THE HENS, THE EGGS, THE PACKING PROCESS
The girls are 18 week old ‘point of lay’ pullets when they arrive at Blue Tractor Farm. The breed is called Hi-Line, these girls are known for laying high quality eggs and are consistent layers. Their first few weeks at the farm involves being trained to go into the nest boxes to lay their eggs.
By about 23 weeks the hens are fully trained, laying eggs in the nest boxes and comfortable in their chicken caravan mobile homes. The chicken caravan holds 450 hens, the caravan has perches for the girls to roost in and plenty of nest boxes. Once the eggs are laid in the nest box, they gently roll onto a conveyer belt, located under the nest boxes. The conveyor makes collecting the eggs more manageable and the eggs are clean.
At the back of the chicken caravan is a specially designed egg packing area where the eggs are collected by hand, taken back to the packing shed for quality control checks where any damaged, cracked or disfigured eggs are discarded. From there they are carefully hand packed into egg cartons or trays and delivered fresh.
The hens have three grain feeders so there is plenty of room to access the laying pellets. A water cart is located within meters of the chicken caravan, this encourages the girls to wander outside to get sunshine and have a dust bath in the soil. Chickens keep them self clean by dusting in the soil and this is important for their wellbeing. One of the benefits of a pastured system, is that disease in the soil is prevented as the hens move onto new soil all the time and disease build up can be avoided. This is critical for the hens health and is what makes the pastured egg system different to other egg systems.
The girls are rehomed after 18 months of age, providing healthy, affordable hens to buy. The girls at Blue tractor Farm are rehomed, there is no other future for these girls other than a safe happy home. Twice a year Blue Tractor Farm has a “Hens For Sale” day where the community can come for a drive to the farm and buy themselves some happy, healthy hens.
As a boutique pastured egg business Blue Tractor Farm can be attained to healthy soils, happy healthy hens living in mobile chicken caravans and moved around the farm regularly. This rotation style of egg farming allows for the soils to be enriched with nitrogen at just the right amounts. When the soil is enriched and the bugs have been eaten, the chicken caravans are moved onto a new paddock. The hens benefit from microbes and bugs in the soil and fresh pasture to graze on. Hens cannot live on pasture alone, they still need grain and protein and the girls have an endless supply of fresh grain with all the protein they need. The grain mix does not contain soy products.
If you would like to buy Blue Tractor Farm Pastured Eggs please contact me…….