More and more people visiting our stall at various farmer's markets have downloaded the Choice app CluckAR which was launched earlier this year. Our customers love scanning the egg cartons and getting the best possible score. We get this score because our hens have a low stocking density of 500 hens/ha maximum. They are free to roam our 3 ha olive grove all day long. They decide when to get back into their caravans to be locked up from predators during the night.
The app which can be downloaded from both the Apple App Store and Google Play, comes in the wake of a government decision this year to sign off on a national standard for free-range eggs that we don't think was up to scratch.
The government decided on a "free-range" standard this year for 10,000 hens per hectare. What did this decision mean for chooks? It means that there is no requirement for hens to ever actually go outside in the fresh air, and that 10,000 hens squished into a space of one hectare can still be called free range (despite the current voluntary limit being 1500 per hectare.)
So get on board and be sure that eggs you purchase wherever that may be are provided by hens that have access to pasture and free to range with stocking densities of less than 1,500 hens/ha.
The Spring calving season is behind us. We have 40 healthy black Angus calves on the ground with very contented mothers. We lost two calves this season, one was a twin that didn't survive the birthing process and the other was born during the worst day of Spring and caught pneumonia which we were unable to catch early enough. The last calf to be born was nursed back to life for 4 days with the help of a neighbour who was able to supply us with some colostrum as the calf was weak and could not stand unaided to feed. Mum stood by waiting patiently as she knew we were trying to help but once he was on his feet her maternal instincts took over and she made it quite clear that she could handle things from here. The highs and lows of farming. Loving my farming life.
As part of Fair Food Week, we are holding an open day on Sunday 26 October 10am - 4pm. Please come along and see how we farm our Angus herd. See our Spring calves and their protective mothers. Look at our Landcare projects and hear what our goals for the future are. Children welcome.
Register your interest to attend at firstname.lastname@example.org