True locals: Heis family & the chickens
It all began with a single rooster: Tamara and Mathias Heis received it as a wedding present. Today, up to 4,000 hens live on the family-run organic farm in Leutasch. An animal success story about a hen paradise, organic eggs, hard work, family cohesion and perhaps the best pasta in Tyrol.
The chickens are loose
The question of who came first - the chicken or the egg - is easily answered for Tamara and Mathias: The rooster! The two of them got it from friends for their wedding. And because "Hansi" should not remain alone, 6 hens were added. That's how the egg got rolling - 18 years later, a whole 2,000 hens live on the organic farm. In winter, there are even twice as many. The couple could not have imagined in their wildest dreams that it would one day come to this. But over the years, the former farm with cows became a family-run organic chicken farm and pasta factory.
Mathias Heis holds a chicken in his arms
A chicken paradise
The chickens on the organic farm in Leutasch are doing really well. Their run is almost paradisiacal: a huge meadow lies in front of the spacious coop. Colorful mountain flowers bloom as far as the eye can see. Some hens peck at the knee-high grass, others prefer to lie in pits of earth in front of the coop: "It's like a shower for them," Tamara explains. "They love it!". The only time the chickens are disturbed in their idyllic life is when a bird of prey or a helicopter flies over the pasture and frightens them. Then it can even happen that they do not lay eggs for a week due to shock - a big loss for the farm. Fortunately, however, this rarely happens, and so the hens contentedly peck their way through the mountain meadows.
Tamara and Mathias Heis with their chickens
There is always work
For the Heis family it means a lot of work to offer the chickens this organic farm standard. The working day starts early, first the animals are fed. Mornings are also the busiest time for laying, so the chickens lay the most eggs then. Although these are collected by machine, they have to be sorted by hand. Then they are packaged and orders are delivered. "I often touch an egg ten times from laying to selling," Tamara says. "Unfortunately, you often don't see how much work is behind it."
Tamara and Mathias Heis with their chickens in the chicken coop
A winged success story
The Heis family also makes pasta and egg liqueur from the eggs from Leutasch. The reason: The hens do not always lay uniform, large eggs, but also sometimes small and "schiache" (Engl.: ugly). But no one wants to buy them. A fact that Tamara and Mathias could not bear: "It can't be that you have to throw away fresh food every day just because nobody wants to buy it! So they had the idea to produce pasta from the less beautiful but just as good eggs. The result is delicious creations and over 100 different varieties. Not only the classic spaghetti is available from Leutasch, but also culinary highlights such as basil noodles, curcuma noodles, spelt gnocchetis, beetroot noodles and all sorts more. And for the "nightcap" after the meal, there's specially produced egg liqueur.
Tamara Heis holds one of her chickens in her arms
Manual labor and family cohesion
Pasta production is manual work and a lot of effort: At 6 p.m., when the farm store closes, Tamara starts production. She is busy until 2 a.m., three to four times a week. The ribbon noodles and spaghetti are laid and cut by hand, which takes time. When the noodles have finished drying, they are painstakingly packed. In addition, the family still has a guest house. "There's always work to do!" laughs Tamara in deep Leutasch dialect. But fortunately there is the family, where everyone often lends a hand where needed.
Family Heiss from Leutascher BIO Eggs - Region-Originals
More regionality, please!
"We wish that the regional is appreciated more," the Heis family tells us at the end. The farm and the pasta factory are hard work, which many do not even know. For their products, the Heis family uses only the best ingredients, such as quality semolina. Of course, all of this adds to the price - but once you've tasted the pasta, you'll gladly pay it. The eggs come from chickens that are doing really well, you support a regional company and do something good for your health with the high-quality organic products - you can hardly compare that with pasta from the supermarket.
"In my next life I will be a chicken on the organic farm in Leutasch!". With this thought you drive from the farm of the Heis family. Fresh mountain air, plenty of run, the best feed: this is not an advertising slogan, but the reality in Leutasch. The eggs and pasta taste just that little bit better!
Potrait of Tamara and Mathias Heis
For all those who now want to convince themselves of the taste of organic eggs and pasta, go here to the homepage of Leutascher Bio-Eier.