Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Crowd funding for free range webinars needs a boost

Starting a free range egg farm can be a rewarding business – as added income for an existing venture or as a stand-alone business. Low density production results in more sustainable production and climate benefits in the form of carbon sequestration, it also produces eggs that taste better than those from intensive systems where the hens are fed a processed diet. Political changes to the definition of ‘free range’ has put the spotlight on free range production and has increased demand for genuine free range eggs. But where do people start. A series of webinars on establishing small free range farms is being designed by Anne and Phil Westwood of Freeranger Eggs. The couple believe that encouraging new small-scale start up farms is a better option for the industry and consumers than trashing regulations to allow intensive production systems to label eggs as free range.The current fundraising appeal has stalled and we need to kick it along so we will be ready for the first webinar in October next year on World Egg Day Anyone who wants to encourage more people to set up genuine free range egg farms can support a Crowd Funding appeal to develop a series of on-line webinars. These will encourage more traditional free range egg farms to be established throughout the country. Freeranger Eggs is getting more requests about running workshops from people wanting to enter the free range industry. The extra activity has been brought on by the political decision to allow consumers to be misled by industrial-scale egg producers who are now legally allowed to label their eggs as free range. The Crowd funding appeal is at: https://www.gofundme.com/2tar52c

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Grain price rises mitigated on genuine free range farms

Genuine free range poultry farms should be best placed to ride out the storm coming with spiralling feed costs caused by a shortage of grains. The cost of poultry feed is certain to continue to rise given the expectation of a lower grain harvest this year. Our feed cost is currently $475 a tonne and it will probably peak at around $550. With a low stocking density. our hens are able to get around 50% of their feed from the paddocks, so the cost of the supplementary ration probably won't be a major financial burden.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Crowd funding support needed for Webinars on free range production

We areencouraging people to set up more free range farms to help meet strong consumer demand for genuine free range eggs. Local and overseas enquiries are being received asking about the suitability for different climates of an eBook and webinars being developed for egg production. The answer is Yes, the information in the webinars and the eBook is applicable virtually anywhere. The only significant differences are in local regulations and climatic conditions. Clearly extreme weather will require special attention – as will potential predators. It’s rather different protecting chickens from Grizzly bears, lions or tigers compared with protecting them from foxes or Tasmanian Devils. A growing number of people realise that all eggs on supermarket shelves are from intensive production systems – despite claims on labels.To ensure that the webinars are produced to a professional standard, we need significant support for our crowd funding appeal. Details about the eBook and a crowd funding appeal for the webinars can be found on the Freeranger Eggs website. www.freeranger.com.au The crowd funding appeal is here: https://www.gofundme.com/2tar52c

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Unfair competition for family farms

The action of Australian politicians in allowing poultry farms with stocking densities of 10,000 hens per hectare to describe their eggs as free range, opens up some major issues. One is the level of unfair competition from big business against small family farms.Another is that consumers won’t accept that definition. Most planning authorities are unlikely to accept such a density because of issues like odour, contamination of land, aquifers and waterways. It's likely that many planning authorities will refuse permits for new free range farms because of the absurdly high standards developed by politicians.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

New flock of ISA Browns is just days away from starting to lay

Our new flock of ISA Brown pullets will start laying any day to keep up supplies for our regular customers. The 200 young hens settled in well and quickly accepted their big white Maremma guardian. We will soon have pullets eggs eggs available as well as our normal range of egg sizes from 950gram Megga dozens, 840g, 750g and 700g packs.UPDATE Monday, they have now started laying 3 or 4 eggs a day.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Feed costs may force egg farmers out of business

Many egg producers could be forced out of business with looming increases in the cost of poultry feed as a result of an expected poor grain harvest caused by drought. Egg farmers across Australia are facing skyrocketing costs for feed, with grain prices rising as much as 60 per cent, from $280 to $450 per tonne in six month and expected to climb higher. With feed making up at least 60 per cent of egg production costs, many producers are losing 20 per cent on their farm gate or wholesale prices. the problem is most acute for cage and barn operations and the many thousands of intensive producers who pretend they are free range. Businesses with high stocking densities of 10,000 hens per hectare are unlikely to remain viable - so maybe we can all say 'goodbye' to the crooks.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Egg industry wants community views on the sustainability of the industry

CSIRO is calling for community input into research for Australian Eggs, covering sustainability,animal welfare and foods safety. To help them get a full picture, have your say! The survey is simple and doesn't take long to complete. https://research.csiro.au/eggs/