A Day In The Life Of An Egg Farmer

I have a rule in my life that my morning alarm should only ever be allowed to go off before 7 am for holidays. Last Wednesday it was set for 04:50 am (wince) but I broke my own rule because I wasn’t off on holiday. Unless you count a day in Tring, Hertfordshire, as a holiday. I have to admit at that unruly hour I was tempted to turn the alarm off and go back to sleep but instead I lugged myself out of bed and got ready for an early morning drive out of Bristol.

 After getting a little bit lost, I found my destination – Bulborne Farm and walked into a room full of other bloggers, some familiar and some new faces. We were all there to spend the day as a Happy Egg Co farmer. After a strong cup of tea and a quick chat with everyone, I donned the sexiest of blue overalls and headed out into the fields with farmer JP and the rest of the bloggers.

Bloggers at Bulborne Farm
Bulborne Farm is one of many across the country which is run by Noble Foods, the guys behind the famous yellow boxed Happy Egg Co. eggs. The farm is fully organic and completely dedicated to one thing – eggs. Spread over a huge space are several big hen houses, surrounded by trees, shelters and bushes. I never really knew what ‘free-range’ meant but having seen the amount of space the chickens have there, I get it now. We were there to see one of the hen houses opened for the day and it was a delight to see all the girls (as they are known) run out into the morning sunshine clucking away as they went.
Free range chickens at Bulborne Farm

We learnt a lot about the chickens and how the egg collection process happens. I was surprised to hear that the eggs are packed and stamped by hand, just one way of keeping consistency and quality high. We had time to meet the girls up close and were taught how to hold a chicken – harder than it sounds! It really made me smile to see how they gathered around us whilst we were chatting in the field, very tame and clearly used to humans being around them without seeming like a threat. At one point I had a naughty little chicken pecking at my wellies!

After our morning on the farm, we headed back to base for lunch – cooked by the chefs from London’s Jackson + Rye restaurants. Eggs were on the menu and I wouldn’t have expected anything less. Devilled Egg Canapés followed by Eggs Florentine with Avocado and Huevos Rancheros deliciously spicy with red chillies and chorizo. For pudding, we had a Pecan Tart which was to die for – and I don’t have a sweet tooth. It might sound like a lot but after an early start and lots of walking around the farm, it was exactly what we needed.

The Happy Egg Co came under fire in the press a few months back, someone connected to UKIP published incorrect facts in the Daily Mail—those two names alone ring alarm bells for me—when questioned, our hosts explained clearly and honestly that the story had been riddled with errors and was factually incorrect. Plus, the images used were taken of a coup of chickens being treated for an illness, a fact on which the RSPCA-backed them up. The Daily Mail published an apology online but of course the damage was done. I can only speak from my own experience but what I saw was a lot of very happy, healthy chickens living in very good conditions.

These guys go above what is required for a ‘free-range’ egg. They produce their own feed for the chickens and sponsor a PHD student who’s work focuses on how to make the chickens as happy as possible, through the introduction of toys to stimulate their minds and reduce stress. Each hen house is surrounded by at least 20% trees for shade during the day and hen houses include areas for the chickens to hang out if they don’t fancy the fresh air. 

 

At the end of the day – happy chickens mean happy eggs. And from what I can see, these guys are doing a ‘cracking’ job. 

 

The Happy Egg Co invited me to visit their farm and are paying me for this post. However, all opinions are my own. As is that awful egg pun at the end. Hey, at least it was just the one!

Leave a comment

  1. 9th August 2016 / 9:27 am

    Great post! I get so angry with the power of the press to attack a brand with down right FALSE stories. Like you say, apologies do get published but only ever in tiny print where no one is looking and the damage is already done 🙁 Glad to hear that the happy egg brand do live up to their name though! It is lovely to see how much space they get. Clearly no need to feel guilty about buying a big yellow box of eggs now 🙂

  2. 9th August 2016 / 10:20 am

    Yes exactly, printing down and out wrong information happens all the time and it's sad when it affects peoples businesses! I can only talk about the one farm I visited but it was beyond expectation and those chick chicks were very happy ladies!

  3. 9th August 2016 / 1:10 pm

    Really interesting to see behind the scenes and look first hand at the farm. Pleased to hear the Happy Egg Co brand are living up to their name and the lunch sounded delicious.

  4. 10th August 2016 / 8:05 am

    I only ever buy free range eggs, it's so important that there is a focus on the welfare and quality of our produce. I really loved this 'behind the scenes' style post to learn more about a free range brand.

  5. 10th August 2016 / 9:21 am

    Thank you Jemma, it was a great day out, something a bit different!

  6. 10th August 2016 / 9:21 am

    The lunch was OH SO delicious but I was so full I just couldn't finish it!!

  7. 19th August 2016 / 10:11 pm

    It was a such a great day out, was brilliant meeting you. I love how huge the farm is !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *