Last Updated: October 21, 2014

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Walker Farm Food claims 'nomadic' chickens are truly free-range

This egg producer lets his 40,000 hens range freely and gets a tick from the RSPCA.

Kasey Walker with her ‘nomadic’ chickens. Picture: Russell Shakespeare

Kasey Walker with her ‘nomadic’ chickens. Picture: Russell Shakespeare Source: News Corp Australia

ONE Queensland farmer is fighting back against the watering down of free-range chicken restrictions, saying consumer perceptions have been scrambled.

Kacey Walker, a third-generation farmer from the Sunshine Coast hinterland, said the Queensland Government’s changes to the free-range definition last year, raising the limit of 1500 hens per hectare to 10,000 had left consumers confused.

“Free range doesn’t mean free range any more,’’ Mrs Walker said. “I don’t think people really know what they are getting when they buy free-range eggs.’’

Rather than a barn, Walker Farm Food’s “nomadic’’ chickens live in remodelled caravans, kitted out with laying houses, and open windows. The van is relocated, while the chickens are sleeping, every two days, so the hens have a new patch to explore.

“The chickens will devastate a patch of grass pretty quickly, so moving around gives them fresh nutrients and bugs and things like that. Our system means the chickens have constant access to fresh grass, and we’re certified as a humane choice,’’ she said.

It’s a farming practice growing in popularity with small-scale producers as the eggs are truly free range and tastier than their mainstream counterparts.

Originally published as Free-range chook notions scrambled

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  • Gandalf of Central Vic Posted at 10:51 AM March 18, 2014

    What is a "range egg" and why are they free?

  • Ray Caruana of Melbourne Posted at 9:12 AM March 18, 2014

    I agree free to range but what are you feeding them..........

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