Chicken champs from Kilworth included in national list of the top 50 British food producers

Jacob Sykes and Nick Ball, joint owners of Fosse Meadows Farm
Jacob Sykes and Nick Ball, joint owners of Fosse Meadows Farm

Marigold flowers and plenty of time are amongst the secrets of producing some of the tastiest chickens in England.

They are just two of the reasons why Fosse Meadows Farm in North Kilworth, near Lutterworth, appeared in this year’s Observer Food Monthly’s Top 50 of excellent British food producers.

It’s a subjective but highly respected guide to 50 favourite foodie products from around the world.

Co-owner Jacob Sykes (40) said: “We’re absolutely delighted. It’s such an honour to have gained a listing in this prestigious review, alongside many other impressive food businesses from around the world.”

And fellow co-owner Nick Ball (41) added: “Since the guide came out, we’ve definitely had more orders and more interest from chefs.”

Jacob and Nick have been producing their award-winning 81-day slow grown free-range chicken for nine years, from their Harborough district farm.

Typically they have 18,000 chickens on their farm, and sell 1,500 a week.

The review in the Observer Food Monthly magazine highlights the Fosse chicken’s exceptional flavour.

Jacob and Nick say the reason for this is largely due to Fosse growing their French strain, free-ranging birds very slowly and traditionally to 81 days - nearly seven weeks longer than standard commercially reared birds.

The Fosse birds roam further and forage on rich, wild flower pasture for much longer, developing darker meat.

They also enoy dietary supplements ranging from husk-free “naked oats” to marigold flowers.

Most Fosse chickens go to London to chefs, delis, (and Observer Food writers) but you can buy them from W Archer butchers in Queens Road, Leicester or online at www.fossemeadows.co.uk