. Our main product is a traditional whole chicken with giblets – perfect for your Sunday roast and comfortably feeding a family of 4 – 6. However, we also sell packs of delicious chicken portions and the carcasses make a fantastic pot of soup! Isle of Skye Free Range chicken is available all year.
Here are our latest downloadable recipes and video tutorials, perfect for any Skye Free Range or shop bought products.
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