Eggcettera: a free-range love story
Founded in 2014 by Tim Somes and Nick Proud, Eggcettera is a free-range egg farm located near Allora in southern Queensland. Commencing as a small plot of about 80 hens supplying eggs to an office in Brisbane, Eggcettera has since grown, expanding into a bigger venture while maintaining its focus on sustainable farming.
Legally in Queensland, the stocking rate can’t exceed 10,000 birds per hectare, or one bird per square metre – but Tim and Nick believe this isn’t near enough room for their beloved girls to display natural behaviour, so they’ve capped their stocking density at one bird per eight square meters. The hens are shifted to new pasture every seven to ten days, providing them a smorgasbord of fresh interesting flora and fauna to chase and devour.
Their days are spent scratching in the new soil, chasing fresh worms and eating insects – forming a significant proportion of their diet – enjoying dust baths and stretching their wings. They also graze on fresh water, seed and the new grass they encounter, and have a mobile hen house where they can enter of their own free will to lay eggs and roost of an evening for protection. The hens’ droppings fertilise the grass that is left behind in a natural manner, enabling the farm to be self-sustaining without the use of man-made fertilisers. The girls are also protected from foxes and predators by their security guard alpacas Bruce and Victor.
Being able to behave the way nature intended, the hens lay fresh lovely eggs with a noticeably different taste and colour to your typical supermarket-bought cartons. The Eggcettera team makes deliveries around Brisbane to homes, offices, cafes and shops every Monday, and you can now also find them at the farmers markets at Brisbane Powerhouse on alternating weekends.
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