Last Updated: July 03, 2015

Weather: Canberra -6°C - 11°C . Severe morning frost. Sunny.

National

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

Have your say

Skip to:
Read comments
Add comments

Add your comment on this story

Comments Form

1200 characters left

Your details
Post Options

Comments on this story

  • 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..........

News

Working group after raw milk

Raw Milk On Sale

A WORKING group will investigate ways to stop the consumption of raw milk being marketed as bath milk.

Latrobe to vote on gay marriage

Gay Marriage Demo

LATROBE City Council in Gippsland will vote to take a position on same-sex marriage next week.

PM to unveil White Paper

PM Tony Abbott

THE Federal Government will unveil its Agriculture White Paper north of Warrnambool tomorrow morning.

MG goes live on the ASX

Murray Goulburn, Laverton. 60th Anniversary. Truck.

UPDATE: UP to 3 per cent of the Murray Goulburn units have been traded in the first hour of its listing today.

Hamilton salutes Walsh

Adelaide Crows training _ Phil Walsh

UPDATE: HAMILTON Kangaroos will hold a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh.

Weekly Times story tips

Hamilton salutes Walsh

Adelaide Crows training _ Phil Walsh

UPDATE: HAMILTON Kangaroos will hold a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh.

Hamilton salutes Walsh

Adelaide Crows training _ Phil Walsh

UPDATE: HAMILTON Kangaroos will hold a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh.

Dismay at degree of decline

Dismay at degree of decline

A DECREASE in the number of horticulture students has been described as “horrific.”

First man up for the Challenger

First man up for the Challenger

A SOUTH Australian farmer is the first in the country to take delivery of a new Challenger MT800 series tractor.

Chance of rare winter cyclone

Chance of rare winter cyclone

A TROPICAL low poses a risk of developing into a rare out-of-season cyclone in the Coral Sea.