Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Take it slow when setting up a farm

When you first think about starting a farming business, talk to an acountant before you get too far, to ensure that you maximise the benefits.You may be able offset existing income so establishing a farm may have no net cost by using cash that would otherwise disappear in tax. It’s important to think about the type of business you want to run and the scale of the enterprise. If you need to minimise spending, then setting up a small=scale free range egg farm may be ideal. Get as much information as you can and a good starting point is reading the eBook available from Freeranger eggs. Check out our website at www.freeranger.com.au

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The taste of eggs depends on the hens' diet

“Why don’t my eggs taste as good as yours?” Is a question we are often asked, even by people with the same breed of hens – Isa Browns. When I speak to them about how they keep their hens, the answer is often that they are kept in yards and fed layer pellets. Well, that’s the difference, our hens are in paddocks with unrestricted access to pasture including insects, worms etc and a supplementary diet of grains. Commercial layer pellets contain a wide range of fillers, binders and additives including meat meal and colouring pigments whereas our feed is formulated to our specification by a Feed Safe certified mill, Reid Stockfeeds. The quality of each egg is determined by what the hen has eaten. With a natural diet, the eggs will taste as they should. Back yard eggs will seldom taste as good as eggs from genuine free range hens. Because their diet is limited.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Egg graders for free range farms

There are various brands of egg grading machines on the market suitable for free range egg farms Some, such as the egomatic are readily available second hand but other makes are available, such as the Riva Selegg, Zenyer, Mobanette and the Nuevo grader. Most of them are probably only available new from a dealer.

Free egg production and food safety program for Freeranger Club members

Our Egg Production and Food Safety Program is available as a free download to all who join the Freeranger Club. It will help new egg producers to establish good systems. Check out details on our website

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

new environmental guidelines being developed for Australia's egg industry

Australian Eggs Ltd is preparing new environmental guidelines for the egg industry However the new guidelines for free range operations probably won't be any improvement on the old ones published in 2008.The industry is dominated by corporate players who don't accept that free range is a niche market with small-scale production. Corporate egg producers want to maximise returns by running at least 10,000 hens per hectare, when the maximum sustainable density is 1500 per hectare.Each hen produces half a cubic metre of manure per year - so at a stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare, a colossal 5000 cubic metres of manure is dumped on each hectare every year. When large numbers of animals are farmed intensively in industrial units in an attempt to maximise profits, problems are inevitable. Disease control and food safety are prime issues as is environmental sustainability. Since the Second World War agricultural practices have gone through massive changes in mechanisation, chemical use and large-scale intensive farming. As a result of increasing the density of domestic farm animals, reported farm pollution incidents have sky-rocketed. In some areas farm waste is a major problem. Some countries report that about half of all serious water pollution incidents are caused by manure run-off from farms. Poultry, cows and pigs are the farm animals most responsible for the pollution. Livestock production occupies 70% of all land used for agriculture and 30% of the planet’s land surface. It is responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalents. It also generates 64% of the ammonia, which contributes to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems. A large quantity of animal waste is generated by concentrated animal feeding operations and disposal of the waste has been a major problem. If the soil or plants are unable to absorb the nutrients the run-off gets into water systems. On Intensive free range farms running 10,000 hens per hectare, the huge volume of manure on paddocks poses an ecological risk to water courses because of the high nutrient load. Farm waste has led to the growth of toxic algae in waterways (algal blooms), the development of parasitic infections on various species. This is why all farms should follow an Environmental Management plan and why low stocking densities must be maintained.

Monday, January 01, 2018

2018 should be a better year

Happy New Year to all our customers and fellow farmers. Let's hope that 2018 is a better year because genuine producers of free range eggs have been beset by ridiculous standards and regulations drawn up by incompetent bureaucrats and politicians as well as unfair competition from corporate operators pretending that their eggs are free range and unregulated back-yard operators who pay no registration fees and meet no food safety standards.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Conditional approval for avian influenza vaccine

Potentially catastrophic problems of Avian influenza may soon be diminished with the wide availability of a vaccine for poultry.The U S Department of Agriculture has conditionally approved the first DNA vaccine for poultry in the battle against avian influenza. The conditional license granted to Montana-based AgriLabs for high pathogenic H5 will provide a tool for US poultry producers if stockpiling is needed for future cases of avian influenza. A spokesman for the company said the move was a major milestone in meeting the promise of DNA vaccines in animal health. DNA vaccines are attractive because they don’t expose the animals being treated to disease-producing organisms and there is no risk of a modified pathogen mutating back to a virulent form. The vaccines also provide the ability to differentiate among infected and vaccinated animals. The approval will allow production of the vaccine to be stockpiled for future use in the event of an outbreak.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Setting up a free range farm

Clear consumer demand for free range eggs has generated a strong increase in the number of people thinking about starting their own free range egg business. A good starting point is reading the eBook on starting a free range farm available on the Freeranger Eggs website: www.freeranger.com.au . Detailed information is available on the Freeranger Club downloads page about things like shed requirements, feed,stock management, food safety, egg packaging and labelling. When deciding to set up a free range egg farm, take the time to plan it properly. Find out the zoning of the land and talk to your local Council planning department about their requirements. It’s also worth contacting the State Department of Agriculture. You can find on-line resources in most states. In Victoria, contact: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/farm-management/business-management/permits/guidelines-for-rural-planning-applications. Once that is sorted, talk to your Council Environmental Health Department about any specific requirements they have before you get underway. Mobile sheds provide an ideal and low-cost way to become an egg producer for your local area.