Sunday, December 31, 2023

We don't get apologies like this from our government leader

 A woman in Moscow had a simple request for the Russian President, Vladimir Putin:  ‘ Bring down the price of eggs.’

Her criticism prompted an apology from Mr Putin who said it was a “failure of the government’s work” that egg prices have soared 40% in 2023 at the same time,egg exports grew by more than 17%..

Economic analysts point to the increase in military spending that has caused inflation in consumer goods as well as sanctions following the Ukraine war.To help solve the problem, Belarus has increased supplies of chicken eggs to Russia - more than 11 million eggs were exported in the first ten days of January -almost twice as much as in the same period last year. 

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Australia needs many more genuine freerange farms

Genuine freerange eggs can't be found on supermarket shelves. Help to solve the egg shortage by keeping hens at home to lay eggs for your family or set up your own small business like Anne and Phil  Westwood. Check the freeranger website and our eBook which is ready to be forwarded to you as a pdf.

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Trialling feed additive from mussel waste


At Freeranger Eggs, we are about to begin trialling a supplementary feed additive processed from Blue Lipped freeze-dried Mussels which could boost the nutritional value of eggs, particularly levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Freeranger Eggs has Isa Brown chickens on our 80 hectare farm run by Anne and Phil Westwood..

The supplement is provided by PETS HEALTHRUS in Geelong after the mussel waste is processed by Forager Foods in Tasmania. Preliminary work on utilising mussel waste has been undertaken in New Zealand by the Government’s Callaghan Innovation Agency but Freeranger Eggs is the first in Australia to try the process. We are awaiting the delivery from Tasmania so we can start.

Followers of our blog and website know that genuine freerange eggs from hens with unlimited access to pasture already have twice the Omega 3 levels of cage or barn laid eggs as well as 7 times the beta carotene, 3 times the vitamins E and A. The supplement adds essential calcium, nutrients and protein to the hens’ diet.

Free range eggs are higher in protein and contain less saturated fats because of their unlimited access to green pasture. “There may well be other benefits from the mussel feed,” said Anne. “We provide our hens with a nutritionally balanced diet formulated for us by Reid Stockfeeds so we are limiting the addition of the supplement to a maximum of 8% by volume. Phil said that the limited use was not expected to result in a fishy taint from the additional Omega 3. “We monitor egg quality constantly and if any change is detected, the trial will be halted immediately,” he added.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Easy to solve egg shortage

 There has been talk of  shortages of eggs in Australia for most of this year but the solutions are simple - stay out of supermarkets, buy your own laying hens  - and set up more freerange farms.

Huge consumer demand for genuine freerange eggs has created exciting opportunities to establish more farm businesses.

At Freeranger Eggs in Grantville, we are unable to keep up with demand and now only supply regular customers. To help resolve the supply shortage, we provide details on setting up your own farm.The starting point is reading an eBook on starting a free range farm available on the Freeranger Eggs website: . Detailed information is available 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. In Victoria, contact: Once that is sorted, talk to your Council Environmental Health Department about any specific requirements they have before you get underway. Forget about it if you want a business that provides enough money for a Mercedes every time a new model is released and an overseas holiday every year or two – get a McDonald’s franchise instead.

Monday, October 30, 2023

ISA Brown pullets available

 For those who want their own chickens, orders are being taken now for point of lay Isa Brown Pullets. They will be16 weeks old, fully vaccinated against the major poultry diseases,Mareks and Newcastle as well as things like  Infectious bronchitis and Egg Drop Syndrome. Costing just $35, they will be ready for pick up in the first week of December. Message us, ring or email and we will have them ready for you.

If you are thinking of setting up your own freerange egg farm business, make your life easier, save yorself headaches by checking the freeranger website and order our eBook to ensure you get off to a good start.

Monday, October 09, 2023

Choose the right chickens for your needs

 Some people don’t realize that the breed of chicken they choose will make a difference to the amount of eggs they collect each day. Some chicken breeds lay more than others, so if you want a productive flock, always pick the best egg layer chickens. If you want a pure breed, you can’t go past a Rhode Island Red or a leghorn but if you want to combine good egg production with a docile temperament, good foraging skills and excellent feed conversion, go for ISA Browns or Lohmann Browns which will regularly lay over300 eggs a year – and they are unlikely to go broody.

It’s natural for your hens to slow down production in autumn and winter when there is less daylight. Some people use lights in sheds to con their chickens to lay more eggs. We believe in letting hens behave naturally and have time to slow down rather than force them to keep laying and shorten their lifespan. 

We can supply limited numbers of point of lay ISA Brown pullets from mid November. Pick up at the farm.

Friday, October 06, 2023

World Egg Day

 Friday October 13 is World Egg Day 2023 and  we celebrate the nutritional power of the  egg.  

Recent surveys revealed that 18.9 million eggs are consumed in Australia every day and, as of June this year, the gross production value for the egg industry in Australia was  over $1 billion.

Thursday, October 05, 2023

Start your own freerange farm

 Consumer demand for fresh food, including free range eggs, has increased the numbers of people thinking about starting their own ethical and sustainable free range egg businesses. We think that every township should be largely self-sufficient in food production. It makes no sense to truck food across the country rather than use local supplies.

A starting point is reading the eBook on starting a free range farm available on the Freeranger Eggs website Detailed information is available about things like shed requirements, food safety, egg packaging and labelling.

When deciding to set up a free range egg farm, make sure 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. On-line resources can be found in most states.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Select the right chickens for you

 Here’s a run down by Eric Cooper of Grow Chicken in the US showing many of the chicken breeds available. At Freeranger Eggs, we find the hybrid ISA Browns are ideal as top layers with a high feed-conversion rate. They are docile, easy to handle and do well in a freerange environment. When we first established the farm we bought Lohmann Brown hens and they were excellent but we were forced to switch after a few years because Lohmanns were no longer available in Australia. Now they are back and can be found here as an option. The world of poultry farming is diverse and the importance of selecting the right chicken breed for your purpose cannot be overstated. From egg production to meat quality and even ornamental value, different chicken breeds have been carefully developed to serve a wide range of agricultural purposes. Now, we delve into the fascinating world of chicken breeds by purpose, highlighting their unique attributes and contributions to the global agricultural landscape.

When it comes to egg production, certain chicken breeds have soared above the rest, consistently delivering high-quality eggs. The Leghorn, for instance, is renowned for its exceptional egg-laying abilities. Known for its sleek appearance and white feathers, the Leghorn chicken has become synonymous with egg production. These birds are prolific layers, capable of producing up to 280 to 320 large white eggs per year, making them a favourite among commercial egg farmers worldwide.

The Rhode Island Red is another popular breed for egg production, known for its robust nature and brown eggs. Their steady production of brown eggs has made them a staple in backyard flocks and small-scale poultry farms. Whether you prefer white or brown eggs, these chicken breeds have you covered, ensuring a consistent supply of fresh eggs for consumers and farmers alike.

Meat Production:
When it's time to put chicken on the dinner table, certain breeds are bred specifically for their meat quality. The Cornish Cross, for instance, is the undisputed heavyweight champion in the meat production category. These birds are known for their rapid growth and excellent meat-to-bone ratio, making them a top choice for broiler production. They reach market weight in as little as 6 to 8 weeks, making them highly efficient in meat production operations.

In contrast, heritage breeds like the Plymouth Rock and the Sussex offer a more traditional approach to meat production. While they may take longer to reach market weight, their flavourful and tender meat is highly sought after by consumers who appreciate the taste of traditionally raised poultry. These heritage breeds also play a crucial role in preserving genetic diversity within the poultry industry.

Dual-Purpose Breeds:
For those seeking a versatile chicken breed that can serve both as a source of eggs and meat, dual-purpose breeds are the go-to choice. The Rhode Island Red mentioned earlier for its egg-laying prowess, also excels in meat production. Its balanced qualities make it a practical choice for homesteaders and small-scale farmers looking for a multi-purpose bird.

The Wyandotte is another dual-purpose breed known for its striking appearance, friendly disposition, and consistent egg and meat production. These birds are often chosen by backyard enthusiasts looking to enjoy the benefits of both eggs and meat without specializing in either category.

Ornamental and Exhibition Breeds:
Beyond practical agricultural purposes, some chicken breeds are cherished for their ornamental value and suitability for exhibition. The Silkie chicken, with its fluffy feathers and distinctive appearance, has captivated poultry enthusiasts for generations. Silkies are often kept as pets and are a popular choice at poultry shows, where their unique appearance garners attention.

The Polish chicken, known for its distinctive crest of feathers, is another favourite among poultry enthusiasts and exhibitors. Their striking appearance and lively personalities make them a hit at exhibitions and fairs, where their unique plumage and charm are on full display.

In summary, the world of chicken breeds is a diverse and dynamic one, with each breed serving a specific purpose in agriculture. Whether it's egg layers, meat producers, dual-purpose birds, or ornamental breeds, chickens continue to be a vital part of global agriculture. As consumers become more conscious of where their food comes from and how it's raised, the role of these diverse chicken breeds in sustainable and ethical farming practices becomes increasingly important.

For information about free range egg production check out our website

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

China's biggest non-cage egg farm

 Building of China's largest non-cage egg farm for half a million hens has started in Guangdong, a southern region.

The facility is on 100 acres and will be constructed in four phases in a joint venture by the province’s local government of Mashi and Guangdong-based egg supplier Tudama Agricultural Development Company.

Initially the sheds will house 200,000 hens but will accommodate 500,000 layers by the end of phase four. The scene in this picture is similar to many cage free operations in Australia which claim to be 'free range' and sell eggs in supermarkets. 

Eggs for well- being

 Freerange eggs have a wide range of nutrients needed for our well-being. They contain proteins and various vitamins including vitamins A, D, B12 and B2 as well as iodine and selenium. You’ll also find calcium, phosphorous, folate, biotin, choline and thiamine

The Well of Life Center in Philadelphia, was founded on the belief that the body has an incredible ability to heal itself, when provided with the right food. The Center helps people understand what is going on within their bodies, , and how to put back a natural balance. clinicians don’t treat symptoms with medication but instead find the underlying causes of each problem, from diabetes to cancer, weight gain to digestive issues.

Monday, September 04, 2023

Chicken numbers through the roof since 1990

 Global statistics show that the number of chickens worldwide has more than doubled since 1990. In 2021, there were some 25.8 billion chickens in the world, up from about 13.9 billion chickens in 2000. In 2023, the number is probably closer to 30 billion. Here at Freeranger Eggs, we are just a tiny cog in the egg supply chain with less than 1000 hens at a time.

Check how we do things on our website at

Friday, September 01, 2023

Gender identity for chickens


Mad acientists are at it again with'gender-bending' plans.Israel-based startup company Soos Technology,  is using sound wave energy to boost the hen population. Their proposed technology equips incubators with devices that introduce sound waves to fertilized eggs to alter gene expression. The result is genetically male chicks that express female physical traits, which means that these chicks will lay eggs.

Syracuse University says that according to Soos Technology, the treatment is safe for the embryos, non-intrusive to the eggs, and does not involve any form of genetic modification or hormonal intervention.

The researchers control the environmental conditions in the incubator during embryonic development using sound energy produced by vibration. By altering the sound frequencies and volumes, and the humidity and temperatures within the incubator, Soos Technology claims they can increase the odds of hatching a female chick from 50% to near 80%.It says"Our technology doesn't interfere with the way the industry is working and doesn't use GMOs. We are pushing the males to develop as functional females by mimicking nature and controlling the environment." The company won a $1 million grand prize in a New York agricultural technology competition. Full details here  

Monday, August 28, 2023

Help for setting up a free range farm

 Australians consume over 18 million eggs a day. Figures from Australian Eggs show that in the 2020-21 financial year, egg farmers produced about 6.3 billion eggs. Of those, 52% were claimed to be free-range, an increase from about 38% a decade ago. More people are keen to set up their own free range eggs business and we have an eBook available to help achieve that aim. Check out our website.

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Farm gate egg sales at Grantville

 Genuine free range eggs will never be found in major supermarkets because only the big. intensive producers have sufficient volume to meet delivery demands. Buying locally and directly from farms is often the only way to be sure to get free range eggs.Farm gate sales are an essential element of good food.The hens are laying well at Freerangere Eggs so we have plenty of eggs available for pick up anytime from the big yellow coolbox just inside our front gate at 245a Stanley Road.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Nutrition is key to good egg production

 Eggs from free range, well cared for chickens have been shown to be more nutritious than those from hens in cages or locked in barns. They are lower in cholesterol and saturated fats. They are also higher in Vitamins A, D and E, Omega 3, and Beta Carotene.

The eggs also taste better! The benefits are from the hens being fed a more nutritious and diverse diet. Another benefit of good nutrition is that the hens lay more. We currently have a lay rate of just under 95% which means we have plenty of eggs for our local customers.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Special 2 dozen deals

 Our lay rate has been increasing almost every day and is nearly back to our normal levels.As a result, we have a special deal for customers, 24 egg cartons are available for $12.00 that’s over 1 Kg of genuine free range eggs for just $12. Available now at Maccas Farm, Glen Forbes.Eggs can also be picked up at the Grantville farm. 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Egg farms closing down

 These seem to be tough times for egg farmers all over the world, not just here in Australia. Egg producers in Bhutan attribute a decline in egg production to the closure of poultry farms. Rising feed costs forced many farmers to abandon backyard and semi-commercial poultry farming. One farmer, said he has incurred substantial losses running a poultry farm. He used to have over 1,500 chickens, but closed the farm because of increases in the price of feed .He said he invested all his savings and took out significant loans from banks to start the business. With no prospects, he had no choice but to close. Sounds a familiar story. Politicians cause trouble everywhere.

Friday, June 09, 2023

Salmonella limited to one egg farm in NSW

 On- farm monitoring has revealed a case of Salmonella enteritidis (SE) at an egg farm in Western Sydney, New South Wales, demonstrating the ongoing importance of biosecurity measures for the egg industry. Apparently contamination has not spread to birds on other farms and there have been no public health issues caused by contaminated eggs . The detection was made at an early stage with regular on-farm testing showing  low levels of SE antibodies. Australian Eggs says there were no clinical signs of disease in the flock and there have been no public health cases linked to the detection. The affected farm and the NSW Food Authority have contained the incident with all eggs diverted to pasteurisation and the flock has been "depopulated.". In previous salmonella instances, the NSW Food Authority said All the properties confirmed to have had SE present were interconnected in that people, eggs or equipment were moving between them. So far, this latest contamination appears to be confined to one property which may indicate that some big producers now understand contamination issues created by the movement of eggs and people between properties - standard practice for big producers. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands The owner and the manager of a dutch egg farm have been convicted of selling eggs knowing they were contaminated with salmonella.

The prosecution followed guests at an event in 2017 falling ill, with one eventually dying, after consuming the contaminated eggs.

The eggs were purchased from a supermarket in Germany and were sourced back to the poultry farm in Wouterswoude in the Netherlands.

Monday, June 05, 2023

World Environment Day

 We operate the farm sustainably to maintain ecological values for the future. Our website shows how we operate

Friday, June 02, 2023

Join the freerange band

 Everywhere in the world the egg industry is dominated by big business and Australia is no exception. In this country, almost 17 million chicken eggs are laid every day, totalling 6.2 billion eggs a year. Most of them are laid in huge sheds and sold in supermarkets but there are still a handful of people who run hens in a totally free range environment. If you want to join this exclusive band, take the first step by reading our eBook on setting up a freerange farm. Check out the Freeranger Eggs website for details. Don't forget to send us your email address so we can forward the book as a PDF.

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Traceability - where did the eggs come from?

 A project designed to improve the traceability of eggs supplied by major businesses in Australia has been completed, providing new tools to trace the origin of eggs. It is needed by egg farmers who meet supermarket orders by buying eggs wherever they can find them.

Traceability allows producers packaging millions of eggs a day to identify the sources of egg quality, safety or hen health issues and allows attempts to rectify the problems.It helps when there are outbreaks of diseases such as avian influenza, or contamination problems like salmonella.

A traceability manual is available to all egg farmers in Australia. The manual outlines best practice for tracking eggs and provides advice and guidance to support the design of reliable traceability systems for egg farms. The tools are available on Australian Eggs Traceability Hub. Genuine free range farms which only sell eggs produced by their own hens already have tight traceability standards. There are plenty of people wanting to set up their own freerange farm and we often have orders for our eBook which guides everyone through the process. Check our website.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Vegetative buffers are essential on farms

 At Freeranger Eggs, more than half of our property is covered with native vegetation, providing vital habitat for wildlife as well as sequestering carbon and reducing any potential water contamination.

Paul Patterson, professor of poultry science at Pennsilvania State University believes that trees and other vegetation are essential on poultry farms, He says that vegetative buffers filter and trap dust, odour, and ammonia .

Riparian species slow and buffer roof water and road and yard runoff, as well as filter nutrients and sediments.

Shelter belts around the farm protect birds from winter winds

During hot weather, shade trees block the solar heat load on barns, reducing energy expenditures.

Screen poultry management activities using buffers composed of attractive trees and shrubs that can also landscape and beautify the barns and farm.

Plant riparian species near yards, roof runoff, and drainage ways to control runoff and absorb excess nutrients that can pollute the water.

The Victorian Government and Bass Coast Shire don't share our attitude about the need for vegetation, they are encouraging wholesale habitat destruction all around us to facilitate sand extraction. Natiuve species such as Koalas. tree goannas and platypus are now at risk of regional extinction.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Avian flu warning from Invasive Species Council


Australia’s Invasive Species Council says the country is not prepared for the potential arrival of a deadly form of avian influenza.

The Council was formed in 2002 to urge stronger laws and policies to protect our natural systems from harmful pests and diseases. It recently called on the government to draft a national response plan for a possible outbreak of avian influenza in the wild. Avian influenza virus subtype H9N2 was first documented in Indonesia in 2017. It has become prevalent in chickens in many provinces of Indonesia as a result of reassortment in live bird markets. Low pathogenic avian influenza subtype H9N2 virus-infected poultry provides a new direction for the influenza virus. According to the latest research, the Indonesian H9N2 viruses may have developed through antigenic drift into a new genotype, posing a significant hazard to poultry and public health.

Poultry farmers in Quebec are grappling with a series of outbreaks of deadly avian flu, causing the deaths of nearly a million birds. The latest proof of interspecies transmission proposes that the next human pandemic variant will be the avian influenza virus subtype H9N2.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Egg producers hit with another levy

 In its latest Budget, the Australian Labor Government has imposed another levy on egg farmers.

The laying chickens levy was first introduced in 1988. All laying chickens in Australian hatcheries attract the  levy. The department collects and disburses the levy to Animal Health Australia, Australian Eggs Limited and the National Residue Survey to fund activities including animal biosecurity projects, pest and disease incursion responses, research and development and animal product residue monitoring.

The total of levies paid was15.27 cents per laying chicken now an extra 3.25 cent biosecurity levy has been added, taking the total payable to 18.52 cents which is a big hit for major producers who replace millions of birds every year. Commercial layer flocks in this country total about 20 million hens.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Half of all eggs in Australia are claimed to be free range

 According to the industry group Australian Eggs, almost half of the eggs sold in Australia are free range. It says 47% of all eggs sold in this country are freerange. The only problem with that is that the meaning of the term has been trashed by big business and politicians. Now, virtually all eggs sold in supermarkets are produced in intensive facilities that should be described as cage eggs,cage free or barn laid. If you want to start your own genuine free range farm,  check out our ebook and our website

Thursday, May 04, 2023

How to set up your own freerange farm

 Clear consumer demand for free range eggs has generated a strong increase in the number of people throughout the world thinking about starting their own ethical and sustainable free range egg businesses. Every township should be largely self-sufficient in food production. It makes no sense to truck food across the country when it can be supplied locally.

A good starting point is reading the eBook on starting a free range farm available on the Freeranger Eggs website Detailed information is available 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. On-line resources can be found in most states.

Free range farming can help to mitigate the effects of climate change.

A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted the importance of sustainable agriculture. Freeranger Eggs at Grantville in Victoria is an example of sustainable farming.

Freeranger Eggs is doing more than Governments to combat carbon emissions and climate change.

The Freeranger Eggs farm management plan takes a three pillars approach to how the farm operates. Animal welfare is one pillar, but equally important are land sustainability and food safety. Growth is not a part of our philosophy. we need to encourage people to set up more farms, not upscale existing farms. We believe that will support more people working the land fairly and will ensure long-term food security. An eBook is available from  as a ‘How to’ guide in establishing a farm Freeranger Eggs

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

New Avian Influenza vaccines

 Agriculture officers in America are testing four vaccines which they hope will stop the latest outbreak of a highly pathogenic avian influenza that has devastated  poultry farms and driven up egg prices. The Government plans to launch a national vaccination campaign.

Two of the vaccines being tested were developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The others are from animal drugmaker Zoetis and Merck Animal Health, which were developed in 2015 but not used. It will take up to two years before commercial quantities of vaccine are available to match the currently circulating virus s, H5N1. In the US alone, almost 60 million farm-raised birds have died or been killed to stop the spread.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Research confirms freerange superiority of brown egg layers

 Brown egg laying hens show better production results when on free range farms compared with intensive cage or barn systems, according to researchers at North Carolina State University. The results confirmed the views of many in the poultry industry that chickens such as ISA Brown and Lohmann are far more suitable for freerange farming than breeds such as leghorns.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Many factors affect egg prices

 Inflation is driving up the price of just about everything these days. But there’s something about the price of eggs on supermarket shelves that upsets people. “It feels particularly unsettling,” says anthropology professor Cathy Stanton of Tufts University in the US. She said the price increases reflect a confluence of crises, from the spread of avian flu H5N1 and increased fuel costs, to supply chain disruptions and corporate price gouging.

This isn’t the first time the price of eggs has skyrocketed. During the mid-19th-century gold rush, San Francisco’s population ballooned from around 800 to more than 20,000, creating a scarcity of chicken eggs that hiked their price to nearly $1 per egg—the equivalent of $30 per egg today. This increased demand for another type of egg: that of the murre, a seabird inhabiting the nearby Farallones Islands. Poachers flocked to the islands and boats transporting eggs were hijacked, resulting in an “egg war” that endured for 30 years. It all points to the benefits of staying out of supermarkets if you want fresh food.

Friday, April 07, 2023

Check reasons for any drop in Egg production

 Most modern breeds of hens  maintain a steady lay rate rate for about a year, so, if there is a drop in production, check birds and conditions. You need to understand the cause of any decrease.

Changes in environment, nutrition and stress levels cause fluctuations in the rate of egg laying. All these factors are under your control and understanding them will help resolve egg production issues.

Even slight variations in temperature can affect egg laying. Extreme changes in weather can greatly affect chickens. In colder months, the days are shorter and egg production will drop, while in the summer, heat stress that can lead to significant health and welfare problems. The optimal temperature for egg laying range from 18° C to 24° C.

Overcrowding of layer houses is another common reason for hens to stop laying. Keeping too many chickens in a small area can cause stress in chicken which will result to reduced egg production.

Chickens typically stop laying eggs during moulting . Chickens lose their feathers and re-grow them over time but they will resume laying quickly if you maintain a high quality diet.

A broody hen, sitting on eggs, trying to get them to hatch can be a problem for around three weeks. If you have no roosters, the eggs will not fertile, so by removing and destroying them, the hen should resume laying. Selective breeding has minimized the broody characteristic from modern breeds so it's really only an issue with heritage breeds of hens.

Saturday, April 01, 2023

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Poultry layer cages to be banned in Australia

 A ban on keeping egg laying hens in cages is going through final consideration by politicians.Proposed Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry have been released following a national review of poultry welfare and extensive consultation across Australia. The standards will be implemented by politicians later this year. One of the main changes from previous standards will be phasing-out intensive layer hen cages over 10 to 15 years by 2036. The politicians will still allow mislabeling intensive egg production from hens locked in sheds. Officially these eggs are supposed to be labelled 'Barn-laid' but many will still be sold in supermarkets as 'free range'.

Friday, March 03, 2023

Genuine free range farms likely to be safe from Avian Influenza


Australia’s poultry flocks are largely protected by distance from outbreaks of avian influenza which have decimated many other parts of the world. However, that doesn’t mean we are totally immune.

More than 1,050 new high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) virus outbreaks have been reported in domestic and wild birds across Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Based on recent reports, current H5 HPAI circulating in the northern hemisphere has been detected in otherwise healthy wild birds.

The current widespread and frequent detection of HPAI viruses in the northern hemisphere represents an increased level of risk to Australia

The United States’ Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service keeps current information on how to keep birds and flocks safe from disease. Special emphasis was given for Bird Health Awareness Week - Feb. 28-Mar. 3.

A webinar was held focusing on the hot topic of avian influenza, It can spread between wild birds and domestic poultry, and, has been detected in more than 57 million birds in 47 American states.In Australia, our genuine free range birds are unlikely to be seriously affected by an outbreak of avian influenza or other health issues such as salmonella. The main infections are always likely to occur at intensive facilities with many thousands of birds in sheds and employees moving between infected sites, All businesses selling eggs through supermarkets, trade eggs between themselves – leading to rapid disease spread.

Farms at least risk are those with small flocks which do not handle eggs from other properties.

Thursday, February 09, 2023

Celebrate Earth Day on April 22.

 April 22 is the 53rd anniversary of the first Earth Day, a day set aside to encourage action promoting a sustainable future for us and the planet.

Much of the time, sustainability seems  a lost cause as so many people are concerned with an endless cycle of consumerism – demanding more of everything rather than just what they need.

We are encouraging as many people as possible to make a few adjustments such as growing their own food rather than raiding stupidmarket shelves as often as possible. It’s not only better for the planet, it also saves money. Even those living in city apartments can grow some of their own food in pots on balconies. Those with gardens around their house can grow most of the vegetables needed and could supply their own eggs from backyard hens. Check the Freranger website for details.Governments don’t like you to cut down on travel and consumption because you won’t pay as much tax – but it’s the only way to ensure sustainability. Some people think they are environmentally aware but they have huge carbon footprints as they spend their lives travelling endlessly by car or aircraft. One we know, threw away a working gas hob to buy an electric induction hot plate. It didn’t occur to her than the energy consumed in the manufacturing process far exceeded any potential savings she may make in her kitchen.