pasture reared eggs

Short film on our outdoor laying hens.

A friend of mine, Michael Raimondo, filmed and then edited this short film. It really captures what we do very well. I think I need a drone to help me farm. Thanks Michael.

If you want to know more about outdoor chickens then please click here.

The password to the film is Chicken

Angus

11 June 2017

Open source outdoor egg production. Business model, how to build an Eggmobile, how to manage outdoor hens and much more.

The overriding spirit amongst regenerative farmers is one of collaboration.

Herewith my attempt at sharing what I have learnt in 6 years of outdoor egg production. (Please note that we don’t use the term free range as this has been abused by national retailers and the egg industry. Their eggs are barn raised and not free range. More on this here.)

If you embark on this farming venture know that you will be providing the most nutritious eggs on the market, you will be freeing hens from cages (96% of the hens in South Africa live in metal cages up to 8 levels above each other), you will be providing employment and your chicken manure will be fertilising the farm as you move the Eggmobiles daily, which is in stark contrast to the “free range” and caged systems where the hens are above their own manure for their entire lives.

Below are links to the plans of our Eggmobiles. These were drawn up by William Hammers, a master draftsman, who you can email here to draw up plans of anything you want.

eggmobile2015 cross sec+elev

eggmobile2015 floor

eggmobile2015 layout

eggmobile2015 long section

Then here are some photos of areas of importance inside the Eggmobile.

EGGMOBILE FITTINGS LIST IN PICTURES

Below is the business model. We are pretty sure that all the information you need is in this spreadsheet. You can change any of the variables. The biggest difference comes from number of Eggmobiles. Above a certain number of Eggmobiles you need more staff and the spreadsheet changes automatically for that.

4 Scale Financial Final

Herewith the frequently asked questions and the answers next to them.

Frequently asked questions, June 2015

We also plant multi-species pastures. Below is the list of what we plant. All perennial plants. Please remember that what works on my farm is not going to work on your farm. In order of importance when it comes to new planting is timing, soil prep (with a Yeoman Plow), soil amendments (according to the Albrecht system) and then post planting watering regime. Here is blog posting elaborating on the timing of planting.

pasture seed planting list

Below are two videos, raw and unedited from the GoPro, that will give you some insight into outdoor egg production.

 

 

Finally if you have any more questions then please come and work on the farm for a minimum of 3 weeks. You can visit for a few hours with pleasure but a few days is a waste of my, my team and your time.

Angus

17 September 2015

The mislabelling of “free range” eggs is not going to change anytime soon.

Hello

A consistent theme on this blog is the mislabelling of eggs. First, labelling eggs as free range when they are barn raised and don’t satisfy anyone’s idea of free range. Second, not labelling the rest as cage raised which of course 96% of the hens in South Africa are.

I recently met with the boss of the egg industry in this country and it is very clear that there is no intention of changing the labelling. Reading between the lines there are two reasons for this.

First, the retailers have no interest in changing the labelling. Why would they label an egg as caged? Why give up higher margins on the “free range” eggs? If your clients don’t ask questions then don’t tell them where their eggs come from. Big national chain retailers care about return per square metre of shelving. Whether they are selling dishwashing liquid or caged eggs is entirely beside the point.

Second, the retailers are hiding behind the skirts of the egg industry which in turn is hiding behind the skirts of the European Union department of Agriculture which has deemed that eggs from barn raised hens are allowed to be labelled as free range. In other words retailers say they are abiding by our national poultry regulations and national poultry says it is abiding by EU standards.

The only way you are going to know if you are eating a barn raised, cage raised or outdoor egg is to go and visit the farm where the hens are kept. Good luck trying to get into the cages or the barns. You will be prevented on the grounds of biosecurity.

Angus

31 August 2015

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