Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Where to buy Freeranger eggs

A full range of eggs is available at the farm in Stanley Road, Grantville- 950 gram packs of Meggas, 600g, 700g, 750g or 840g in dozens. We also sell eggs on trays if needed. There is a big yellow cool box inside the front gate which can be accessed anytime. Our eggs are also available from the Grantville Pantry, Corinella General Store and Angels Health Foods, Cowes.When setting up a free range farm it's important to organise sales outlets.Our eBook will be a valuable tool. For info Check out our website.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Freeranger Eggs - a niche market in a boutique segment of the egg industry Have your say on egg farm sustainability

With a very low stocking density on our 80 hectare farm - just 15 - 40 hens per hectare instead of the intensive 10,000 hens per hectare on most so-called free range farms, our operation is fully sustainable. We invite readers to visit our website to see how we do things. Very few farms operate in this way, most 'free range' producers are intensive operations with tens of thousands of hens confined in small areas. They may not be in cages but they are not able to range freely on pasture.Everyone has a chance to have a say on what they think of the sustainability of egg farms. The CSIRO’s social and economic systems research division is developing a community engagement proposal to collect comments from the community. Australian Eggs will then use that information to concoct a sustainability framework to guide the industry. The information could relate to any impacts the egg industry is having across areas such as the lives of people, animal welfare, environmental impacts and economic viability. Have your say on egg farm sustainability

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Freeranger Eggs is all about producing genuine free range eggs as well as educating consumers and other farmers

Freeranger Eggs is a multi- platform business. Our main activity is operating a sustainable farm producing free range eggs for customers in our local area. We use our website, blog and facebook page as educational tools to provide clear information to consumers – and also to encourage the establishment of other low density farms, Free range eggs are a niche market in a boutique industry and industrial-scale producers should not use the term ‘free range’. Our eBook on setting up a free range farm is available through our website and we are preparing a series of webinars to reach as many people as possible.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Sustainable Agriculture Initiative

CSIRO’s social and economic systems division is developing a community engagement project proposal for a sustainable agriculture Initiative and Australian Eggs says it will consider public release of its farm Sustainability Framework in April. Australian Eggs' idea of sustainability is likely to be underwhelming, so we propose to try to push the agenda with something like this:Farmland, the environment, consumers and poultry are being put at risk by new free range egg production standards allowing chickens to be run at stocking densities of 10,000 hens per hectare. Each adult hen produces half a cubic metre of manure a year, so at that density, each hectare of land will be covered by 5000 cubic metres of poultry manure every year - an unsustainable nutrient load which politicians are encouraging. When the most recent version of the Code was approved by the Primary Industries Ministerial Council and printed in 2002, it was a development of an earlier version. There has been no science or research behind high density free range proposals (other than the certainty of increased profits). No scientific review of production processes has been undertaken to demonstrate that the standards contained within the current voluntary Model Code are no longer applicable to the industry. The stocking density of 1500 hens per hectare for free range hens was developed by applying well established principles of agronomy. The issue of the upper limit on the long term stocking rate was debated strongly at the time, following pressure from local Councils and the EPA about how some farms were operating. Experience was taken into account of people who had farmed free range layers in the 1950’s and 60's, when all egg production was based on free range principles. Hens were often run under citrus trees It was recognised that for an operation to be sustainable, the stocking rate had to be low - less than 300 birds/acre (750/hectare). It was agreed that such a system should be regarded as Free Range egg production and the hens were to have access to the range during daylight hours. There was some dispute by new entrants to the industry who believed that they could design pasture rotation systems around their sheds that would allow higher rates. So it was decided to take an empirical approach and work out what the maximum stocking rate could be to avoid the measurable negative impacts of nutrient run off and soil degradation and still be theoretically possible to maintain pasture cover and avoid the issue of dust. Some argued that as most hens were in sheds at night and may be locked in for part of the day so that only a portion of the hens actually entered the range area at any one time, the impact was lessened. The dairy industry was very big at that time and local agronomists had data on the effects of applying very high rates of poultry manure on irrigated pasture. The agronomists studied the data on the maximum nutrient uptake a well maintained irrigated pasture could support and also avoid the problems of salinity build up observed in the dairy pastures. The stocking rate was calculated and a stocking density of up to 600 birds/acre (1500/hectare) was regarded as the maximum possible for long term sustainability. Those currently involved in free range egg production agree that the fundamental elements of the Model Code, or other regulations introduced by Governments should be: a maximum stocking density of 1500 hens per hectare; stocking density must be reduced in conditions where pasture or other vegetative cover cannot be maintained at the maximum stocking density; no beak trimming of hens is permitted except when other methods of controlling outbreaks of severe feather pecking or cannibalism have been tried and failed (using the same criteria in the current Model Code); and pullets must be allowed to range freely once they are fully feathered (about six weeks old). Phil Westwood is an environmental auditor, a former auditor for the National Egg Quality Assurance Program and a former President of the Free Range Egg and Poultry Association of Australia.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The environment, consumers, farmland and poultry at risk from new 'free range' standards

Consumers, poultry and the environment are being put at risk by new free range egg production standards allowing chickens to be run at stocking densities of 10,000 hens per hectare. Each adult hen produces half a cubic metre of manure a year, so at that density, each hectare of land will be covered by 5000 cubic metres of poultry manure every year - - an unsustainable nutrient load. It’s not only Australia where intensive production is causing concern. In Wales,even though stocking densities are far less than the Australian standard, the nutrient levels are creating widespread concerns because of the potential impact on rivers and wildlife. Wales Online reports that particular concerns have been expressed for mammals like otters and dormice as well as for fish like eels and brown trout. Wildlife officials say “We have a number of concerns, mainly around the sheer number of these units that have been operating, new ones that have been given consent and applications that are in the pipeline. “Whilst nobody objects to farmers wanting to diversify and increase their profitability, there is a worry that the amount of phosphate that comes from chicken manure is damaging to the river system”. Consumers and farmers need to put pressure on politicians to set more realistic standard s in Australia to ensure land sustainability, animal welfare and food safety.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

New production standards may destroy consumer confidence in egg industry

New labelling requirements and standards for free range egg production are likely to destroy any remaining consumer confidence in the Australian egg industry. The standard allows intensive production systems to be classified as free range and protects intensive producers from prosecution under Australian Consumer Law. The new standard allows unscrupulous producers to continue to mislead customers. Ministers have regulated that an outdoor stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare is classified as free range . Phil with Raphael, one of our Maremmas

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Crowd Funding appeal for free range webinars

It’s slow-going, but we still hope to achieve our crowd funding target to develop webinars encouraging more free range farms to be established. Everyone can help to establish more genuine, small scale free range eggs farms by supporting a programme of webinars demonstrating all the processes involved. The webinars will encourage hundreds more farms to be established all over Australia and other parts of the world. Freeranger Eggs in South Gippsland and the Freeranger Club have run workshops in the past, but the webinars will reach far more potential egg farmers. An eBook on starting a free range farm is also available through the Freeranger website. Once the target is reached, the webinars will be free and all participants will receive a copy of our eBook.The Crowd Funding appeal is at: