Friday, March 22, 2019

Salmonella contamination caught producers by surprise

The recent outbreak of salmonella enteritidis on a farm in Victoria, caught egg producers by surprise. This particular version of the food poisoning bacteria has not been endemic in Australia - until now. Other forms of salmonella contamination are a result of poor egg handling procedures.There are several ways that hens in laying flocks can be infected with Salmonella enteritidis. There is often a low level of infection at the start of the laying period which indicates that contamination from breeding stock is minor. It is not yet known how this contamination happened but but laying flocks seem to become infected mainly from the farm environment including not properly cleaned and disinfected poultry houses and infected vermin present on the farm.Major egg producers operate as a grading floor and purchase eggs from many sources throughout Australia, so it can be hard to trace the origin of any contamination. Australian Eggs, the body which represents egg producers in the country is desperately trying to hose down food safety issues after the recent salmonella enteritidis scare. Managing Director Rowan McMonnies said, “We will continue to work with authorities to Avoid SE becoming endemic in Australia and protect our longstanding reputation as a producer of clean safe eggs.” The industry body is scrambling to resurrect the reputation of farmers after the damage caused by a string of intensive producers who labeled their eggs as free range and politicians protected them by approving an intensive 'free range' definition.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Farm back on line after NBN fiasco

The National Broadband Network fiasco keeps rolling on. Following three days of chaos after being connected to the NBN and VOIP, we are now back on line. We had to take our wireless router back to our ISP, DCSI in Warragul to be reconfigured - even though it was bought from them as NBN ready. Then we had to buy a wi fi USB adapter for the farm PC because the NBN unit was installed in a different room.It all seems to be sorted now - fingers crossed. With all the negative publicity about NBN we were not willing participants - but we were told that the old telephone and ADSL2 system would be cut off so we had no choice.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Full range of eggs available at the farm and outlets

A full range of eggs is available at the farm gate, and most sizes are stocked at our outlets, Macca's Farm, Glen Forbes, Grantville Pantry, Corinella Store, San Remo Butcher and Angels Health Foods Cowes.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Delayed response to fire emergency

The afterrmath of a bushfire is never pleasant but hopefully we will get some answers about the delay in responding to emergency calls for the Grantville fire, if an independent inquiry is conducted. Two police officers and three CFA incident controllers came to the farm today at the start of their investigation. The farm survived unscathed by the wildfire at Grantville on Friday. Anne rang 000 at 11.34 when she noticed a wisp of smoke in the bush at Glen Forbes. She was told that the fire had already been reported - so we assumed that fire crews would be on the scene within minutes. But no. Instead of dealing with a small scrub fire, it was allowed to rage unchecked while the local brigade tried to find a way to the fire even though they were fully aware that a fire track had been constructed for the purpose of accessing a fire within the Grantville Nature Conservation Reserve. The delayed action resulted in a major fire which required additional resources from other brigades, helicopters and water bombers. We expect a full investigation to determine the cause of the delayed response and changes to the system to prevent it happening again but there will probably be just q cursory review by a bureaucrat. More details and pictures are on the farm facebook page.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Hot weather has not affected the hens 90% lay rate

With today's hot weather, 36 degrees C on the farm, the hens still managed an excellent lay rate of over 90%. The flocks don't spend much time in the sheds - preferring to stay out in the pasture and in the shade of trees and shrubs like kangaroo apples. But the sheds are designed with cross-flow ventilation which keeps them cool.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Things which affect the quality of egg shells

Many factors affect the quality of an egg shell prior to the egg being laid. The thickness of the shell is determined by diet plus the amount of time it spends in the shell gland plus the rate of calcium deposition during shell formation. If the egg spends little time in the shell gland, the shell will be thin. Also, the earlier in the day the egg is laid, the thicker the shell will be. Diseases like infectious bronchitis (IB), Newcastle disease (ND), avian influenza (AI) and egg drop syndrome (EDS) affect the shell quality. IB virus causes soft/rough shelled eggs, discolouration and wrinkling of the shell. EDS virus affects only the shell gland but with ND or IB, every portion of the reproductive tract can be affected. Poor housing and high ambient temperatures can also affect shell quality. Full details are on the Freeranger Club downloads page of our website.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Extra large eggs for farm gate sales

Despite a healthy level of production, the hens are barely able to keep up with demand for our eggs. We have an extra young flock but major demand at Macca's Farm, Glen Forbes, the Grantville Pantry and our usual outlets, Corinella Store, Angels Health Foods, Cowes and the San Remo Butcher ensures that our eggs don't hang around. They are delivered within hours of being laid. Farm gate sales are important to us and we may restrict sales of our extra large Megga packs (950g) to the farm gate.