Lloyd Maunder, a major chicken supplier in the south-west of England, has struck a deal with Asda to sell its Freedom Food corn-fed chicken, the Devonshire Bronze. Asda is now the sixth supermarket group to stock the range.
Lloyd Maunder sells free-range, organic or Freedom Food corn-fed ranges to supermarkets in the UK. A company spokesman said: "All three types of chicken are based on the Devonshire breed of bird, using less crowded conditions and longer growing periods to reduce the stress on the birds.
"Flavour and texture also benefit from growing the birds to fuller maturity than in conventional high-intensity methods."
Specialist chicken accounts for more than 60% of Lloyd Maunder's current output of around 480,000 birds per week. Freedom Food chickens are reared in
barns, using enhanced RSPCA methods, which allow for more
space, the provision of bales and perches, hanging toys and even
footballs to stimulate the chickens' interest in their environment and keep them active.
"Our growth in production is very strong at the moment, and we are very anxious to recruit more farmers to meet the demand for these products," said Andrew Maunder, commercial director. "All they have to do is provide the housing and labour, we will do the rest and it will provide them with a valuable extra income."