Last Updated: November 27, 2014

Weather: Canberra 9°C - 23°C . Partly cloudy.

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

Labor cool on burns commitment

n40bm507 a1 The DSE are doing planned burns in Derrimut. Parks Victoria Fire Fighter Hayden Regan

THE Victorian Labor leader has refused to commit to the Royal Commission-recommended planned burns target.

Regions pivotal to election

Thinkstock generic image of woman voting in ballot box.

REGIONAL Victoria will play a major role in deciding who forms government on Saturday.

R&D move ‘may cost millions’

QUESTION TIMNE

MOVING key government agencies out of Canberra to regional Australia could cost millions of dollars.

Advice rules salvaged

Greg White Tallygaroopna

VICTIMS of failed managed investment schemes have ­welcomed moves to restore tougher rules governing ­financial advisers.

Gippsland musician up for ARIA

QST_CSH_URBAN45

TONIGHT Cowwarr man Harry Hookey could win his first ARIA

Weekly Times story tips

Who gets ag?

Labor campaign tour

COUNTRY Victoria is in the dark as to who will be Victoria’s Agriculture Minister should Labor win government.

AFL hopeful returns to the farm

Oscar McDonald

NORTH Ballarat Rebels’ Oscar McDonald heads home as tomorrow’s National Draft draws closer.

Animal welfare overhaul

Australian beef cattle

UPDATE: VICTORIA’s peak farming body has changed the makeup of its animal welfare committee.

Simplicity the secret to D65-D

Simplicity the secret to D65-D

MACDON’S D65-D draper models have been making a splash in the Mallee.

Hollingworth nutures nature

Robert Hollingworth

NOT a flower, frog, bird or smidgen of lichen on Robert Hollingworth’s property has gone unrecorded.

Grow it and they will come

FARM Green Olive at Red Hill

GREG and Sue O’Donoghue started a farm with olives, then added grapes, sheep, chooks, vegies and herbs. Then they opened their gate to visitors.