During the millennium drought, New South Wales cattle farmers Lucy and Angus ‘Herb’ Mackenzie needed to diversify their farm income and produce a product where they could set the price, control production and produce zero waste. They saw a gap in the market and set their minds to producing the best geese in Australia on their family farm at Guyra, north of Armidale.
The drought, however, got worse, and in 2019 the Mackenzies fled across the Murray and settled in the cool, well-watered farmland near Tarwin Lower in South Gippsland. They patiently waded through pools of paperwork and in 2022 restarted their poultry growing and processing business on their new farm.
New South Wales’ loss was Victoria’s gain. Today the Mackenzies grow a variety of free-range poultry, from chickens to ducks to pheasants. Their main flock, however, is geese. They grow several different European breeds, such as Toulouse and Emden, which hatch in the spring and are grown out for 14 weeks to six months before processing. Smaller geese are available in time for Christmas, but the Mackenzies suggest customers wait until Easter for the best quality eating geese, which are then available until the end of June.
U Goose is in the early stages of organising marketing and distribution but is happy to field all queries, including those from retail customers, via the website. The Mackenzies do contract growing and are already raising birds to Melbourne chefs’ individual specifications.
Products: Dressed geese, ducks, chickens and pheasants as well as jars of rendered free-range goose fat.