Thursday, December 30, 2021

More than 2million chickens in Australian backyards

 Recent media interest in keeping backyard poultry, has prompted strong growth in the numbers kept as backyard flocks. With estimates of up to 2.2 million backyard hens, Australian Eggs has taken steps to remind consumers to be aware of the animal and human health risks associated with the practice and is encouraging biosecurity education.

Australian Eggs’ Managing Director, Rowan McMonnies, said backyard poultry keeping presents risks for animal and human health. Backyard owners need to understand the responsibilities. Mr McMonnies said People need to realise that once you’re a suburban ‘egg farmer’ there are important biosecurity risks to protect against.

Diseases spread quickly and widely and potential transfer from backyard to commercial flocks can put food security for the broader community at risk.

It’s understandable that people think backyard farming is clean and natural but these set-ups can pose significant problems because of how accessible they are to wild animals.

Ten things backyard poultry owners may practice to reduce biosecurity risks:

  1. Always wash hands after handling chickens or eggs.

  2. Keep chickens away from ponds and rivers as water birds are known carriers of avian influenza.

  3. Ensure that wild birds cannot access the chickens’ feed or water. Diseases can be easily transmitted to poultry by contamination of feed or water.

  4. Keep other animals like domestic geese or turkeys, and even cats and dogs, well away as they can bring disease to chickens.

  5. Use safe water sources such as town water, good quality bore water or sanitised surface water for chickens to drink.

  6. Provide a secure rodent-proof enclosure for poultry as rats and mice are known carriers of disease.

  7. Any kitchen scraps fed to chickens should be fresh. When spoiled, any animal products in scraps may carry dangerous bacteria.

  8. Check hens regularly for anything unusual such as coughing, diarrhoea or swollen eyes.

  9. If a chicken is showing signs of sickness, isolate the sick animal from others and seek veterinary advice.

  10. Call Animal Health Australia’s 24-hour emergency animal disease watch hotline on 1800 675 888 if there are unusual symptoms or signs of serious disease.

Legitimate freerange farmers meet all handling and labelling requirements which increases production costs. It has always been seen as unfair that backyard producers who sell eggs are not required to meet the same regulatory imposts. Phil Westwood of Freeranger Eggs said “It’s great for people to produce eggs for their own consumption, but if they sell the eggs, they should meet the same food safety and packaging laws imposed on the rest of us.”

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Farmers hope to keep Avian influenza out of Australia

 more than half a million egg-laying chickens at Moshav Margaliot, a communal farm in Israel are being culled to contain an outbreak of avian influenza and minimise the risk to humans. The farm provides 7% of all eggs consumed in Israel. Recent outbreaks have occurred in various countries and it is hoped that the virus does reach Australia this time.

The last avian influenza outbreak here disrupted the industry because of the widespread practice of moving eggs and staff between corporate properties.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

'Freerange' sales still growing

 Consumer demand for freerange eggs has been increasing all over the world and Australia is no exception.

Shoppers in this country bought 525 million dozen eggs in 1920/21 and for the first time more than 50% were labelled as freerange. Sounds great, but most people buy eggs in supermarkets which only stock eggs from intensive production systems.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission made a great attempt to stamp out the practice of egg substitution by obtaining convictions in the Federal Court for deceptive practices. Several penalties for $300,000 were imposed and one totalled $1,000,000 including costs. However, profits are so large that all those operators are still in business. The reality is that by doing nothing but simply adding the words ‘free range’ to their labels can boost each company's net profit by around $2.5 million a year, So. For them, paying occasional fines is just another cost of doing business.In its various judgments, the Federal Court found that to be clasasified as freerange, hens must be allowed to move freely on an open range and not confined to barns.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Pullet eggs make great Hors d'ouvres

 Pullet eggs make excellent hors d’ouvres at this time of year (or any other time for that matter) Just one example:devilled eggs make grest snacks.Pulleteggs are the small eggs from young hens(pullets) when they start to lay.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Yuletide greetings to all friends and customers


Hopefully the Government will leave us all alone over the festive season and not insist on locking us up again!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Tool for tracing the source of eggs

 Food safety is important for any food producer and an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis(SE) at egg laying facilities in 2019 presented a new challenge to the industry. Australian Eggs says that to improve the industry, producers need to know where eggs are moving to and from so that in the event of an outbreak, farms can protect themselves and the rest of the industry.

Australian Eggs has developed a traceability tool – Egg Trace -to record egg movements and reduce the scale of any disease outbreaks. Egg Trace has been directed towards helping small to medium farms that may not already have effective traceabilityora user-friendlymethodto track eggs on and from farm. A much better and far simpler solution would be to not transfer eggs between operators, But, of course that won’t happen because big operations haveto buy-in eggs from all over the country to meet contracts with stupidmarkets.

Monday, December 13, 2021

High protein feed needed for good eggs

 To maintain animal health and good lay rates, laying hens need a minimum protein content in their feed of about 17%.Cereal grains like wheat, barley, sorghum and maize are the main energy sources used by Australian poultry farmers. Protein and its constituent amino acids are mainly provided by vegetable sources such as soybean, canola, peas, other legumes and sunflowers, but animal by products, are often used. Some vegetable protein sources may be unbalanced in amino acids, but soybean is regarded as the best. Animal by-products like meat meal, meat-and-bone meal, blood meal, fish meal and feather meal are higher in protein content and their amino acids are more balanced than those of plant sources. Which is why they are included in poultry diets by virtually all intensive egg producers. A good reason not to buy eggs in stupidmarkets.fresh pumpkin seeds are amongst the best high-protein feeds available for a flock(30%).

Insect meals could potentially replace between 25 and 100% of the soymeal or fishmeal in animal feeds, according to a study in the US. At Freeranger Eggs, no animal products or coloring additives are in the feed we give our hens. They all have unrestricted access to pasture in addition to supplementary feed from a certified feed mill. Top quality eggs will only be laid by hens provided with top quality feed and running on pasture. If you have backyard hens, don't feed pellets if you want good eggs.They are bulked up with fillers and binders in the pelleting process - and colourings are nearly always added, which cause problems for some consumers.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Strong egg production and sales

 Stable weather and strong demand are perfect conditions for egg production. When chickens enjoy warm, sunny days with good pasture, they happily lay plenty of eggs. Coupled with what is hopefully a return to sanity by our State Government in ending lockdowns and permitting freedom to travel, we are once again being allowed to earn a living.Good layers such as Isa Browns lay an egg a day for a total of around 300 eggs a year. we still have a few hens available as backyard layers contact us to arrange a time for you to pick them up.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Fox numbers increasing

 Foxes seem to be increasing in numbers and are now a constant threat on the farm, despite the protection of our Maremma guardian dogs.

in rural areas of Victoria, there are said to be between 1 and 4 foxes per square kilometre. I think we have more than our fair share here in West Gippsland.

Chickens make a tasty meal, if they can catch them. But foxes also dine on a variety of native wildlife including many species of birds, bandicoots, growling grass frogs and swamp skinks. Hopefully we can get some shooters in to reduce predator numbers.

Thursday, December 09, 2021

Good cholesterol

 An American website has published an article on the benefits of eating eggs. Here is part of the piece published by 

An egg contains almost every nutrient needed by humans and can be considered a superfood. Although eggs are high in cholesterol, they can raise levels of HDL(high-density lipoprotein) which is ”good" cholesterol. This has been found to decrease the chance of stroke and heart disease in some people. The amount of nutrients in an egg dramatically depends on the diet and environment of the hens producing them.

supermarket eggs usually come from caged chickens fed a vegetarian diet. Because this is not their natural diet, it results in a less nutritious egg.

eggs of free-range hens that are allowed to forage for their food have much higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as more vitamins and nutrients
Another benefit of eggs from freerange chickens is that they are less likely to be contaminated with Salmonella.  Salmonella infections are more likely to occur in chickens that are subjected to conditions of industrial egg farms. Free-range chickens are less likely to be infected by a salmonella outbreak because they aren't packed into cages or sheds with other hens where the bacteria can spread more easily. Consumers are increasingly more concerned with where their food comes from, and they prefer buying eggs laid by happier, healthier chickens.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

French go back to buying cage eggs

 France has a big surplus of freerange eggs as producers have changed to non-cage production systems but shoppers have gone back to buying cheaper battery eggs.

The London Times reports that sales of organic and free-range eggs have dropped more than 3 per cent this year in France, Europe’s biggest egg producer. Since lockdown restrictions were lifted, people have been less vigilant about the type they are eating in processed food and in canteens, bistros and sandwich bars.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Extremist animal rights terrorist may become a Senator


Disgraced animal activist Chris Delforce is being endorsed as a senate candidate by the Animal Justice Party. He launched the Aussie Farms website which defamed many farmers (including freerange egg producers) and published their contact details. The site included an interactive map which purported to show factory farms, slaughterhouses and other 'animal exploitation' facilities across Australia.

Even fellow activist vegetarians and vegans are appalled by the extreme antics of Chris Delforce.

An article by ‘Vegan Police’ paints a poor picture of the man. It says:

Whilst Mr Delforce is gleefully enjoying his 15 minutes of fame thanks to an eager media, it appears that he is paying very little attention to the damage that his comments and websites are doing to ‘the movement’.

Unfortunately, the more that Mr Delforce and his Aussie Farms website(s) appear in agricultural media, the more that animal advocates are being demonised, and the harder things will become in the future.

Mr Delforce is another one of a growing number of people who have labelled themselves as ‘Animal Rights Activists’, andhave paid very little thought to what that actually means. Maybe ‘animal rights’ is the new black.

In a deleted facebook discussion the question was asked on the Aussie Farms fan page how they envisioned these ‘rights’ being granted. Would it be through the granting of a type of personhood or via legislated rights, and would it apply to all animals, or only those used for food?

Their response was we’re more interested in achieving a paradigm shift (as discussed in the interview) in the way animals are viewed, so that people view them not as stock or property, but as living, sentient animals who have a desire and a right to not be abused, exploited or killed. Laws prohibiting the killing of animals can only come as a result of this.

This appears to be contradictory to the footage and images that are on the Aussie Farms website. All I have been able to find are images and footage of other animals as they are used in the animal agricultural system. There are no scientific reports of the sentience of other animals, evidence of their desire to live or anything for that matter that would lead the viewer/reader to believe that they are anything else than property.

If it is Mr Delforce and Aussie Farms’ true intent to ‘convert’ people to veganism, they appear to have gone about it the wrong way.

Gruesome footage doesn’t get people to change their minds or create a paradigm shift. If it did, then the government wouldn’t have resorted to plain paper packaging for cigarettes after the ‘shocking’ photos, and we would be seeing ‘shocking’ images on TV in an attempt to improve the road toll.

If Aussie Farms has the network of supporters that Mr Delforce claims, then I am sure there would have been at least one person who would have been able to do some research into alternative uses for farm land.

We need to be mindful that as it is ‘us’ who are instigating the change, ‘we’ need to be able to present alternatives. Not stomping our feet on the ground like a child throwing a tantrum.

Maybe they could contactHarold Brown at Farm Kind and have a chat to him before they talk to the media again.

Honestly, I am surprised that no one advised Mr Delforce to have his answers prepared BEFORE the media contacted him.”Vegan Police

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Two thirds of eggs in UK now freerange


Free range now officially accounts for nearly two thirds of egg production in the UK, according to the latest figures released by the Department of Environmentr, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Eggs described as Free range eggs made up 62 percent of all production to go through packing stations between July and September 2021.

This is up from 58 percent in the second quarter of this year and 55 percent in the third quarter of 2020.

Enriched cage production has fallen from 39 percent to 33 percent. All major retailers in the UK have committed to abandoning cage production of eggs, by 2025.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Food regulator allowing more GM food


Friends of the Earth in Melbourne has alerted consumers that Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is proposing changes to food regulations. It will allow companies to commercialise genetically modified, animals, plants and microbes, allowing a wide range of new genetically modified (GM) foods into our food chain -with no regulation or labelling. This could pose potential health risks and would seriously undermine our right to know how our food is produced.

These would include meat and milk from some genetically modified animals and substances like vanilla and stevia produced by genetically modified microbes in factory vats.

The companies that gave us Agent Orange, paraquat, RoundUp and other toxins will be allowed to self-assess the safety and hazards of these new foods and ingredients, and to sell them without regulation or labelling.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Poultry industry may face another bird flu outbreak

 Australian poultry farmers are bracing for the possibility of another round of infections from avian influenza (bird flu).

Flocks are being affected in many parts of the world with outbreaks of severe bird flu reported in Europe and Asia. Relaxation of border controls and the expected resumption of international travel pose a real risk of infectionThe spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza, has alerted the poultry industry after previous outbreaks led to the culling of tens of millions of birds.Seven outbreaks occurred in Australia between 1976 and 1997. China has reported 21 human infections with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza so far this year, more than the previous year. South Korea reported an outbreak at a farm of around 770,000 poultry. All chickens were slaughtered. Japan reported its first outbreak of the 2021 winter season, at a poultry farm in the northeast of the country. In Europe, Norway has reported an H5N1 bird flu outbreak in the Rogaland region in a flock of 7,000 birds The Belgian government put the country on increased risk for bird flu, ordering poultry to be kept indoors after a highly pathogenic variant of bird flu was identified in a wild goose near Antwerp.

The last serious outbreaks in Australia affected intensive egg producers with large flocks, but the financial implications hit even small producers.All Australian egg producers had to pay a levy totalling$ 395,000 to the Australian Government for the egg industry’s share of costs incurred for the responses associated with an outbreak among ducks during January 2012, an outbreak among laying hens in November 2012; and another outbreak in October 2013. Outbreaks here have generally been spread by contaminated staff and products travelling between intensive facilities housing many thousands of birds.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

What freerange means


We still get heaps a questions from people asking what freerange actually means. They often say “We only buy freerange eggs.” When they further say that their eggs are from a major supermarket they are less than happy when I tell them that the eggs are almost certainly not freerange – they are simply labelled that way to rip off customers. The reality is that only intensive producers with many thousands of hens in sheds have enough eggs available to meet supermarket delivery requirements. Even big producers are forced to buy eggs from others businesses to keep up supplies. Eggs are trucked around the country to be stamped and packaged in many different locations and with different labels –  claiming to be freerange.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission tried to fix the problem by taking various firms to the Federal Court for deceptive conduct. The ACCC says“use of the descriptor ‘free range’ requires, at least, that the hens are able to move about freely on an open range on most days, and that most of the hens do so. the ACCC rejects claims by some that it is OK to tell consumers that the eggs are from free range hens when the outdoor range is not regularly used and the farming practices mean that the hens stay indoors all or most of the time. Some of those hens never leave the sheds.

Producers do not have to use the label ‘free range’. Producers choose to describe their eggs as free range to promote their products and obtain higher prices as consumers are generally willing to pay a premium for free range eggs. Unfortunately, after heavy lobbying by the corporate industry, politicians stepped in to protect intensive egg producers by allowing a high density code.

Academic researchers often produce theories and reports designed to demonstrate what 'free range' means in the egg industry. Celebrity chefs usually confine themselves to mistaken comments that bright yolk colour defines whether or not an egg is free range. Yolk colour varies, depending on the hen’s diet. If the yolk colour is always a bright, golden almost orange colour, the hens have almost certainly been fed colouring additives. Academic findings are usually based on carefully arranged criteria set by an organisation which funded the research and expects specific outcomes. Far better to rely on the experience of those in the industry actually running free range egg farms. Some people are fixated on the issue of animal welfare and they lose sight of matters like food safety and land sustainability. Outdoor stocking density is a key example. Academics found it easy to come up with results from research on small scale or short term projects to demonstrate that stocking densities had little or no impact on hen welfare. But it has been impossible for them to demonstrate that high densities have no detrimental impact on pasture quality, pollution of waterways, groundwater and the long term productivity of the land as a result of excessive nutrient loads. The maximum sustainable stocking density for poultry has been established at 1500 hens per hectare to minimise land degredation and ensure the long-term viability of the land.

Laying hens, like most if not all other animals, perform best when they are able to follow their natural behaviour. They clearly need shelter, food and water but they also need to wander around freely to forage, scratch, dust bathe and interact socially with others in the flock.

There is growing evidence that eggs from hens raised on pasture have nutritional benefits over the factory farm versions.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Plans shelved for Mega dodgy farm in UK

A major egg producer in Yorkshire is revamping plans to expand hen numbers by almost 200,000 following opposition from the introduce 192,000 hens in three 9,500sq m buildings on 237 acres of  land near Northallerton. The mega farm was set to cost £10m in a bid to help major supermarkets meet their ‘cage-free’ commitments by 2025.

There are plenty of similar egg producing facilities in Australia which claim to supply freerange eggs. They meet the slack requirements of Federal and State Governments. 

Thursday, November 04, 2021

New system to eliminate hatching male chicks

 An Israeli research organisation, the VolcaniCenter has developed a new process which manipulates the chicken genome to eliminate the hatching of male chicks at hatcheries. If adopted by industry worldwide, this could save the culling of 7 billion male chicks every year.

Dr. Yuval Cinnamon, principle researcher at the Center announced that his team developed a molecular approach to regulate the Z chromosome with an optogenetic system using a blue light that shines through the eggshell at the incubator.

The males have two Z chromosomes, and the females have one Z chromosome and one W chromosome. In chickens, the female is the one that determines the gender of the offspring. If the Z chromosome segregates from the mother hen to the chick, it will develop into a male. If a W chromosome segregates, it will develop into a female,” Dr.Cinnamon said.

The new approach follows developments in Canada and Germany enabling the identification of male embryos which would allow eggs to be destroyed prior to incubation. None of the developments has yet been adopted by the industry but we have urged hatcheries to do so without delay once commercial viability has been established.France and Germany have undertaken to ban he culling unwanted male chicks by the end of 2021, as part of animal welfare reforms. T is expected that chicken hatcheries throughout Australia will also end the practice of euthanising day old male chicks, removing one of the key objections to poultry farms by animal activist groups.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Free range farming helps fight climate change


With the current focus on climate change and the COP26 talkfest in Glasgow, more people have begun to think about the real issues of food production. Sustainable farm practices are better for the planet than the broad-scale intensive production systems which have been adopted world-wide. Monocultures are destructive.

Farms utilizing regenerative agriculture— techniques to cultivate rich soils that trap greenhouse gases are the way of a real future. The eggs we produce can be marketed as helping to fight climate change.

Regenerative agriculture increases organic matter in the soil, It is nutritious for plants and locks up carbon dioxide. With healthier soil, crops can grow using less energy and without chemical fertilizers. See more on our website:

Monday, October 11, 2021

Isa Browns as backyard layers


Families who want a few hens to give them fresh eggs, first need to decide which hens to buy. Some heritage breeds look terrific but they may not be prolific layers – or they might have cranky temperaments which make them unsuitable around children. Choosing the right hens for your backyard can be a simple process once you have sorted out a suitable roaming area, coop and laying boxes.

ISA Brown hens have exceptional feed conversion and lay up to 300 eggs a year. The ISA Browns are docile, adapt well to different climates and are ideal as free range layers or for backyards where they make great pets as well as providing nutritious food for the family.

They are the hens we run at Freeranger Eggs and we often have some fully vaccinated hens available for backyarders. Give us a call to arrange pick-up.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Victoria loses control of COVID pandemic


The Victorian State Government has lost control of the Covid19 outbreak with record numbers of infections despite extreme lockdowns and a major jump in the vaccine rate. 1,143 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths were reported in the latest24 hours. The development may result in more calls to remove emergency powers from the Chif Health Officer - a bureaucrat and hand the decision-making responsibility to the Health Minister and Premier. After all it's politicians who are elected to make decisions - they are supposed to govern us, not the bureaucrats.

The results came from 62,883 tests and takes the total number of active cases in the state to 10,944. The figures seem to suggest that vaccines are not the silver bullet asserted by politicians and senior bureaucrats. It also seems likely that the infection is spread as a result of queuing at Covid testing sites and that lockdowns and compulsory vaccinations are not as effective as claimed. It seems that lockdowns and curfews are more damaging to people than the coronavirus.

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Daylight Saving nonsense


It’s that time of year, time for the absurd ritual of Daylight Saving. Clocks in Victoria, New South Wales South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory will go forward one hour from 2am Sunday. The Governments of Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have the sense to ignore the stupidity of Daylight Saving, particularly this year with all the disruption caused by Government panic lockdowns during the Covid19 pandemic.1220 new Covid cases in Victiria in last 24 hours despite big vaccine rollout.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Point of Point of Lay pullets available now

 We have pont of Lay Isa Brown pullets available for pick up at the farm at Grantville  this weekend. ISA Browns are ideal backyard hens.  Details here. .  200 pullets were delivered to us yesterday, and already two have started laying. The hens are ideal freerange birds and are suitable as pets and backyard egg layers.

Monday, September 27, 2021

NBN connection OK

 The farm is now back on line. An NBN technician arrived this morning, set up a new antenna and attached our existing modem, so we are now back to our usual email and internet activity. Just as well we no longer bother with social media because our Facebok contacts would have wondered where we had gone!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Moving on the same property. National Broadband Network complaint

 At Freeranger Eggs, we are in the process of moving from the main house on the farm to a smaller home towards the front of the property. This is causing total disruption to our telephone and internet services as we have to reorganise the NBN connection. This follows chaos caused by high winds which knocked out power here for a few days. That left us without any communications as the landline now relies on the internet connection and mobile towers were not functioning. The main advantage of the other house is that it is more compact and easier to heat. We have transferred our Stanley slow combustion stove to the new location.We have no idea how long it will take to get everything finalised - one  piece  of advice was to buy a Nighthawk2 modem to provide internet asnd phone services for both houses. Our ISP said that probably won't work and we need a second NBN connection,   But now NBN say they won't install a second connection on the property! Our ISP tells us thast we could revert to the old copperwire system We have lodged a complaint witrh the Minister for Communications. Paul Fletcher, and the Ombudsman. Since being contacted by the Ombudsman, our ISP, Swoop Broadband has got itself into gear and is talking to NBN.Hopefully the Minister will help because the Telecommunications Ombudsman isn't able to deal with complaints against NBN. We have bow contacted Telstra to see if they can help, An added complication is our adress. Some time ago, incompetent bureaucrats in Canberra decided that our address should be changed from Grantville to Glen Forbes . Chaos has ensued since then! Mail has gone missing and people using satellite navigation have got lost. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Intensive egg production lobby

 Corporate egg producers are still trying to convince consumers that internsive production systems are good for hen welfare. Lobby group, Australian Eggs, is funding research aimed at countering views that confing chickens in sheds is detrimental for poultry. CCTV monitoring and artificial intelligence systems are being developed to track hen behaviour in sheds.

Researchers from the University of Technology, Sydney, a Victorian veterinary epiidemiologist and a Queensland Vet are developing the monitoring system which is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Community research on egg industry demonstrates benefits ofpublic relations and advertising

 A community survey to explore the impacts of the egg industry was undertaken by CSIRO between April 27 and June 5, 2020. Funded by Australian Eggs, the research was part of a three-year program examining the relationship between the egg industry and the Australian community.

key findings from the 2019 survey are that trust in the egg industry and acceptance of it among the Australian public has improved. This is likely the product of improvements in how responsive the industry is perceived to be to community interest in sustainability issues, a belief that the industry is governed effectively and maintains strong standards, and retains very strong positive values. It demonstrated that an extensive advertising and public relations program can succeed in altering community views.

Animal welfare remained a priority issue for the egg industry, with a large proportion of participants feeling that egg farmers need to do more to improve poultry living conditions. While the public indicated they may be willing to pay more for eggs to ensure that health standards in egg production are strictly audited, they do not feel the same about paying extra to support egg farmers investing in higher welfare standards.

The 2019 findings also indicated shifting perceptions about the environmental aspects of sustainability in the egg industry. There was a substantial increase in the number of Australians who felt that egg farming was a good use of land, and lower in environmental impact than other industries. As global interest in environmental sustainability continues to rise, this feature of the egg industry may come to play an increasingly prominent role in its value proposition to Australians.

The 2019 community survey showed that Australians that hold critical views about the egg industry can change their perspective over time. The comparison of those people that completed the survey in 2018 and 2019 demonstrated that sentiment toward an industry can improve with industry action on its core challenges and the way that it engages the public in its work to be more sustainable.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Victoria's COVID lockdown chaos

 Frequent lockdowns by the Victorian Government have created massive problems for individuals and businesses of all types. The worst effects are felt by small enterprises such as Freeranger Eggs which had to cut production. We normally run four or five flocks of about 200 hens each, but are now reduced to just one flock.

Politicians and bureaucrats have no idea abourt the chaos their decisions create – they are insulated from everyday issues by their inflated salaries and employment packages.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Australian Eggs blocked from lobbying


The Federal Government has listened to egg farmers and turned down a push by industry marketing and research body Australian Eggs to allow it to broaden activities by taking on industry representation activities

Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud rejected the idea following results of an electronic poll of levy-paying egg producers to gauge opinions.

Friday, April 02, 2021

Vaccines for chickens, pigs and people

 Vaccines are creating news all over the world. Covid 19, Avian Influenza and African Swine Fever are all on the agendas of the world’s pharmaceutical companies. Ma Xiangjie, A senior executive from a major Chinese group said the use of illegal vaccines for African swine fever (ASF) reduced the output of pigs and eventually killed them. using  unapproved vaccines has been widespread as farmers tried to save their animals.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Facebook promoting Identity Theft


We are no longer able to maintain the Freeranger Eggs Facebook page because Facebook demanded we change our password and before approving a new password, required us to send an official photo ID document, such as a drivers licence. That is a clear identity theft issue.. We have tried to resolve the matter but there has been no response, however, we still receive emails from Facebook about notifactions made sin ce the last time we were able to log on.  Links to our Facebook page have been removed from this blog and from our website.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Scientists findings ways to boost production

 As chickens grow larger and produce more eggs, growth-related issues in laying hens and broilers have become more common. Researchers at the University of Georgia are finding ways to combat these issues, which can affect animal welfare and lead to production losses.

A recent journal article published in Poultry Science studied the effect of 20(S)-hydroxycholesterol, a naturally occurring bioactive compound, on satellite cell proliferation and differentiation of broilers and laying hens. Satellite cells are muscle-specific stem cells that are responsible for the post-hatch growth of skeletal muscles by increasing protein synthesis levels in muscle cells and resulting in muscle growth.

Led by Woo Kim and Yuguo Tompkins with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with Sandra Velleman, professor at The Ohio State University, the study examined the use of the compound to potentially improve both bone health and muscle growth. The study found that 20S has a positive effect on bone health in birds.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Help to set up freerange farms

 There is still strong demand for information about setting up a freerange farm.

Our eBook on how to establish a sustainable freerange farm is even more vital now the clear consumer demand for free range eggs has increased  the number of people thinking about starting their own free range egg businesses.

Small, ethical and sustainable farm businesses can be established to service local communities.

A good starting point is reading our eBook on starting a free range farm available on the Freeranger Eggs website

Detailed information is available on the Freeranger Club downloads page about things like shed requirements, food safety, egg packaging and labelling.

When deciding to set up a free range egg farm, take the time to plan it properly. Find out the zoning of the land and talk to your local Council planning department about their requirements. It’s also worth contacting the State Department of Agriculture. You can find on-line resources in most states. Once that is sorted, talk to your Council Environmental Health Department about any specific requirements they have before you get underway.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Rescued Roosters


People can be very strange, but the more strange thing is that authorities listen to them. A rooster crowing at first light for example is a natural event, but if neighbours complain, Council’s often move in to kill the offending animal – even though those people may host loud late night parties and disturb weekends with noisy trailbikes. We received two pleas from residents of Bass Coast Shire asking if we would rehome roosters which Council said would have to go. One is a Cochin with feathery feet and the other is a Cream Legbar. We will certainly find places for these proud creatures.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Agriculture aims to be most trusted industry by 2030


The National Farmers Federation says it wants agriculture to be Australia’s most trusted industry by 2030. It is developing a national framework for building community trust although it acknowledges that the industry faces issues that may erode community trust and support. Some sectors, such as the egg industry already have a credibility problem with many examples of deceptive labelling in recent years which led to hefty fines following prosecutions by the ACCC. Many big producers make millions in extra profits each year by simply adding the words free range to labels . For them, fines are just a cost of doing business.

The NFF said Australian agriculture requires $159.5 billion in new capital to fund its growth ambitions. Traditionally, farm businesses have relied almost exclusively on debt financing for capital.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Freeranger Facebook posts reach over 4000 people in January


Freeranger Eggs Facebook page had 4,068 visitors in January, the highest monthly figure for some time. One of the most popular posts was about the importance of rodent control and the threats posed by mice and rats.

Rodents are a major concern on many poultry farms due to spreading diseases, damage and feed loss. This is a major reason for keeping hens in mobile houses which are usually easier to keep rodent-free. Unless steps are taken to prevent their presence, the house mouse (Mus musculus), and black rat (Rattus rattus) may become unwanted (and frequently unnoticed) guests. Sheds are attractive to these freeloaders because they provide a home, food, and water. Both rats and mice only need a hole large enough to pass their head through, as small as a quarter-inch for mice or a half-inch for rats. Once inside the house, they can easily burrow into poultry litter, under nests, into dirt floors, and into insulation in the walls and ceilings. This may go unnoticed, because rodents are active mainly at night when farmers often are not present. Rodents are seldom seen during the day until their numbers reach epidemic proportions. However, even a small population of rodents can cause significant problems that cost money. Possibly, the most obvious problem with rodents is the feed they consume and contaminate. All rodents will eat poultry feed, and they contaminate and ruin much more than they eat. An adult rat eats up to 10% of its bodyweight in feed each day, so a large rodent population may eat several tonnes of feed each year.

Rodent control is also needed in grading rooms and carton storage areas to limit contamination.
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