Thursday, 28 June 2012
A clayton's 'free range'
In my second image, below, these are available at my local supermarket. Clockwise from bottom left:
Manning Valley Free Range Eggs - clean and green - pasture based farming system - On average we run 1500 to 7500 a hectare
Nature's Free Range Eggs - no presence on the web
Kangaroo Island Free Range Eggs - Fresh tasty eggs from full beaked free range hens - Genuine Free Range Eggs audited by Animal Liberation, SA - Stocking density on the range on Kangaroo Island Free Range Eggs farm is 750 hens per hectare, this means each hen has at least 13 square meters of space to itself. Beak trimming is definitely not allowed on Fryar's free range farm, all hens are full beaked which enables them to peck & scratch at seeds, insects, grubs etc as nature intended.
Holbrook Paddock Eggs - free roaming grass fed hens - Our happy Isa Brown hens follow the mob of cows. They roost and lay their eggs in portable sheds which are moved onto fresh pasture twice a week. The hens are free to roam the paddock allowing them unlimted access to fresh grass, bugs and grubs. The hens then reward us with a premium quality free range egg. Two Maremma dogs live with the hens to protect them from predators as they are NEVER locked up.
So, what is free range? According to the Free Range Farmers' Association 'Consumer research has shown that most buyers of free range eggs expect the hens to have all-day access to pasture with a stocking density of less than 1500 birds per hectare and the hens must not be de-beaked or beak trimmed'.
The FRFA goes on
'But the Australian Egg Corporation has revealed that some 'free range' farms have a stocking density of 40,000 birds per hectare or more. Beak trimming is also widely practiced to combat feather pecking and cannibalism which are a consequence of high density stocking rates ... FRFA member farms have a stocking density limit of 750 birds per Ha.'.
I purchased the Holbrook Paddock Eggs today, but unless I can get an assurance from them as to their stocking rate, I will have to go back to KI eggs, even though they travel much further.