Luciaren Etxea farm

by admin on 29/09/2014

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Miguel Gotzone originally worked as a mechanical engineer at a nearby plane factory when he and his family started raising chickens near their house. Now, 10 years later, he has quit his job and become a full-time chicken farmer.

He agreeably received us at his house before leading us to the place where he’s raising about 300 chickens together with a neighbour. In fact, they have a large space in which to roam, both inside and outside. Inside the chicken coop, there are boxes where they can lay eggs together with a rack of bars on which they can stand, besides entering and exiting as they want. The chicken coop is insulated such that the interior temperature ranges from 15 to 25 degrees C since the chickens won’t lay eggs if it’s too cold or too hot. Having entered the chicken coop, the chickens started pecking my feet instead of the ground, and the only remedy was to leave the building. Outside, some of them rolled around in the soil, which is good for their health, according to Miguel. Others stayed close together even though they had lots of space.

The chickens had to share space with a large, friendly dog which served to protect them against foxes, besides two Basque sheep which were eating leaves from a tree.

Outside, they can walk within a large garden divided in pens because two types of chicken are raised at this farm: brown Marraduna, which are Basque chickens, and ISA brown, which is a hybrid chicken.

Chicks are bought from another farm where the pedigree of the chicks are taken well care of. The eggs of the chickens are put in a hatching machine and live chicks are brought to this farm.

Feeding their animals high quality food only, the eggs which are laid by the chickens are also of high quality such that they are sold to top-of-the-range restaurants together with shops which sell organic products only. Miguel cracked a couple of eggs for us, holding the yolk in his hands and pinching it, while the yolk remained intact. Obviously, his eggs are out of the ordinary.

Before leaving, we visited a small house where Miguel’s wife Irene and the wife Gotzone  of the neighbour Mikel were packing eggs. Miguel kindly gave each of us a package of eggs. Having brought it back to the hotel, a cook prepared a delicious omelette of them.

The daughter of Miguel and Irene, Lucia, and the daughter of Gotzone and Mikel, Lorena, followed us at a distance. They were able to speak English, but they didn’t want to practise during our visit.

This is an organic farm, and in case of illness, Miguel is only allowed to serve his chickens vinegar.

After about 3 years, the chickens are finished off and the meat is sold to restaurants which serve dishes from first-rate producers only.

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