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.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Bass Coast Shire bungles again

Bass Coast Shire must be the most incompetent council in Victoria. Surely none can be worse? Every year we have paid an exorbitant business registration fee to the shire. Last month they sent a notice saying that the shire no longer had any role with the registration of egg farms. “All businesses that sell eggs now fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources”. They advised to disregard the registration notice which had been sent and a refund would be arranged if payment had already been made. This morning we received a text from the Shire demanding payment of the business registration fee! Councils, State and Federal Governments all go out of their way to make life hard for small business.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Webinars on setting up a free range farm

Everyone can help to set up local small farms and secure sustainable farming, providing access to local food,while combating climate change Every community should be able to buy food from farmers in their area rather than rely on produce trucked from warehouses across the country Free range webinar participation The first webinar on setting up a free range farm is scheduled for World Egg Day, Friday October 11. A crowd funding appeal has been established to ensure a top quality presentation for participants. Anne and Phil Westwood at Freeranger Eggs are encouraging people to set up more free range farms to help meet strong consumer demand for genuine free range eggs. They are receiving local and overseas enquiries 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 wolves, 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 – no matter what the labels say. Details about the eBook and a crowd funding appeal for the webinars can be found on the Freeranger Eggs website. Please share the crowd funding appeal which is at:

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

We sell out every week

We are packing the last of today's eggs for our main delivery day tomorrow. As usual, there won't be an egg left on the farm after the delivery run to Phillip Island. We sell out every week even when the terrorists (tourists) stay home. Our eggs really are laid to order. At this time of year - no matter how many hens we have, there are never enough eggs to meet demand. Up to Christmas we were able to supply another farm with two boxes of eggs (30 dozen) a week to help him meet his orders, but since Christmas we not only don't have any spare eggs, the shops and restaurants are asking for more - which we can't supply. It's never easy meeting demand at this time of year.