The feathers of chickens are one of the most nutritious parts of their bodies, but are also an important source of protein and calcium.
To find out more about what birds eat and how they get their nutrition, the ABC visited some of Australia’s most renowned chicken farms and asked them to tell us what they eat and the feathers they use to create their own special dishes.
The chickens at the Bluebells farm at Tampines, in the north-west of New South Wales.
Picture: Scott Halsey The farm in Tampine is a little bird sanctuary that has over 70 chickens and more than 200,000 birds.
The farm is run by the Blue Bells family, who have been breeding chickens for the last 70 years.
A farm employee and a breeder walk past the chicken nest at the Tampiner Chicken Sanctuary in Taunton, New South, in this April 17, 2018, file photo.
“I’m very excited to be here at this farm because I’ve always been interested in chickens,” owner Lisa Bell said.
The farm’s chicken population has gone through many changes over the years, but this is the first time Lisa and husband Mike have been able to breed the same birds.
They say their chickens are a “truly special bird”, which is why they have named them Bluebell’s.
Lisa says the chickens at Bluebell are like a family.
In her husband’s words, “they have a sense of belonging that’s different to any other animal that I’ve ever known”.
“They are like family to me.
I would never want to go away from them.
They are very loyal, they are very friendly.”
She says her chickens also have a very strong sense of tradition.
“They do all their own chores, they do all the cooking, they make all their meals and they are good at picking their own vegetables.”
The Bluebell farm is a sanctuary for chickens, which are the only kind of wild animals in Australia.
This picture was taken at the chicken sanctuary in Tundra, in New South Africa.
It is estimated that one chicken can produce more than 250 eggs a year.
Bluebells breeding operations have also been breeding more chickens for meat for over a century.
Mike says the animals are extremely hard working and very loyal.
“When you see them at the farm they are so excited to see you.
They really want to be with you,” he said.”
Their feathers are so beautiful, so they will work up the feathers to get you a bit more protein.”
A blue bell in the Tundrals nest.
As well as producing eggs, Bluebell chickens also feed on the environment and make a lot of noise.
When a flock of chickens is nesting, a breacher will take a long line from the hen nest to the outside of the building, and it is here that the birds are taught how to lay their eggs.
Brynn and Lisa Bell say the chickens are the best breeders of any wild animal in the world.
All of the eggs that they produce are sold in New Zealand, Australia and New Zealand and also exported to the USA, Canada, Mexico and the UK.
While Bluebell is not the first farm to raise chickens, it is the only one to produce them for the farm.
Each of the breeding facilities is a privately owned farm, with the breeding animals kept in their own barns.
There are also no dogs allowed on the farm, which makes it ideal for working dogs.
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