Free Range Eggs

Sustainable free range farming

The Freeranger Eggs farm is an example of sustainable farming. The 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. Despite all the political bickering in Canberra over emissions trading scheme targets, some small businesses have been playing their part in addressing the problem....
 

More people want to set up free range farms

We are getting more requests about running workshops from people wanting to set up free range farms. The extra activity has been brought on by the stupid political decision to allow consumers to be misled by industrial-scale egg producers who are now legally allowed to label their eggs as free range.On-farm workshops have worked well in the past but they tend to disrupt the day-to-day farm activity...
 

Hens are enjoying the sun and warmer conditions

Our flocks of Isa Brown's are getting over the wet,windy conditions of the last few week and enjoying the sun. A drop in egg production is inevitable on genuine free range farms during cold, wet times with less daylight hours. The only way to avoid the problem is to lock the hens in climate controlled sheds like most other egg producers.Our egg production is slowly building and we should be back to...
 

Research shows animal welfare is not the main reason consumers choose free range eggs

Taste and nutritional values are the major drivers for decisions to choose free range eggs rather than those from hens kept in cages. That's been a view we have held for years, but now there is research to prove it: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08927936.2017.1310986Life on a free range farm in Australia
 

Search engine rankings

Almost every day we receive emails from companies offering Search Engine Optimisation services. They tell us that they can increase traffic to our website and increase our sales. I have no doubt that these clever souls could increase the number of visitors to theFreeranger Eggssite but there is no way that would result in increased sales? because we don't have any extra eggs to sell. We sell out completely...
 

Dealing with the risk of Avian Influenza

Good biosecurity measures are vital on any poultry farm to reduce the spread of many diseases - particularly serious ones such as Avian Influenza. It is generally a matter of commonsense and putting the right procedures in place. The Vietnam government has produced a booklet advising farmers and the points are relevant here in Australia.http://www.fao.org/docs/eims/upload/206313/AImanual_vietnam_en.pdfThe...
 

World egg production set to hit 100 million tonnes

Outbreaks of avian influenza in many major egg-producing countries have reduced egg production expectations, but total world egg volumes will still reach 100 million tonnes by 2035. Since the year 2000 world egg production increased by 36.5 percent, or an average of 2.8 percent per year. In 2014, a laying flock of 7.2 billion hens produced almost 1,320 billion eggs worldwide, nearly 70 million tonnes....
 

Food Allergy Week in May

Eggs are often seen as a high risk factor for allergies and intolerances. The problem is usually caused by the colouring additives used by many producers to enhance yolk colour. All major egg producers and many small ones - even those which claim to be free range and organic - use colouring additives in the feed they give their hens. Their use is completely unnecessary in a free range flock, as...
 

More evidence of political stupidity(or corruption) on'free range'definition

There is now more evidence about the stupidity (or corruption of the various State Ministers for Consumer Affairs and the Federal Minister for Small Business who approved the new high density standard for free range egg production. 100.000 hens per hectare is well beyond the bounds of possible land sustainability see here:http://zootecnicainternational.com/featured/nutrient-loading-free-range-layer-farming/Life...
 

Effective vaccines for avian influenza in poultry not available yet

Vaccines have been developed to combat avian influenza in poultry and bird flu in humans. But scientists are reluctant to approve the mass vaccination of chickens because they believe it may not reduce the risk of infection. The vaccines appear to mask the symptoms so poultry keepers may not be aware that their birds are infected. This could allow the virus to spread widely and may cross over to humans....
 

Low stocking densities and quality feed are keys to good bird health

High levels of production and efficient feed conversion are needed if egg farms are to survive. Free range farms are able to maintain effective disease control when low stocking densities are maintained. It's essential for poultry health to provide high quality natural feed and clean water. A protein content of around 18% is required for hen health and good production. Organic acids and their salts...
 

New standards don't lift free range egg numbers in the marketplace

The Australian Government's standards for free range egg labelling do nothing to meet consumer expectations about what'free range'means. They certainly don't increase the numbers of free range eggs in the marketplace. They simply protect unscrupulous operators from prosecution by the ACCC when they label intensively produced eggs as'free range'. The guidelines allow an outdoor stocking density of...
 

Isa Browns are ideal free range hens

At freeranger eggs, we choose Isa Brown hens because they are ideal for free range production. They are docile and are prolific layers of brown-shelled eggs. They tend to lay all year, but production does drop during winter when there are less daylight hours. Some farmers install lights in the sheds to trick the hens into laying more? but we prefer the natural approach and let the hens have a rest...
 

ACCC action over milk - there may be more over eggs

It's great that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is taking Murray Goulburn to court for'unconsionable conduct'in misleading dairy farmers over milk prices. Dairy farmers have been placed in an impossible position which has led to many being forced out of business. Politicians and bureaucrats have had a hand in this too. For years, dairy farmers have been told to'Get Big or Get Out'so...
 

Big drop in egg production

The cold, wet weather here has caused a big drop in egg production at the farm. Clearly the chooks don't like the conditions. It means that we will have difficulty meeting our regular orders until production picks up again - but that's the lot of any free range egg farms if they are doing things properly. Makes it clear why so many keep their chooks locked up in climate controlled sheds.Life on a free...
 

Which came first - the chicken or the egg?

The answer to the age-old question about which came first is here: Science has spoken: the egg came first. The modern chicken is a domesticated descendant of the?Red Jungle fowl,? a bird native to the Himalayan foothills. Genetic experts have recently determined though, that there?s a bit of ?Grey Jungle fowl? DNA mixed in as well, which accounts for the yellow legs found on the common chicken but...
 

Top 50 among poultry blogs

We are proud to say that this blog is regarded as one of the world's top 50 poultry blogs.Best,Life on a free range farm in Australia
 

Free range eggs in the UK were almost history

"Free-range"eggs were on the verge of disappearing from shelves in Britain as a result of the Government's bird flu housing order. Since December British-farmed poultry have been shut in barns under emergency measures to prevent the spread of avian influenza. The free range status of the hens locked in sheds was protected by UK law but by the end of February they had been inside for 12 weeks meaning...
 

Research into'free range'meaning

Research conducted by Hannah Larsen and Dr Jean-Loup Rault, of Melbourne University has been helping to define what'free range'means. Government standards such as'meaningful and regular access to the outdoors'and a stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare are completely inadequate. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has better guidelines, such as'hens are able to move about freely...
 

Sunlight affects egg quality

Free range eggs are a good source of dietary vitamin D, each egg from hens that spend most of the day outdoors contains about 10% of the required daily value . The vitamin D is concentrated in the yolk. along with most other nutrients such as folic acid. Research in Britain has indicated that when hens are exposed to direct sunlight, they tend to lay paler shelled eggs. All eggs are initially white,...
 

Drilling starts on sand extraction site near Bass River

The peace and tranquility of life on the Freeranger farm, next to the Grantville Nature Conservation Reserve in West Gippsland seems set to be disrupted. A drilling rig appeared on a property next to us in Stanley Road on Tuesday afternoon. The site was purchased some years ago by a sand extraction company and permits were issued on the basis that there was an urgent need for additional sand resources...
 

Farmers'markets losing their attraction in Victoria

Farmers'Markets seem to be losing their attraction in Victoria? probably because too many are now operating. In the early days they were great vehicles for selling farm produce, but recently buyers have been put off by seeing markets spring up all over the place, often with the same stallholders. Producers are rebelling against exorbitant fees charged by some market managers. As a result of declining...
 

Global Food Forum and food security

Ever more intensive agriculture seems to be the mantra for global food production. But the threat to food security increases in direct proportion to the scale of the production system. For example, outbreaks of avian influenza involving intensive poultry farms has caused serious egg supply problems in various parts of the world. A Global Food Forum is being held at Crown Casino in Melboune on March...
 

A busy month selling eggs

We are now at our busiest time of the year, with holidaymakers descending on Phillip Island, one of Australia's premier holiday destinations. It means that all the shops and restaurants which we supply with eggs need more. And our regular farmers market at Churchill Island (just off Phillip Island) is now held every week until the end of January.At this time of year its always hard balancing production...
 

South Korean export opportunity for an egg farmer

A South Korean trading group is seeking to import regular supplies of eggs from Australia They would like shipments of 20 containers of 40ft filled with 50? 60 gram eggs, however initial trials would be ok to start with 1-2 40ft containers. Get in touch with us if you are able to supply and want to get into exporting.Life on a free range farm in Australia
 

Brits take strong stand against egg producers who break the rules

The British Government seems determined to clean up the egg industry there? unlike our politicians in Australia who are happy to let unscrupulous producers get away with conning the public. The chief executive of the British Free Range Egg Producers Association,Robert Gooch has warned that free range producers should ensure that they remain within the rules.?It is important for the image of the industry...
 

ACCC may ignore Ministers'new'Free Range'standard

Great news for free range egg farmers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is ignoring the intensive'free range'egg standard approved by Ministers for Consumer Affairs and may press ahead with prosecutions against producers who breach the standards identified in Federal Court decisions. In its Enforcement Guidance for the egg industry on Free Range claims, it says?use of the descriptor...
 

Carbon pollution back on the agenda

It seems that the Australian Government has finally recognised the need to reign-in carbon pollution and is looking for ways to meet its targets. Some businesses have been addressing this issue for a while. Freeranger Eggs at Grantville, near Phillip Island is an example of sustainable farming. The farm management plan takes a three pillars approach to how the farm operates. Animal welfare is one...
 

Final submissions on'free range'standard

Final submissions are being sought on the free range egg standard adopted by Ministers for Consumer Affairs/Fair Trading, which allow producers with up to 10,000 hens per hectare to label their eggs as free range. Here is part of the submission we have made:"We believe that the information standard on free range eggs adopted by Ministers is contrary to the interests of the industry and consumers. ...
 

Politicians try to protect corporate crooks in egg indiustry

The outrageous standard for free range egg production proposed by Ministers for Consumer Affairs is still not set in concrete.To protect unscrupulous producers from prosecution for misleading consumers, new legislation is required to change Consumer Law. Farmers and consumers have until December 9 to make submissions. If the amendment is passed, it will effectively nobble the ACCC from launching prosecutions...
 

Government workshop on free range a waste of time

The Victorian Department of Agriculture appears to have lost the plot when it comes to free range farming. Agriculture Victoria is wasting money, holding a workshop in Wonthaggi tomorrow ( Monday), supposedly about free range egg farming. One problem is that notices about the workshop were only sent out a couple of days prior to the session. But a bigger problem is that the topics proposed to be...
 

help start more free range egg farms by supporting webinars

There has been a huge increase in enquiries about establishing a genuine free range egg farm. and we have many requests for our eBook and to find out if we are still running workshops. We have run workshops on the farm for those wanting to start their own free range egg farm but now we are planning to encourage many more people by developing a series of webinars. They should allow us to reach hundreds...
 

Colouring additives in fish and eggs

ABC TV"s Four Corners revealed that tasmanian fish farms feed additivesd to produce the pink colour of farmed salmon. Nothing new in this, Large -scale egg producers have been using feed with colouring additives for years just to enhance yolk colour. All major egg producers and many small ones - even those which claim to be free range and organic - use colouring additives in the feed they give their...
 

Starting a free range farm webinar

We have ruin workshops on the farm for people wanting to start their own free range egg farm but now we are planning to encourage many more people by developing a series of webinars. They should allow us to reach hundreds rather than a handful who attend workshops. Details herehttps://www.gofundme.com/2tar52cLife on a free range farm in Australia
 

Reasons bvehind"stupid"free range decision

This is part of the submission by Egg Farmers of Australia in which they acknowledged that most egg producers would have been unable to meet higher standards. Even so this helped to con Ministers into making their absurd'free range'decision:"Egg Farmers of Australia have been disappointed by the scope and analytical basis of regulatory intervention to date and the impact it has had in creating uncertainty...
 

Australian ministers allow massive land degredation

Intensive egg production standards approved by Ministers for Consumer Affairs and the former Federal Minister for Small Business may lead to extensive land degredation across Australia. The Ministers have allowed farms with 10,000 hens per hectare to legally describe the eggs they produce as free range. But their decision was made without regard for the level of contamination caused by high nutrient...
 

Free range debate should be about much more than animal welfare

The free range egg debate has been hijacked by animal welfare activists – and academic researchers are putting all their efforts into demonstrating that low stocking densities don't necessarily produce better welfare outcomes. We believe that the focus should be on land sustainability. Intensive systems are more likely to lead to land degredation and pollution – limiting the life of any farming...
 

New standards to replace Australia's Model Code for Poultry

New animal welfare standards and guidelines are being drafted for poultry – to replace the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals (Domestic Poultry). One benefit of the new standards will be that they will be supposed to apply evenly throughout Australia, instead of the fragmented adoption of regulations in the Model Code. Animal Health Australia is developing the new standards, which...
 

Free range debate should be about much more than animal welfare

The free range egg debate has been hijacked by animal welfare activists – and academic researchers are putting all their efforts into demonstrating that low stocking densities don't necessarily produce better welfare outcomes. We believe that the focus should be on land sustainability. Intensive systems are more likely to lead to land degredation and pollution – limiting the life of any farming...
 

Freeranger Club helps free range egg farmers

The Freeranger Club has been established to help anyone producing free range eggs in Australia or planning to set up a free range farm anywhere inthe world.There has been growing demand for information following the ridiculous decision on a free range standard made by Australia's incompetent Ministers for Consumer Affairs and Smnall Business. Details are on the Freeranger Eggs website www.freeranger.com.auLife...
 

ACCC waiting to pounce on more dodgy free range egg producers

Free Range egg farmers in Australia who follow the outdoor stocking densities set out by Ministers for Consumer Affairs and the Federal Minister for Small Business, in their recent decision on a free range standard are likely to face prosecution by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The ACCC has produced a guide to help hen egg farmers of all sizes understand their fair trading rights...
 

Time for big changes in Canberra

With pre polling booths now open, Australians are getting a real chance to send a message to Canberra. An informal vote looks very attractive! Voting for an army of independents is also a good option. It doesn't matter who forms Government – bureaucrats run the show anyway. Hopefully voters in the seat of Higgins will send politicians a message by dumping Small Business Minister Kelly O'Dwyer...
 

Egg farmers could be heading for trouble if they adopt the new'free range'standards proposed by Ministers.

Egg farmers who follow the new'free range'standards proposed by Ministers for Consumer Affairs and the Federal Small Business Minister Kelly O'Dwyer could face trouble with planning laws as well as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. I wrote to Victoria's Planning Minister Richard Wynne, asking if the Minister could intervene in the decision to allow egg producers with stocking densities...
 

Australian politics needs a total clean-out. The States should govern Australia not Canberra carpetbaggers

It's time for a major shake-up with the political system here in Australia. We just seem to lurch along from one pathetic disaster after another.For years Australia'rode on the sheeps back'then after the wool price collapsed we enjoyed a mineral boom. But rather than build up financial reserves our politicians squandered every dollar. If our politicians had been prudent, we would now be sitting on...
 

Aussie election not going the way the Government planned

It seems that the election campaign in Australia isn’t going the way the government planned. The Liberal/national coalition thought that the popularity of a relatively new prime minister would be enough to guarantee victory. But the road hasn’t been smooth and even if the coalition retains power it is likely to have a smaller parliamentary majority. Almost certainly it won’t control the Senate...
 

Australian election rubbish

Now is an opportunity for Australian voters to let politicians know exactly what we think of them.Tell the Canberra bloodsuckers that we don't trust any of them. With the Federal election now up and running, is it worth taking any time to think about how to vote? Will it make any difference? Whoever wins, the politicians will continue to look after their own interests and maintain their extravagant'entitlements'while...
 

Sustainability, carbon emissions, solar power

Freeranger Eggs at Grantville is an example of sustainable farming. Our 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. Despite all the political bickering in Canberra over emissions trading scheme targets, Freeranger Eggs has been getting on with mitigating the impact of carbon...
 

Ministers incomptence over egg standards

The decision by Australian Ministers for Consumer Affairs and the Small Business Minister to allow egg producers with outdoor stocking densities of 10,000 hens per hectare to label their eggs as'free range'demonstrates an incredible level of ignorance as well as gullibility and incompetence. Apart from anything else, thjey seem to have overlooked the fact that each chook excretes half a cubic metre...
 

Ministers screw up Australia's free range egg industry

Government endorsement of intensive egg production systems allowing stocking densites of 10,000 hens per hectare to be classified as'free range'is potentially another nail in the coffin for legitimate free range farmers. For years, genuine producers have been hit with unfair completion from both ends of the market - big corporate egg factories passing off their eggs as free range to boost profits as...
 

New standard makes life harder to set up a free range farm

Yesterday Ministers for Consumer Affairs approved a standard which allows farms with outdoor stocking densities of 10,000 hens per hectare to be classified as free range. This just perpetuates the con which big business has practised on consumers for years. If they had made the announcement today, it would have been regarded as an April Fools Day joke !! One serious aspect of this decision is that...