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.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Grain prices will push up farm costs

 Increasing world grain prices following retaliation by Russia against western sanctions will almost certainly add to living costs in many countries. It will force up the price of many foods including eggs and meat. Egg prices are already rising in some states because local weather conditions hit grain yields.

Russia’s action banning wheat, rye, barley and maize exports to Eurasian countries is currently in place until June 30. It is the latest consequence of restrictions imposed following the invasion of Ukraine.The invasion is devastating Ukraine's cities – and also its rural areas and industries, Cuts in food production will have impacts throughout Europe and further afield. One of Ukraine’s largest agricultural companies, Ukr Land Farming, said several company managers had been killed in northern Ukraine, and in Kyiv. Ukr Land Farming has lost at least 120,000 hectares (297,000 acres) of land as a result of the Russian invasion. It has been forced to shut three egg farms including Europe’s largest, the Chornobaivka factory where, the company says 3.1 million laying hens are dying.

summer crops such as corn could be severely affected with only about half the normal area planted because of the fighting.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Egg snacks for Labour Day Holiday

 There are many simple egg dishes which can be served as snacks on the Labour Day holiday. Pancakes with various toppings can be a good start.

How about Chinese Egg Tarts. Using shortcrust or puff pastry, cut the pastry to fit into each mold. Fill the tart bases with beaten eggs and a little butter.

Bake at 200 degrees C for 15 minutes, then 10 minutes at180 degrees C.

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Hens locked up in UK

 Free-range eggs could soon start disappearing from supermarket shelves in the UK because of restrictions imposed last November to stop the spread of avian influenzaFarmers say the move could ruin them.

Bird flu restrictions were strengthened on November 29, when a housing order was brought in. Since then, farmers have been required to keep their birds indoors.

If the housing order remains in place after March 21, it will mean birds have been kept inside for more than 16 weeks, preventing their eggs from being sold as free-range.

Unless restrictions are lifted, free range egg producers will need to add stickers to their packaging explaining why the eggs are now classed as barn eggs.

Jane Howorth from the British Hen Welfare Trust said: "Although it might seem a little contrary to be buying a free-range egg from a hen that hasn't been free-ranging, it's all the more important that we do still support those British free-range farmers that have invested in that system. It's the best welfare for the birds. Keep buying those eggs because soon, in a few weeks' time, hopefully the migration season will have gone and it will all be back outside again, hens having a nice time scratching around," she added. If such restrictions were imposed here, genuine free-range producers would be decimated but there would be little impact on eggs in supermarkets because all eggs sold there are from intensive farms, even those labelled 'free-range'.

Sunday, March 06, 2022

Chickens happy after rain


Our Isa Browns are really enjoying themselves following the last couple days of rain which laid the dust and made it easy to scratch for worms.

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Internet and phone service failed here today

 The farm NBN service wasn't working all day today, so we had no internet or phone. Thankfully it's working now, which is not as bad as the last time when we also lost power as a result of storm damage and spent many days without communication.

Unreliable telecommunications services following the construction of the National Broadband Network and the forced removal of landline telephones are a threat to Australia’s economy as well as lives. Not only is the whole system vulnerable to deliberate cyber attacks, it is often crashed by technical and weather-related issues. When the internet is down, home and business telephones as well as computer services and electronic payment systems stop working. It is understandable for major outages to happen during catastrophic storms or bushfires but even occasional fixed wireless maintenance work on a tower many miles away shuts down all communications here in Grantville and Glen Forbes. Lives are at risk when an emergency arises during a communications failure. Perhaps the Government feels secure in the knowledge that even when phone and internet work, emergency services are unable to find us because bureaucrats changed the physical address of our property from Grantville to Glen Forbes even though there is no access to us from Glen Forbes.