What does free-range mean at Tillari?
Our pigs and sheep are free to run around 100% of the time - out in paddocks - what we consider to be true free-range. We were the first farm in Queensland to be accredited free-range under APIQ quality assurance - however we let this accreditation lapse as it was not adequate in capturing the uniqueness of our farm and animals and what we provide our animals was well above this standard. In this we were unable to capture the natural traits our pigs are allowed to exhibit on Tillari - or highlight that we do not teeth pull or tail cut on farm.
Our aim is to produce happy and humane pork and lamb that is ethical, healthy and great-tasting. We have no aim or wish to be a factory free-range facility. Our piglets are born in a nest that their mother makes out of round bales of hay or from grass in the paddocks. When they're weaned, they are put into a different paddock. At all stages in their lives they can run around and sleep under the stars (if they choose not to sleep under their shelters).
Are You Organic?
No we are not organic and do not have organic status - we prefer to focus on the humane treatment of animals. We do not give our pigs or sheep antibiotics unless ordered for a specific purpose by our vet and do not feed our animals any chemicals or hormones. All grain is GMO-free. We would like to describe our animals as naturally grown. We treat our animals like a mother would treat her children. If they are sick, treatment is decided upon in consultation with our vet. The welfare of our animals is our first priority.
Who processes and cuts your meat?
We are currently using a small, Quality Accredited country abattoir and butcher. We take our animals to the facility so we know loading and unloading is as stress-free as possible. The meat has a stamp on it which indicates that it has been killed at a registered, Quality Assured abattoir - this may appear as a pink mark once the stamped area has been cut up. From the abattoir, it is delivered to our butcher for cutting and then we go and pack our meat at the butcher's, fresh and ready for your family.
When the 'Final Paddock' is up and running - we will have our own accredited cutting room on farm. When completed all our meat will be processed in this room after going to the Abattoir.
Why do your sheep have tails?
They are born with them - they help to keep the flies away, they protect the females' genitals from the sun, and sheep with tails are less likely to suffer prolapses. If they weren't meant to have tails they wouldn't be born with them. Unless a procedure is in the best interest of the animal, we do not do it - and there is no reason to take the tails off our sheep.
What is Paylean and do you use it?
Paylean (Ractopamine) is a chemical added to feed that keeps animals lean and promotes muscle growth. Added early on in piglets' feed - its impact on the growing pig continues - promoting lean, more muscled animals. Studies have shown that feeding pigs Ractopamine can have negative consequences on the animals' behaviours, ease of handling and also increases the animals heart rate. At Tillari, there are no added chemicals or antibiotics put in our animals diets or in their water supply.