Saturday, December 31, 2022

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all customers and friends


We all hope 2023 is better than 2022! Government shutdowns and vaccination rules in response to the Covid 19 pandemic were worse than the virus itself. Ongoing problems created by State and Federal Governments are likely to last longer than the effects of Covid – but hopefully politicians and fat-cat bureaucrats will resist the urge to continue their ‘control’ of us in their desire to see how far they can push us before we rebel and say”NO More”.In Victoria, so many people have behaved like sheep, following directives without questioning the absurdity.

On the farm it will take some time to return to sanity as government actions have wiped out many of our long term customers. We live in hope that the sheeples will wake up!

Monday, December 26, 2022

Ukraine war kills over 4 million hens

 The war in Ukraine has taken a toll of over four million hens as well as its human casualties. Owners of the egg production plant at Chorobaivske say that in early 2022, the farm was cut off from the power supply, which disrupted feeding lines, egg collection and shipment facilities, as well as the shuttle service for farm workers.The facility was the major egg producer in the country and supplied most of europe.

The company revealed that 4.4 million birds eventually died from thirst and hunger.

We managed to give away to the local population some of the eggs and birds from the farm amid heavy shelling in the early days of the invasion, but most of the flock starved to death." a company spokesman said.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Baling finished just before Christmas


Son Bryan managed to cut, rake and bale a couple of paddocks to give us over 200 small square bales (now safely stored in the hayshed.) Some light showers threatened to delay the process but Bryan managed to finish the job after sorting out problems with the knotters on his ancient New Holland 275 baler. In the past we have used our even older NH 66 ( now retired). It's always a rush at this time of year to get finished before we hit the conditions which bring out  arsonist firebugs. They are around every year, determined to enjoy lighting fires like the one at Grantville last year which came close to the farm.Authorities waited for the blaze to be big enough to attract media attention so they could bring in fire bombing planes.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Excellent tray-baked fried rice

Mix a tablespoon of sesame oil, fried rice paste(dried shrimp, fish sauce and chillie flakes, garlic and soy sauce) in a large bowl.

    Add chopped chicken and prawns. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Stir in boiled rice. Combine well.

    Spread rice mixture evenly onto prepared tray. Bake at 220°C for 20 minutes Add frozen vegetables to rice. Toss to combine. Make 6 indents in the rice. Break an egg into each indent and return to the oven for 15 minutes, Sprinkle with chopped spring onions for garnish.


Saturday, December 10, 2022

Barro Group cuts down more native trees


Clearing native vegetation in Bass Coast Shire has plumbed new depths.As a result of Council apathy, concrete giant, Barro Group has been emboldened to cut down more mature trees including on our covenanted land adjoining their proposed sand extraction site. We have reported the trespass and damage. It will be interesting to see what action is now taken. One thing is certain - the Council doesn't care and can't be bothered.

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Have a great Christmas!

 From Anne and Phil at Freeranger Eggs.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Bushland clearing threatens species extinctions

 Recent photographic trapping in bushland on our farm at Grantville has demonstrated that native wildlife is threatened by vegetation clearing on land next to our farm, owned by concrete giant, Barro Group. Previous research showed the area is habitat for at least 17 species of mammals/marsupials as well as 140 bird species including powerful owls and wedge tailed eagles, platypus and blackfish live in the Bass River.Widespread destruction of vegetation, clearing the way for sand extraction is likely to annihalate many native species by ripping apart the wildlife corridor identified for protection in the Regional Sand Extraction Strategy Lang Lang to Grantville.

Among the animals shown in the latest research are: Koalas, Black Wallabies, Common Wombats ,Short-beaked Echidnas, Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Mountain Brushtail Possums.This research was undertaken by the Southern Brown Bandicoot Regional Recovery Group. Earlier work was carried out by consultants for the Regional Sand Extraction Strategy in the 1990's and by Friends of Bass Valley Bush Landcare Group in Baseline Studies of Bass River conducted for the Natural Heritage Trust. We have asked Bass Coast Shire why action has not been taken against Barro Group for clear breaches of its planning permit by the wholesale bulldozing of native vegetation right down to the Bass River.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

free range farms forced to close in UK


Many of the UK’s free-range chicken farms are expected to be shut down at any time. Farms that had been allowing their egg-laying hens access to the outdoors will be forced to keep them locked in sheds because of the threat of avian influenza.

In the past, cases dropped in summer but infections continued this year , with 3.5 million birds culled . Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are also believed to have died from the disease.

Experts believe avian flu is now endemic in wild birds, creating a risk of infection all year round, and has a greater ability to persist in the environment.

Avian flu can be spread through infected body fluids and faeces, or via contaminated feed, bedding and water – and even vehicles, clothing and footwear. experts also point out that the movement of birds or eggs and other material between poultry farms as a source of infection.
It is the close confinement of chickens that allows the disease to spread quickly so hens in Australia on genuine low-density free range farms are not likely to encounter problems. Intensive ‘free range’ farms maximising production to supply supermarkets are the problem.

Sunday, October 09, 2022

Cost increases threaten egg farms in UK and Australia

 Many British farmers are losing money on every egg they produce. Losses increased in recent weeks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Some farmers are cutting production, rather than face the loss of their farms.

Feed cost increases are a major factor, adding 25p-30p per dozen on top of general increases.

Rising production costs are also impacting egg farms here in Australia, but, thankfully, not yet to the same extent as in the UK.

Sunday, October 02, 2022

Government 'Time thieves' at it again


so-called Daylight saving (Eastern Summer Time)  started today. Hard to believe that anyone thinks it's a good idea. Time marches on at the same pace whatever governments decree! Politicians just like to delude themselves and bully all of us. They are a waste of space.

The concept of daylight saving has been controversial since its inception. Winston Churchill suggested that it enlarged "the opportunities for the pursuit of health and happiness among millions of people." Retailers, sports, and tourist businesses have historically favoured it while farmers and some religious groups have always opposed it.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Sand extraction threat to our region and our farm because of bureaucratic inaction


Pious declarations about action over climate change would ring more true if action was taken where it matters – such as keeping trees alive and retaining native vegetation. When we bought our property at Grantville, we quickly realised the importance of the native vegetation on the site which provided the only vegetated link between the Bass River and the Grantville Nature Conservation Reserve. We chose to opperate as a free range egg farm rather than clear all the land to graze sheep or cattle. Now our property and its resident wildlife faces the threat of the wholesale removal of vegetation on adjoining land to prepare for a massive sand extraction industry.

Bass Coast Shire supports the clearing and subsequent contamination of the Bass River and adjoining land. Its Planning Department claims “The Native vegetation removal by Barro Group was exempt from the need of a planning permit. It was undertaken for fire prevention purposes and an exemption under the Planning Scheme is afforded to them to have undertaken these works.” However, the Shire has failed to specify what the fire control measures were supposed to protect and why clearing on the river was not referred to Melbourne Water as required by legislation. The importance of the vegetation as a wildlife corridor was identified in the Regional Sand Extraction Strategy, Lang Lang to Grantille. This defined a clear biolink – all the Shire needed to do was implement (and enforce)the Sand Extraction Strategy from 1995.No one at Landcare or in the CFA has the skills required to match the work undertaken by those who developed and mapped the plan of the vegetation and wildlife corridor. Led by consultants AGC Woodward Clyde, they included Biosis Research, Andrew Paget of Ausbotany Marcus Marsden and Nicolas Day as well as countless hours put in by members of Friends of Bass Valley Bush Landcare Group.Trashing habitat in the Bass Valley demonstrates the low priority given to ecological issues. Bass Coast Shire has failed to enforce permit conditions.If the Council was serious, it would cancel the Barro Group planning permit. The importance of the area has been recognised for years, including The 1970’s Westernport Environmental Study conducted by Professor Maurice Shapiro and the 1990’s Baseline Studies of Bass River conducted by Friends of Bass Valley Bush Landcare Group for the Natural Heritage Trust in addition to the Regional Sand Extraction Strategy, Lang to Grantville.More than 375 types of native vegetation have been documented here with over 140 bird species, 17 mammal/marsupials and 22 types of reptiles.

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Washing eggs makes them more dangerous


We still get questions from customers about washing eggs and if eggs should be stored in a refrigerator The answer to both is NO!

American egg farms wash eggs before sending them to market, in the mistaken belief that will minimize the spread of any salmonella bacteria on the outside of the egg. They ignore the fact that washing removes a cuticle from the surface of the egg- a natural barrier which keeps the inside of the egg free from bacteria. After washing, eggs must then be refrigerated so that any bacteria on the eggs  don't have a chance to invade the egg. In Australia and many other countries, eggs are not washed as a matter of course which means that the cuticle keeps the egg’s interiors safe from any bacterial invasion for at least a couple of weeks without refrigeration, however eggs are best kept cool rather than in a warm kitchen. Washing eggs generates more potential health problems. If eggs are so dirty that they need to be washed before sale, the producer has a flock management problem which  needs to be rectified. Nest boxes and laying sheds must be kept clean with hens on fresh pasture (rather than on mud or manure). Check out our website and read our handy eBook on setting up a freerange farm. In general,the only eggs washed automatically are from major producers who sell through stupidmarkets.

Friday, September 02, 2022

World Egg Day October 14

 World Egg Day is here again, October 14. Check some one-pan recipes here

Freeranger Eggs is still only able to supply our local,regular customers. A combination of  Government restrictions over the Covid pandemic and fox attacks has limited our production.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Egg shortage in some supermarkets


Shortages of eggs labelled as ‘free range’ have been reported in some supermarkets.

The seasonal reduction in daylight hours plus Government imposed disruptions in response to Covid19 infections are blamed for contributing to supply chain issues .

A spokesman for Woolworths said that reduced production on a number of farms had affected the supply of eggs in some regions.  Reduced daylight hours have no impact on egg production in caged flocks where lighting in sheds is always consistent. That shouldn't be a big deal as almost all eggs in supermarkets are from intensive facilities with many thousands of hens in climate-controlled sheds including permanent lighting.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Food safety videos for egg producers

 Agriculture Victoria has developed online videos covering the Primary Production and Processing Standard for Eggs and Egg Products., to support food safety . The rules apply to anyone who sells eggs -but are usually ignored by backyarders who claim to be exempt even though some sell many eggs each week.

Each video outlines a specific section of the Egg Standard to assist producers and staff to better understand their obligations.

Ten new videos are recorded in both English and Mandarin and are available to watch on the Agriculture Victoria website.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Eagles and land clearing

 Ptotecting a flock from predators is a major issue on free range farms – which is one reason many egg producers keep hens locked in sheds.

Maremma guardian dogs are a great help against foxes but not so good against wedgetail eagles which can swoop in before the dogs see them. Thankfully eagle attacks are not common but it's still sad to see  a pile of feathers at the point of contact. The Victorian Government and Bass Coast Shire Council may solve the problem with their drive to exterminate local wildlife by failing to enforce planning permits and allowing the destruction of vast areas of native vegetation.

Monday, July 04, 2022

Trading eggs for side of pork

 We’ve just packed a side of pork in a freezer to supplement the lamb we grow on farm. Anne exchanged some of our eggs for 41 kg of pork from a neighbouring farm/butchery. Great roasts chops and sausages.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Vitamin D in eggs

 Almost a quarter of all Australian adults live with a mild or moderate vitamin D deficiency. This increases in the winter to about one third of the population. Research at Deakin University shows that a serving of eggs contains 82% of the recommended dietary intake of vitamin D as well as other vitamins and nutrients. Eating at least one egg each day can help lessen the large drop in vitamin D levels that commonly occurs during months of lower sunlight.

Monday, May 02, 2022

Alternative feed may cut emissions

 Greenhouse Gas emissions on poultry farms are largely a result of feed production, with the manufacture, handling and transportation of feed equating to about 70% of the sector’s carbon footprint, according to UK researchers.

Research into a number of carbon-cutting solutions was carried out by a group of scientists for The Centre of Innovation and Excellence in Livestock.

Feed was a key focus area for reducing poultry emissions, there was evidence showing that getting the protein source wrong can lead to more infighting within the flock, which then impacts meat or egg production.

Replacing soy meal with rape meal, sunflower meal, lupins, triticale and even insect protein can help to reduce emissions. In theory, using alternative protein sources has the potential to make a huge difference on the carbon footprint front, but it is important to ensure they stack up economically too. Targeted changes in feed indicated a potential reduction in emissions of 60%. Farms utilising good pasture management have far less emissions than intensive production facilities.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Egg imports on horizon?

 Egg industry lobby group, Egg Farmers of Australia says that consumers will need to pay more “if they want their food. Such as eggs, to be grown in Australia."

Retail giants claim that axing the caged egg sector is what consumers want. However, if you visit a major supermarket, take a good look in the egg shelves. The shelf with caged eggs (the cheapest of all eggs to produce) is usually the emptiest. This is because cheap eggs are what many families want.

EFA executive officer, Melinda Hashimoto said that unless higher prices are paid, rising costs will put Australian egg farmers out of business. The costs include feed. The price of replacement pullets, packaging. Government regulations and levies. Genuine free-range farms don’t sell through supermarkets, so although we also have similar cost pressures, we have better control over our marketing.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Every day is Earth Day on the farn

 Yesterday was Earth Day, an annual event   to demonstrate support for protecting the environment. It was first held in 1970 and includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by

Here at Freeranger Eggs, we treat every day as Earth Day and run the farm in a fully sustainable manner. Check out our website:

Monday, April 18, 2022

Bacon egg and kale pizza


Mix water, sugar and yeast together in a small bowl. Set aside to activate for 5 minutes or until foamy.

Place flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Add the foamy yeast mixture and the oil. Process to combine, then knead the dough before placing in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for approximately 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Briefly knead the dough then divide into 4 portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion into a thin circle or oval and transfer to lightly oiled baking trays; cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 225°C.

Arrange bacon in rings on the bases and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and break an egg into the centre of each pizza (the bacon should form an edge to hold the eggs in place). Bake for 8 minutes.

Scatter with kale and bake for 2-3 minutes more until the eggs are cooked and the crust is golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.

Welcome rain


Steady rain overnight continues this morning (30mm) and looks like it will keep going for most of the day. It will be a great opportunity for indoor activities like baking and jam making.

The rain is great for pasture growth and the veggie garden. An added benefit is that it has improved air quality by eliminating smoke from the mindless planned burns by the CFA and the State Government’s Forest Fire Management team of pyromaniacs.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Avian influenza causes havoc

 At least 5% of egg laying hens in the United States are reported to be infected with avian influenza; The infection, which affects hens in 29 states is cutting production and will result in increased mortality.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Egg traceability webinar


Following reports of large-scale deception by some egg businesses, Australian Eggs is hosting a webinar at 11.30am on Tuesday 14 June to launch its new egg industry traceability tool. All egg farmers are invited to take part to learn more about the tool and how it can be implemented on farm. Many free-range egg producers warned some years ago that egg stamping, and labelling requirements imposed by politicians were inadequate to meet customer expectations and the requirements of consumer law.

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

We all need to tackle Climate Change

 The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change demonstrates the importance of the farming techniques and lifestyle choices we have undertaken at Freeranger Eggs

the report concentrates primarily on mitigation or reducing greenhouse gas emissions and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  the world’s leading climate scientists identify pathways to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C, it says that we can’t just leave the issues for Governments to solve – we all must play our part in reducing our impact on the natural environment

Check our website to see many of the steps we have taken,

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Big producers keep expanding

 The US financial analytical and data business, Bloomberg, says that consolidation in the egg industry is driving small farmers out of business.

Deadly avian influenza is spreading across the U.S. and is hitting commercial egg farms, forcing farmers to kill millions of hens. Feeding the birds is also costly, with grain prices high, partly due to supply chain shortages caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result, ​​​​​the U.S. industry is  shifting to producing mostly cage-free eggs

Economies of scale mean that the higher costs have little effect on major corporate producers such as Cal-Maine Foods Inc., the biggest U.S. producer, which has 20% of the market. It’s been buying smaller operators in recent years. The company is spending $82 million on acquisitions to increase its cage-free operations. Similar cost pressures are being experienced here and the big corporates are planning major expansions – particularly as politicians  trashed labeling standards, allowing intensive production to be described as 'free range'.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Hard to find genuine free range eggs

 Check out our website to see why our eggs are so tasty and why the farm has a carbon-neutral footprint. Freeranger Eggs is one of only a handful of real free-range poultry farms in Australia. Genuine free-range eggs will never be found in a major supermarket. Labels are meaningless on eggs in stupidmarkets.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Making hot cross buns


Combine a cup of water and a cup of milk in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat until about 100 degrees F Remove from heat and after cooling, sprinkle 2tsp dried yeast and 1tsp sugar and a pinch of flour over the surface of the liquid. Set aside without stirring, until foamy and rising up the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

Whisk 6 cups of flour, ½ cup of sugar, 2 tsp salt, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½tsp cinnamon and ginger in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and stir in the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon to make a thick, shaggy, and slightly sticky dough. Stir in 1 cup currants. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 8 minutes. Shape into a ball.

Brush the inside of a large bowl with butter. Put dough in bowl, turning to coat lightly with butter. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour 30 minutes. To form the rolls: Butter a 9 by 14-inch baking pan. Turn the dough out of the bowl and pat into a rectangle about 16 by 8 inches. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions, about 2 ounces each.

 place them in the prepared pan, leaving a little space in between each roll. Cover the pan with buttered plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the rolls have more than doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and brush the tops of the buns with beaten egg. Bake rolls at 375 until golden brown and puffy, about 25 mins. For the glaze: Stir together icing sugar, milk, lemon zest and vanilla until smooth. Transfer icing to a zip-lock bag or pastry bag and make a small cut in the corner of the bag. Ice buns with a thick cross on the warm buns.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Farmers don't need daylight saving

 Despite all the chaos in modern life caused by bureaucratic bungling, having less income than needed, inadequate health services etc politicians are now spending time discussing the extension of daylight saving so we don’t have the inconvenience of adjusting our clocks twice a year. Politicians really have a fixation with population control rather than letting people get on with their lives. Now they want to expand their roles as time thieves.

The answer is very simple – scrap daylight saving and maintain uniform time throughout the year. If people want more daylight at the end of their working day, Start work earlier, instead of working 9 to 5. work from 8am to 4pm - problem solved. Our hens don't need watches to tell them when to start laying eggs. Activity on the farm is dictated by the natural cycles of daylight and seasons – not by the arbitrary decisions of inept politicians and fat-cat bureaucrats. The lost hour of morning light makes it difficult for farmers to get crops to market and livestock adjusted to changes in schedules.