Ballarat free-range egg farmers experienced a boom in farmgate sales during COVID-19 restrictions

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From ABC

A Ballarat free range-egg farm has enjoyed a successful few months of trade despite the economic chaos COVID-19 wreaked on many Australian businesses.

White Swan Eggs usually trades 70 per cent of their stock to cafes, but as restaurants shut up shop their farm gate has completely compensated for the loss, as many people make the effort to shop locally.

Joel Owin, who runs the farm, said he had been amazed by the community’s support of small businesses through such an unprecedented time.

“The demand for our eggs has just skyrocketed,” he said.

“A lot of our sales throughout the pandemic went straight to the public, which completely switched [our trade] to about 70 per cent of our eggs going to the public.”

“It’s been phenomenal the support that we’ve had throughout the pandemic.”

Happy hens

Mr Owin and his family run 500 hens on their property, and he said the welfare of the chooks was paramount.

“We’re striving to produce an egg that’s ethically farmed, the hens have the free range all day and they’re on open pastures like they should be,” he said.

As the chickens are out in the open they are vulnerable to predators, so the farm needed to employ a specialtyskilled Maremma dog to protect them.

“Nugget is vital to this operation, he gives us a lot of piece of mind,” Mr Owin said.

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