Free Range Egg Production

chickens-field

Free range egg production

This is the largest enterprise on the farm.

16,000 hens producing eggs for Noble Foods Ltd, who own the Happy Egg Company and Gü Desserts.  Noble Foods Ltd is the leading egg packer in the country and a major supplier to most of the UK’s supermarkets.

Our hens are really important to us so we ensure that our flocks meet the standards of the UK Lion Code of Practice and we are also pleased to be an RSPCA Freedom Foods assured farm.

Our “girls” have 8 hectares (20 acres) of pasture to range over during the day in which we have planted nearly 600 trees for their comfort and stimulation, as hens love the shade and cover of trees.

 

Mid Suffolk-20140821-00125
Mid Suffolk-20140821-00127

They also have various climbing frames, shelters and sand pits, which they thoroughly enjoy using!

Inside the hut as well as access to feed and water and secluded nest boxes (after all they need a bit of privacy!) there is a large “scratch area” with plenty of litter (chopped straw & wood shavings). This gives them an indoor area to exercise in. We add plenty of “toys” to this area to stimulate and entertain them, even if it means we occasionally trip over them!

In the summer we graze our Red Poll cattle on the range and the chickens enjoy the company of the cattle. Not as exotic as Ox-Pecker birds and Cape Buffalo in Africa, but our own Suffolk equivalent!

In the evening it’s not unusual to see several birds climbing all over the bull. And they can be quite fierce with the cows, not being averse to giving one a swift peck if she’s in their way!

A lot of time and effort goes into producing eggs in this way, it is more labour intensive and requires significantly more management input but we believe it is worth it as happy hens produce tastier eggs!

Meeting the same high standards, we also have a smaller mobile hut in which we can keep up to 1,000 hens. Although we usually only house between 600 & 700 birds in it. These birds also have their own cows to keep them company at times in the summer!

The mobile unit ensures we always have enough eggs to supply our vending machine and our wholesale customers.

At certain times we also have hens for sale (both mature hens and young pullets). We advertise when they are available but do get in touch at any time if you are interested in having some hens.