OPEN RANGE | FRESH gRASSES | ROAMING FREE
OUR CHOOKS HAVE SO MUCH SPACE AND GRASS THEY'RE LIVING THE CHICKEN DREAM
BREED: Isa Browns
CURRENT BROOD SIZE: 7500 Hens
STOCKING DENSITY: Less than 8 chooks, per hectare
CURRENT PRODUCTION: 28,000 Real Eggs per week/1.4 million per year
PROVENANCE: Victoria - Daylesford & Hamilton
At Real Eggs, sheep graze and shorten the pasture, making way for the chooks to rejuvenate and fertilise the paddocks; it’s a holistic symbiotic system that connects farming with nature's biorhythms. Paul and Jacqui Righetti, Real Eggs founders and fourth-generation custodians of their family farm in Yandoit, near Daylesford, acutely feel a responsibility to honour the soil, the open pastures, the land and its creatures. Their philosophy and farming practices support the idea that ‘open range’ farming should be the benchmark for free range egg farming.
The Real Eggs chickens arrive at the farm when they are 16-weeks old. Unlike many other egg farm chickens, Real Eggs' chickens are not de-beaked, as this prevents them from naturally foraging for bugs and worms, which in-turn increases the nutrient density of the eggs and contributes to their rich-coloured yolk. Over 2-3 weeks, the chickens learn about their new home - perching, where to lay, how to enter and exit their shelter and locate food and water. The chickens roost in six custom-made ‘campers’ that are moved every couple of days to fresh pasture. The campers provide shelter, water and access to extra grains from a local seed mill that complement the chickens' natural foraging. Hay bales are positioned under the campers to help the chickens learn the entry points into the camper where they lay their eggs. Chickens feed on the pastures, a mix of annual rye grass, native grass, phalaris, coxfoot and lucerne. They also get to know their protective guardians; two Maremma dogs and an Alpaca who patrol and live with the brood to keep them safe from predators such as foxes. The egg farming process Real Eggs uses might be hands-on and labour intensive, but that’s more than okay because it affords greater care and control and creates a superior, highly ethical product that has the welfare of the Real Eggs chooks at its core.
Currently, the brood numbers 6000 hens that produce 28,000 eggs per week or 1.4 million per year. The brood continues to grow due to demand for their exceptional eggs as well as the positive impact the hens have on the farm's soil and pastures. Real Eggs aims to be a collective of like-minded farmers who believe ‘open range’ farming should be the benchmark for free range egg farming. The Righettis work with only one other small producer located in Hamilton, Victoria. This model will grow in accordance with strict compliance requirements.
Real Eggs are healthy eggs from the happiest hens you’d ever have the pleasure to meet!