The chickens have come to be known for their moist, good flavour. Gordon Ramsay promotes them. They sell to top chefs and restaurants in London.
The birds are raised in uncrowded conditions, with lots of natural ventilation, and fresh straw for bedding each day.
They raise their chickens from hatchlings, allowing them to grow at a normal rate, with no growth promoters.
The birds are fed with a special corn recipe developed with the aid of a nutritionist. The exact recipe is a secret, but the farm says it is absolutely free of additives, antibiotics, hormones and medication.
The farm also raises geese and ducks. The ducks they raise are a cross between Aylesbury and Peking duck breeds. The geese are allowed to roam the meadow.
Swainson House Farm is owned by two brothers, Bud and Reg Johnson. They have run it since the late 80s.
Reg started off by selling poultry at Cleveleys Market 4 miles north of Blackpool, Lancashire, then he decided to approach restaurants directly for sales.
The first restaurant to buy from him was Ye Horns Inn in Goosnargh, Preston, Lancashire.
Paul Heathcote was the first chef to promote them, in the late 1980s, and to encourage them to go corn-fed. Nigel Haworth also promoted them.
Reg was turned 58 in 2009. In the same year, the Ivy Restaurant in London tried to tell they how they should be raising their chickens: and they struck the Ivy off the list of people they sell to.
The two brothers have been joined in the business by Bud’s son Adam, and Reg’s daughter, Kara.
In 2010, Gordon Ramsay was buying 100 duck breasts a week from them for his restaurants in London.
Goosnargh’s Johnson & Swarbrick cook their goose. Lancashire Life Magazine. December 3rd 2009.
Goosnargh keeps its secrets. By Lancashire Life . No date. Retrieved October 2010 from http://lancashire.greatbritishlife.co.uk/article/goosnargh-keeps-its-secrets-8305/