Our Farms

Kerrie:  This is our home and the original home of Josh’s Eggs.  The farm is nestled in the Kerrie Valley surrounded by seven hills.  We have 120 acres with six fox proof paddocks.  We started with hens here in 2008, and have made many mistakes, but fortunately learned heaps.  We now have a small flock of hens, 70 dorper sheep, 9 dairy cows and vegetable and fruit gardens that provide virtually all our food.

Romsey:  This is a large 250 acre farm 5 minutes from our home where we have our hens.  The land is flatter and the sky is infinite, we get the most amazing sunsets and sunrises.  It is very different from the forested hills we live among.  It is easier to have hens here as they have so much space to forage in.  We have some help during the week, however on weekends and holidays the family collects all the eggs and does the daily chores.

Our Growers: One of the hardest things about managing an egg farm for us is making sure you have enough eggs to meet your customers’ needs all year round.  This is especially challenging when we are rotating flocks.  Usually over a period of about a week we give away our older hens to backyarders and then clean the sheds, make any equipment improvements, and then get a lovely new flock of young hens which are called pullets.  These hens are however only 16 weeks old and so don’t lay eggs for at least another 4 weeks.  For 4 more weeks the eggs start small and slowly get bigger until we have beautiful new 700g eggs again.  During this period, we can be short many eggs.  We have dealt with this issue by sourcing eggs from growers we know and trust.  We have visited their farms and seen their operation.  We have made this decision as being a small egg business we don’t like having unhappy customers and store managers who have shelves empty of eggs. Consistency of supply is an important part of being a good egg brand.  Our growers farms are all within 100kms of our farm, so we ensure our eggs are local and fresh.

Ethical Eggs

Ethical Eggs – How we raise our hens

Our farming system includes mobile sheds that house relatively small flocks.

We have mobile French chalets that are on skids. We move them across the paddock with a mini-bulldozer.  Inside the hens have food, water and their nests.  There are 1200-1300 hens in each chalet. Because the flocks are small the hens can come and go from the chalets very easily. It is a place for them to sleep and to lay an egg.  Sometimes if it rains they go inside.   Essentially the hens live outside.  The eggmobiles and chalets are moved across the paddock so the impact of the hens on the pasture is minimised.  In fact their manure regenerates the soil and we get amazing pasture growth, which the cows and sheep love to eat too.  This also allows us to rest certain parts of the paddock and therefore help the grass to grow more vigorously.

We have called our eggs ethical eggs because we believe we are raising our hens in way that allows them to do all the things that hens love to do. To understand what makes a management system ethical, we believe we need to look at the ability of the hen to express its innate behaviours, to express its true chickeness!  We believe there are five main behaviours that make a chicken happy.

First, hens love to forage. They spend most of their day voraciously scratching for bugs, worms, seeds, anything tasty hiding under the mulch or in the soil.

Second, hens love to dustbathe everyday.  The dust helps them keep away any parasites that crawl under their feathers.  In the paddock there are many places where the hens dustbathe.  They create sometimes quite large holes full of lose soil which they then immerse themselves in.

Third, hens love to roost.  As their wild ancestors came from the jungles of South America, it is no wonder they are happiest high up in a tree or on the top perch.  We provide perches so they can rest there in the day and sleep there at night.

Fourth, hens love to sun themselves.  As they stretch out one leg and its wing, the excess heat dislodges feather parasites and allows the hen to remove it when preening.

Lastly, hens will seek out a dark secluded spot to make themselves a nest and lay their eggs.