Saturday, March 28, 2020

Cutting deliveries to Phillip Island

It’s always a delicate balancing act for a small free range farm working out sales and distribution to maintain viability. After much thought, we have stopped egg deliveries to Phillip Island. The island has been a part of our business since we set up the farm but the COVID19 pandemic has forced the need to restrict sales close to home. Our eggs are still available at the farm as well as close outlets – the Grantville Pantry, Macca’s Farm Glen Forbes, Corinella Store and San Remo butcher.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The need for food security

Recent panic buying chaos as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic demonstrates the need for food security. For years we have taken the view that every township and community should have its own egg farm. Our ebook and farm workshops have all been aimed at encouraging people to set up their own free range farm. We planned a series of webinars to take the concept further afield but unfortunately we couldn’t raise any interest in the crowd funding community so that project was abandoned. We will run a series of webinars if funding vbecomes available. It doesn’t make sense for eggs and other essential food to be trucked around the country to a point of sale which may be in another state. In these difficult times, people love the idea of producing their own food so we have been inundated with requests to sell hens for backyard flocks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

200 pullets will help to maintain production

An extra 200 Isa Brown pullets were delivered today to augment one of our flocks and help meet the demand for eggs. Conventional wisdom says that young birds should be kept separate from older hens to limit aggression and potential cannibalism. But we have found that pullets settle into the farm more quickly if they become part of an established flock. The older hens show the youngsters where to lay in nest boxes rather than on the ground. Cannibalism is only a significant problem on intensive farms running 10,000 hens per hectare.They should be called intensive production facilities rather than farms. As a genuine free range farm With our low stocking density and ample ground cover, the hens are relaxed and have plenty of room to escape from any aggressors.With the extra hens in one flock we are able to sell some hens to people who are clamouring for hens to lay eggs in their back yards.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Egg quality depends on good feed

Current feed prices for laying hens are over $550 a tonne as a result of poor grains harvests in much of Australia. It’s essential to provide chickens with top quality feed for anyone wanting to produce goods eggs and maintain bird health. The right feed and regular access to pasture will ensure peak laying and premium egg production. Diets need to be formulated for specific breeds.Formulations include: wheat, barley and corn, protein content may be soybean meal, canola, peas, lupins plus salt, bicarb, lime, Dicalcium Phosphatend other trace minerals. Lime grit size needs to be 2-4mms to be effective in the diet which should be a mash ration. Pelleted or crumbled diets are not beneficial for laying hens.