Demonstration Site Only
Just Good Eggs from Happy Chooks
byron ZEN...... what where and how
Free range eggs come from hens that have access to an outdoor range during the day but are housed securely and comfortably in sheds at night.
To be classified as a free range egg farm, the hens must have meaningful and regular access to an outdoor range during daylight hours. Farmers facilitate this by opening up doors to the sheds (called pop holes) every morning and closing them up in the late afternoon when the hens are back inside.
If free range hens lived outside 24/7 they would be completely exposed to the elements, have a harder time laying, and be easy prey for predators like foxes and hawks. So free range hens can use a secure outdoor range area to scratch the grass and move among the trees during the day, while still having the safety of a shed at night.
Unlike in many other areas of the world, Australia’s arid climate means we can operate free range systems for 12 months of the year. Only in extreme weather such as a heatwave or flood would a farmer consider not opening the doors to let the hens outside.
It would be impossible to collect all the eggs if the hens laid them outside so free range sheds have specially fitted nest boxes where hens go to lay an egg each day. A gentle tilt in every box allows the eggs to roll onto a conveyor belt and be carried out of the shed automatically.
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