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TRAVEL ADVICE: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) INFORMATION

Spotlight on Local Produce: 12 Good Eggs

Written by guest bloggers - The Vibe Tribe

The Happiest Chickens Lay The Tastiest Eggs!

Forever on the hunt for environmentally friendly, sustainable, organic and most importantly -humane and animal friendly produce to incorporate into our modern lives, it was a no brainer to visit the gorgeous paddocks that are home to 12 Good Eggs.

Eggs obviously come from chickens (but which came first?) and to lay the tastiest, healthiest eggs for us to consume, the chickens need to be nurtured and kept in an environment that encourages optimal laying conditions. Now, if I were a chicken, there is nowhere I’d rather be than spending my days roaming about the 12 Good Eggs paddocks, enjoying the country air.

When we arrived at the farm to meet with owner, Kate Redfern, we were greeted at the driveway by two excited Jack Russell’s and the adorable little face of the goodest egg of all - Kate’s son, Henry. 4 years old, whip smart, super cute and already a little farmer in the making, Henry led the pack to the paddocks, excitedly chatting about showing us ‘his’ chooks, ‘his’ dogs and the dams on the property. We dutifully followed through the gates, and we were welcomed immediately by what felt like a stampede of hens charging towards us, curious and friendly, wanting to check out the new faces. Not one of them were fearful of humans – it overwhelmingly and genuinely felt like they just wanted to say hello, have a little (light) peck on our shoes to check our intentions, and once they confirmed we were friendly, they loyally followed us around the whole paddock – content to have some human company and interaction. Some even stretching their necks out, demanding a little scratch under their beaks and a ruffle of their feathers.

We were lucky enough to have Kate take us on a little tour of the property and provide an explanation of the business. The farm, on the outskirts of Moulamein is the home of the hens, and the grading and packing operates from nearby Barham. During the past year of restrictions and border closures, the business had to pivot quite rapidly, moving away from their traditional distribution process of selling their eggs at farmers markets and stocking IGAs and independent supermarkets; to whipping together an ordering online platform linked to their website, and arranging deliveries of delicious fresh eggs directly to their customer’s door, all over Melbourne, Victoria and New South Wales. More than ever in recent times, people are staying home, baking, cooking with their families; and also wanting to know exactly where their produce is coming from. This combined with the rise in a healthy, organic way of eating has created a surge of new interest and new customers, preferring to support local businesses and order direct, farm to table style, from the producer.

To adhere to strict biosecurity regulations, the 12 Good Eggs farm is not open to the public so allow me to set the scene. Imagine large, wide open paddocks, with shady trees, plenty of soil and grass, small water dams, fencing to keep out predators plus the added security of a gorgeous Maremma sheepdog (famously known for being one of the best breeds of livestock guardian dogs) in each paddock to protect the feathered ladies; custom built chicken coops for safe sleeping and laying, and the beautiful kind-hearted Redfern family collecting the eggs several times a day and loving the chooks like family.

Compared to the industry standard of 10,000 hens per hectare, 12 Good Eggs’ stocking density is just 150 hens per hectare – meaning this clucky girl gang has plenty of room to roam, dust bathe, scratch and forage, eat, drink and just generally be super content, healthy and friendly. Although provided with comfortable homes to sleep and lay eggs, the hens are free to roam the paddocks as they please. Therefore, rather than ‘free range’ the better term for 12 Good Eggs, are ‘'Paddock Eggs.' Not only is this an overall better quality of life for the hens, but the nutritional benefits passed on to us, through their far superior eggs are evident.

Nutritional studies of pasture or paddock eggs, compared to conventionally raised eggs show the following:

  • 3-6 times more vitamin D
  • 70% more vitamin B 12
  • 50-200% more folate
  • 40-60% more vitamin A
  • 30-34% less cholesterol
  • 10-25% less saturated fat
  • 2-7 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 2-3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene

Environmentally, the mobile coops for the chooks are shifted around regularly as part of a holistic approach to land management. Soil is regenerated through rotational grazing which disperses nutrients across the farm and prevents manure and subsequent pathogen build-up and allows for healthy natural fertilisation of the paddocks. Supplementary feed is formulated by an experienced industry nutritionist and fills the gap in seasonal variations in paddock feed availability and hen health requirements, meaning consistent, high egg quality can be maintained. The girls enjoy a wonderful free life and in return give great tasting, nutritious paddock eggs.

With 60 times more space than industry standard for the beautiful hens to freely roam; hormone and chemical free, it’s easy to see why 12 Good Eggs are tastier, healthier, and simply a better option for you and your family. You can pick some up today from your local IGA, gourmet food store or independent supermarket; or simply order online for fast delivery straight to your home, and enjoy!

Click here for more information and where to buy