In our interview with Eiermacher GmbH you could already get an impression of one of our most important organic producers.
Today we introduce you to farmer Erwin Link from the "Bio Gans" farm in Fulda, who gives us an exciting insight into the standards and processes of goose breeding on a family-run organic farm in Fulda. He is the one from whom we obtain our high-quality organic goose liver, which is produced and processed according to the strict specifications of organic farming.
Link proudly tells us: "Geese breeding started on our farm long before I was born. My family started it and I later took over the business. Everything is done by hand here, the geese grow up under the most natural conditions and then become Christmas in the best quality freshly marketed to our customers."
Before Link achieved organic certification, around 700 geese were sold per year in-house as well as through conventional food retailers and wholesalers. However, over time it became clear that competition in the conventional sector, especially from large producers from Hungary and Poland, was increasing. To differentiate themselves from these farms and their husbandry methods, Link decided to get certified and converted the entire farm to comply with EU organic farming legislation.
Link explains: "We didn't have to change much for our goose farm, as we already met most of the necessary requirements with our size of farm, large meadow areas and our water basins. However, we had to adapt our agricultural cultivation methods in order to grow the required grain ourselves.
From our point of view, the feed for goose breeding is the most important factor for the quality and welfare of the animals. However, high-quality feed for goose breeding is increasingly reflected in the price. This is because a goose requires significantly larger amounts of feed when growing compared to other poultry. For each goose, which ends up weighing about 7 kilograms, we need about 100 kilograms of grass, as well as 30 kilograms of grain and maize. If you consider how much feed you need per kilogram of goose meat, you could theoretically end up with a chicken that weighs 150 kilograms."
In organic animal husbandry there are clear guidelines to ensure species-appropriate husbandry of the animals. Organic poultry must have access to the outdoors for at least a third of its life - at Farmer Link this is guaranteed to the poultry almost for life.
Link explains: "The geese come to us as day-old chicks and feed on the yolk sac for the first 72 hours. The stalls are heated to a pleasant 30 degrees, but the animals are allowed to go outside if the weather is nice, if they want to From the 14th day of life they spend day and night outdoors. Access to our open waters is very important for geese. Being able to dip their heads under water is important for geese and their rituals. That's why we also have extra large drinking troughs to dip their heads in. And of course we also have specially designed bathing pools for the animals to bathe and swim in. We also offer them enough space and activities to be able to move about freely."
The quality that we offer our customers is greatly appreciated. This year we have already sold an impressive 2500 geese in the form of pre-orders, more than double the number of last year. In addition to animal welfare, the feed component mentioned above is also an important aspect that distinguishes our company.
Link: “Our geese receive a special feed composition consisting of high-quality ingredients such as wheat, field beans, peas and organic soy cake. We produce a large part of the feed ourselves and supplement it with carefully selected protein components. We do not use any pesticides or plant protection products. To ensure that the geese always get the best feed, we use a mobile mixing machine that delivers fresh and individually tailored feed directly to us.”
The report from Link and his farm shows that animal welfare and sustainability can go hand in hand. The conscious decision to use organic farming and the commitment of the entire team ensures that consumers receive high-quality products that are produced with respect for people, animals and the environment.
At Happy Foie we are proud to work with Mr. Link.
You can find the Happy Foie Organic Goose made with Mr Link's high-quality goose liver here: To the product