Come and visit us during Fair Food Week…
Freeranger Eggs at Grantville near Phillip Island in South Gippsland, is proving that farm profitability doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment. The whole property covers about 80 hectares but the farming venture operates on about 30 hectares. With less than 1500 chickens, Freeranger eggs is a low intensity, cost-effective enterprise that is demonstrating a commitment to protecting biodiversity in the region – as well as supplying local restaurants and consumers with top quality eggs.
We operate with a stocking density below 750 hens per hectare and our chickens are not de-beaked.
Genuine free range egg production is a labour intensive business, with all eggs collected, sorted and packed by hand. Anne and Phil are Freeranger’s only human workers, but the eight Maremma dogs used to protect the hens are invaluable. “We couldn’t do this without them,” says Anne, explaining how, even with electrified net fencing surrounding the paddocks, foxes can get in and attack birds.
Being truly free range (the hens have 24 hour access to pasture with roosting and laying houses in each paddock), infrastructure on the property is minimal. Apart from the grading shed and cool room used for sorting and storing eggs, the main infrastructure is five or six electro-netted paddocks, nine mobile roosting houses, and solar units for fencing and lighting.
Chook numbers are kept low to avoid the problems that trouble large, intensive
operations. The farm chooses to run less than 750 chickens per hectare even though the industry standard currently allows up to 1500. The Australian Egg Corporation now wants to allow farms which run up to 20,000 hens per hectare to be classified as free range. (It has admitted that up a third of all eggs labelled as ‘free range’ are actually produced on highly intensive farms with up to 40,000 hens per hectare. Such densities have significant implications for land sustainability, quite apart from the issues of consumer deception and animal welfare.
245a Stanley Road, Grantville
About Freeranger Eggs...
Freeranger Eggs is registered with Bass Coast Shire and DEPI and is accredited by the Victorian Farmers markets Associaion.
Our mission is to show that farming can be conducted ethically, with environmentally sustainble outcomes and hight animal welfare standards.
No need to book just turn up between 2:00pm and 3:30pm on Friday 10 October, 2014.
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