Laying hens are incredible animals. They weigh at most 2kg but everyday they lay an egg that is 65g of perfect nutrition. It would be like us regrowing a new arm every day. Eggs have been described as the perfect meal . They contain all of the most essential vitamins and minerals and the perfect blend of amino acids and energy for our nutrition. So we look after our hens and they always repay us with wonderful eggs.
We grow everything on our farm to Soil Association Organic Standards and the hens are no exception. In addition to eating organic feed the organic rules prohibit antibiotics and other unnecessary medicines. Organic regulations also have a strict welfare section which ensures that the organic birds have more space than free range and better access to the grass outside. It would be impossible to keep a hen indoors and call it organic. With correct training this means that our birds really do go out and use the fields around their sheds. They will scratch around in the sun, rain and cold but the one weather that they just hate is the wind. Being so light, they are easily blown around and with that in mind we have begun planting trees in their fields. In years to come this should help them get about even on the windiest days.
The hens are an essential part of our organic system. They provide some of the best muck on the farm which gets spread on the land and built into the soil. This healthy soil grows grass which the cattle and sheep eat to produce our beef and lamb and the cattle and sheep leave their fertility for the crops. We then close the loop by growing our own wheat to feed our hens. This endless recycling of goodness builds a healthy system and allows us to harvest the surplus and eat healthy food. There is no better food than an egg.