1. Q: What happens to your male chickens?
One of the most common questions I get asked is what happens to the male chicks. I love that so many of you take the time to email me questions.
For every female laying hen their is a male chick hatched too although this can be made somewhat more female to male with temperature control in the hatchery.
It’s horrible to think that there are some breeders in Australia still use such cruel methods of dealing with male chicks.
I pay extra to make sure my birds come from a humane hatchery.
The hatchery that I get my day old chicks from is in Queensland. Trevor the owner tells me that he has found a market for about 50% of the male chicks which go to farms where they are then raise up and sold for meat, about 35% go to a local zoo where they are fed to birds of prey and other zoo animals.
And 15% are humanly put down by the RSPCA.
I also have one or two roosters with my chickens because they help look after the hens by warning them of danger, finding food, regulating their social structure and generally keeping them happier.
2. Q: How many Chickens do you have per Hectare?
A: Maximum of 250, currently at 130 per hectare. The National Free range standard is 10,000 per hectare.
3. Q: Are you Certified Organic?
A: Yes, with NASAA certification number 3531.
4. Q: What happens to old hens when they stop or slow down laying enough eggs?
A: Sold to my friend Jake who re-homes them across Australia and keeps some as personal laying hens.
5. Q: Can I buy directly from you?
A: Yes please! Farm Gate Stall at 1677 Melbourne-Lancefield Rd, Clarkefield open 7 days 9am- sunset.
OR Collingwood Childrens Farm Farmers Market every 2nd Saturday of the Month to meet me in person.
6. Q: Where can I buy your eggs in Melbourne?
A: Please refer to the "Stockists" section at top of page
7. Q: Can I have eggs delivered to my door from you?
A: Yes, at certain times of year you can order a minimum of 1 BOX of 15 CARTONS (15 Dozen eggs) to your door. Feel free to text me on 0487260620 to arrange this and check availability/pricing
8. Q: Where are you located?
A: 1677 Melbourne-Lancefield rd, near Clarkefield. At the foothills of the Mt. Macedon Ranges.
9. Q: Are your egg cartons biodegradable?
A: Yes! 100% sticker, adhesive and all. Although if you buy them from the farm stall or the farmers market, you can give them back to me for re-use.
10. Q: Whats the difference between free range and organic?
A: There is a lot of overlap between organic and free range eggs as the hen housing and outdoor range configuration used by farmers is very similar.
Put simply, all organic eggs are also free range but not all free range eggs are organic.
Australian egg farmers cannot produce organic eggs in cage or barn-laid production systems.
In both free range and organic egg farming, the hens have access to open ranges during the day and are provided with secure climate-controlled sheds where they feed, drink, roost, lay eggs and feel safe away from predators.
Where organic egg farming differs from free range is:
Organic feed is produced without synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides
The organic paddocks hens roam around on are free of any chemicals
The hen stocking rate in organic is lower than free range
Vaccines and antibiotics are avoided as much as possible in organic farming
Something to be aware of is that the standard for "free range" is only 5 minutes per day access to outdoors. Our organic standard is access outside or inside at the hens whim for all daylight hours.
Free range stocking rate is 10,000/ ha.
Organic stocking rate standard is 1000/ ha.
Free range hens can be de-beaked. Organic hens cannot.
11. Q: Why are Certified Organic Eggs so expensive?
A: Many reasons:
-Certified Organic Eggs require Certified Organic Feed, which is in high demand.
-Droughts, floods and Fires repeatedly devastate Australian Organic grains and grains overall. In an emergency non-organic farms can buy up organic feed but it cannot work in the reverse.
-Excessive taxation on every level of production and only 'Big Agriculture' have the capital to afford the teams of lawyers and accountants to use rebates and loopholes, squashing smaller competition (me) and fostering monopolies.