Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Not only the American dream is in trouble

Greed and opportunism are widespread - it's not just corporate egg producers trying to con everyone.

This animation helps to demonstrate why whole economies are in deep strife!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New biosecurity sign for the gate

We have just organised a couple of biosecurity signs for the farm. One will go on the front gate and one will be used at the next set of gates to indicate to people that although we welcome visitors, we need to know they are coming.

The risk of spreading a variety of diseases to our hens is serious, particulary if families have chooks at home or even pet birds in aviaries.

Although all our hens are vaccinated against the most likely diseases they may encounter, it would be dumb to take risks.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Channel 10 looks at our farm

Channel 10's morning program The Circle broadcast a segment on our farm yesterday. Aaron Wood came to he farm to check out what we do.
Have a look at:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guinea Fowl came for a visit

The dogs and chooks kicked up a fuss today and we heard a strange noise in one of the paddocks.  A Guinea Fowl had come to visit!
We haven't seen one on the farm before and we have no idea where it's come from. Interesting bird, but it won't let me get close.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Treating the broken horn of a goat

Don't know how she did it, but Katie-Heidi, one of our Anglo-Nubian goats managed to break a horn a couple of days ago. I spoke to a mate who milks goats and has had them for years and he said to cut it off with embryotomy wire.
Like every good farmer, I had some in the shed, so I enlisted the help of my son Bryan and while he held poor Katie-Heidi, I cut off the offending horn.
Here' s a before shot:
And here's after surgery:
Tonight she came running up the driveway for feed to do battle with the chooks.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Our oldest maremma, Manola died today

Anne, with a frail Manola
Manola, the oldest Maremma on the farm, died today in the paddock with her sheep. I buried her close to the spot where she died, in the middle of the paddock and we will plant an oak tree alongside her.

She was a great dog who took her guardian work with the sheep very seriously. (She didn't care much about the chickens, but as long as her sheep were OK, she was happy).

Thunder disturbed her and she would often hide in a stable until the storm had passed. We thought she was going to die last year, when at 14, she had a urinary tract infection. Anne managed to fix that up with large doses of cranberry tablets, and we added cranberries to her diet most day since then.

She managed to last another year while she helped to train her understudy, Tora - who now has full responsibility for the sheep and the hens in her paddock.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lowlines help to keep the grass down

We now have a couple of lowline cattle to help with lawnmowing!!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Egg Corp set to thumb its nose at the ACCC

In an article in today's West Australian newspaper, James Kellaway, managing director of the Australian Egg Corporation, is quoted as saying that the Egg Corp will introduce its controversial Egg Standards Australia 'even if ' its trade mark application is knocked back by the ACCC.

If that's the case, why did it bother to lodge the application in the first place?
Read the full article here:

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Refugee chooks doing well

600 hens from an egg farm in Tooradin - which was inundated by floodwater a couple of weeks ago are doing well here on the Freeranger farm.

We moved a couple of our old sheds into one of the paddocks and rigged some fencing around them and now they seem to be happy.
We don't know how long they will be here as refugees but it will probably be quite a while before they are able to go back home.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Egg Corp still trying to battle its way out of trouble

The Australian Egg Corporation has published another attempt to justify its Egg Standards Australia proposal.
It contains the mix of half truths and distortions which we have come to expect. Unfortunately some people believe them - thankfully not many in the industry and we hope that the ACCC won't be swayed like the Federal Minister for Agriculture and Government Ministers in NSW, Victoria and WA. Have a look at the document here   The AECL Statement has a number of inaccuracies.
  •  AECL did carry out some consultation with the industry, but it ignored recommendations and proposals which did not fit its agenda.
  •  The development process has not led to a well researched Quality Assurance program - there is little actual research which backs some of the proposed standards.
  • It is more than lobby groups which are opposed to the implementation of Egg Standards Australia, it is also individual farmers working in the free range sector of the egg industry across Australia. The proposed stocking density is not the only aspect of the standard which is unacceptable to farmers. Other issues which are enshrined in the current Model Code are also ignored in the new standards – such as allowing free range chicks to range in the open once they are fully feathered and not permitting hens to be beak trimmed as a first option.
  • There is no science behind the development of these standards for free range egg production. AECL has been unable to produce any evidence to show that its proposed stocking density is sustainable, that chicks should be locked in sheds until they are 25 weeks old (when currently they must have outdoor access from six weeks old) or the  beak-trimming at day old is an essential stock management tool.
  • The proposed standards have been designed simply to meet the requirements of the supermarket chains and  maximise the profits of major corporations. If allowed to be implemented, they will mislead consumers and bring the industry into disrepute.