The label may have pictures of verdant pastures stamped with the term “free range”—but are you getting what you think you are? Who’s to tell?
Despite the free range Model Code capping stocking density at 1,500 hens per hectare, some farms cram in more than 20,000. And some eggs come from flocks of up to 120,000! Is it any wonder when over half of the free range eggs sold in Australia come from only three producers? They’re Novo, Pace Farm and Manning Valley—and are responsible for the brands you see in the major supermarkets.
Coles and Woolworths have even set their free range standards with a stocking density of 10,000 hens per hectare. That’s nearly seven times the Model Code limit!
With eaters willing to pay for the extra cost of producing free range eggs, all these players can see is ka-ching!
Meanwhile, the government has rubber stamped this supermarket outdoor stocking density.
Unsure if your eggs are real free range or not? Then look for eggs with organic or animal welfare certification.
Alternatively, seek pastured eggs; if you have a concern, simply ask the farmer! Listed below are farms that move their hens every few days to enrich the soil; they’re free to dust bathe, scratch and forage, to eat worms and grubs.
The chickens’ quality diet means rich, creamy eggs for us. And buying direct, the eggs will actually be fresh, holding firm when poaching.
Look for these brands at farmers’ markets and local independent stores near you. Taste the difference and tell your friends!
Support local farmers and eat delicious fresh food to boot! Check the other directories: milk, eggs, pork, fruit and vegetables, garlic, turkeys and chickens.
Contribute: Do you know a farm that should be here? Email info AT flavourcrusader DOT com for inclusion. Learn more about the directories.
12 Good Eggs, Barham
Glen and Mardie Gray’s girls roam the paddock enjoying country air, Barham sunshine and shady Red Gums. They sleep and lay in caravans, that are shifted twice weekly, protected by electric netting and Maremma dogs.
A Taste of Paradise, Berry
Tim and Andrea Francis run this mixed organic farm, as well as provide programs for young people. Their chickens are free-range to scratch, perch and live how nature intended. Their diet is supplemented with organic feed. Twin Maremma sheepdogs protect the hens in their enclosure.
Allandale Pastured Free Range Eggs, Burnt Yards
Leisa and John’s hens are free to roam where they please, and are housed in mobile sheds so they are on fresh pasture every day. The hens are protected from predators by Maremma dogs. The hens are stocked below 100 hens per hectare.
Arden Farm, Orange
John and Kate Polain’s chickens graze freely, protected by two Maremma dogs. The farmers’ production is free from synthetic fertilisers, insecticides and herbicides.
Bega Valley Eggs, Quaama
Dan Tarasenko and Lyndal Guthrie’s chickens are free to range on pasture during the day; they lay and roost in portable A-frame structures at night. Their homes are moved weekly to keep the chickens healthy and the soil fertilized.
Brightside Produce, Captains Flat
Emily Yarra and Michael Kobier produce a range of heirloom vegetables and pastured eggs on their new, small biological farm.
Buena Vista Farm, Gerringong
On a picturesque property, Fiona and Adam Walmsley have almost 300 laying hens, mostly housed in two mobile chicken caravans. The chickens enjoy big fresh paddocks of grass, moved every few days to a fresh spot.
Burrabee Farm, Burra
The Jones family’s chickens are free to roam, scratch, bathe and feed an entire paddock, and sometimes on their neighbour’s. At night, the chickens are locked away to protect them from predators.
Cackleberries by Lashbrook Farm, Old Junee
On Anna and Bryson Lashbrook’s farm, the chickens are free to roam outside, and at night they are tucked into their shed for safety and warmth. They feast upon fresh fruit and vegetable scraps daily, with continual access to a custom grain mix and rain water.
Carbeen Pastured Produce, Manildra
Rodger and Katherine’s hens are housed in trailers; the chickens are moved daily, following in rotation behind their cattle and sheep. They’re fed grain to complement their grass and bug diet.
Clarendon Farm, Pitt Town
Ian Littleton’s hens follow the natural rhythms of a wild hen’s year. They’re free from artificial light so there are fewer eggs during autumn and winter. Hens past their laying prime reside in retirement paddocks. An electric fence and Maremmas protect them from predators.
Corndale Grove, Corndale
The Demeter certified bio-dynamic farm grows, harvests, dries and mills grain for their chickens. The chickens are moved to fresh pasture continually, housed in mobile sheds, and protected by electric fencing.
Dunromin Farm, Quorrobolong
After coal went south, Garth Short left the mining industry and now enjoys great success with pastured eggs. His rotational hen house maintains good ground cover and soil health. The hens are protected from foxes by baiting, fencing and two Maremma dogs.
Egganic, Mangrove Mountain
The Steel family’s chickens roam chemical-free paddocks, kept safe from predators by electric fencing and Maremma dogs. They lay and roost in a mobile shed and eat fresh green feed and certified organic mash. Tip from @UrbanGreenSpace
The Farm, Byron Bay
The Farm have two flocks of layer hen: an older flock of about 300 hens, housed in a mobile A-frame chicken house, and a younger flock of 450, housed in a chicken caravan. Both flocks are rotated on pasture, moved weekly to ensure the hens have a fresh supply of grass and bugs.
Farmer Brown’s Happy Hens, Spicers Creek
Hugh Maurice’s chickens are never locked up; they lay and roost in mobile caravans that are moved every few days. In return for the fresh pasture and change of vista, our girls fertilise the land and lay delicious eggs.
Glenrose Eggs, Kyogle
Eden and Jason Bruessow run 2000 chickens on their certified biodynamic farm. The hens free range on pasture, and are regularly rotated. Milk from the jersey cows is curdled and fed to the hens daily. Mareema dogs protect the flock.
Grace Springs Farm, Kulnara
Tony and Virginia Mall’s chickens are housed in mobile shelters, which are rotated to regenerate the pastures.
Grassy’s Grass Fed, Yass
The McGrath family operates Grassy’s Grass Fed, but the most important members of staff are the three Maremma dogs who allow the hens to roam free when they wish. Housed in mobile trailers and moved onto fresh pasture regularly, the chickens improve the soil and produce quality eggs.
Green Connect Illawarra, Warrawong
The Wollongong-based not-for-profit social enterprise employs young people and former refugees. Vege box subscribers can purchase their eggs.
Gunning Bum Nuts, Gunning
Craig and Theresa Robinson’s chickens have access to pasture all day, every day, and are rotated through chemical-free paddocks. They also have access to fresh rainwater in enclosed tanks.
The Happy Hens Eggs, Jindera
Vet nurse Cassie has a small flock of Araucana and Plymouth Rock hens. The mobile home is moved weekly.
Hayters Hill, Byron Bay
Brothers Hugh and David Trevor-Jones are fourth generation farmers with a 120-hectare mixed farm just five minutes from Byron Bay. Their 2 000 chickens are systematically rotated on pasture with plenty of room to move.
Hilltops Free Range Eggs, Boorowa
Anthony de Silva moves the chicken’s mobile sheds around every few days so they can always enjoy fresh green grass. He rotates the paddocks between the chickens, Merino sheep and Angus beef cattle.
Holbrook Paddock Eggs, Holbrook
Sam and Prue Pincott’s 2 600 hens roost and lay in portable sheds which are moved onto fresh pasture twice weekly; they’re free to roam the paddock with access to fresh grass, bugs and grubs. Two Maremma dogs protect them from predators, as they’re never locked up.
IdleWilde Farm, Bulga Plateau
Darren and Liane’s hens are free to roam from dawn to dusk on green pastures, protected by Maremma dogs. The hens are housed in customised caravans that are moved to new pastures as the rotation schedule dictates.
Just Been Laid, Eccleston
Sarah Sivyer’s 1500 birds roam on pastures and are housed in mobile sheds. They move across the pasture after the cattle to help fertilise the soil. All eggs sold are less than 72 hours old, and sometimes they are laid the very same day.
Kangaroo Valley Pastured Eggs, Kangaroo Valley
The hens have access to fresh grass daily so they can live their lives in a natural setting. Two Maremma dogs watch over over the flock.
Kurrafalls Farm, Lidster
Husband and wife team, Lisa Darley and Quenten Jones, free range their layers with protection from predators by electric netting and Maremma dogs. The hens sleep in a custom-built chicken caravan, which is moved weekly.
Little Hill Farm, Mt Vincent
Simon Carroll and Kelly Eaton’s chickens are an essential part of the grazing rotation and the birds are provided a fresh patch of pasture every few days. Their diet of grasses and insects is supplemented with a quality grain mix, free from medication.
Mayfield Farm, Dorrigo Plateau
Ian and Sandra run approximately 160 birds. The hens are housed in mobile sheds placed within electric netting and are moved twice a week. Over the course of a year, they have rotated around most of the farm, fertilising the paddocks as they go.
Motherclucker Eggs, Dubbo
The Graham family’s hens spend their days dining on wild grasses and bugs, with an abundance of sunshine, vitamins and minerals. They are protected by Maremma dogs and sleep in a mobile caravan at night.
Mt Frome Pastured Eggs, Mudgee
Starting from a small a flock of four, enterprising Lily Moore now has 200 hens foraging on the river in Mudgee.
Mount Warning Pastured Eggs, Uki
The chickens, from a variety of breeds, are free range in paddocks at all times and roost in their mobile shelter whenever they please. They share the pasture with the cattle and are moved onto fresh pasture every 7-10 days. They are fed certified organic grain.
Mulloon Creek Natural Farms, Bungendore
The hens forage on pasture grasses and legumes supplemented by mixed organic grains, and free fed on shell grit and a protein supplement. Their eggmobile is moved twice weekly, with each flock protected by two Maremma dogs. Tip from Carolyn.
Oaks Organics, The Oaks
Peter and Julie Clinch supply open-range organic eggs from their farm located approximately 70km from Sydney. They are fed supplementary soy-free certified organic ration.
The Cripps Clark family rear 5 000-6 000 laying hens, housed in movable shelter with access to green peck, supplemented by certified organic vegetarian grains. They are protected from predators by shady trees, bird netting, electric fencing and Maremma dogs.
Oxhill Organic, Wauchope
The Eggert family’s certified organic farm has 2 000 laying hens that are moved every two days to fresh pasture. The hens are fed a fresh porridge mix; the grains are cracked and mixed with organic milk from the on-farm dairy.
The chickens are called “open range” because they’re not contained by fences or ever locked up. They follow a herd of beef cattle in a planned rotational grazing regime, protected by Maremma dogs. A commercially produced layer ration supplements their feed. Tip from Carolyn.
Possum Creek, Bangalow
Permaculture, Holistic Management and Polyface farming practices produce a food system that works with nature. Andrew Cameron’s 150 hens forage on pasture, pecking at bugs and insects, and dust bathe; they roost in their caravan that is regularly moved.
Provincial Pastures, Brogo
David Charlton and Lisa Roberts are working to regenerate Provincial Pastures, a mixed use polyculture farm, in transition to full organic and biodynamic production. The chickens lay and roost in a mobile caravan; Maremma dogs protect them.
RAD growers, Bungowannah
Erin O’Callaghan and Belinda Joy Sheekey’s chickens are free to roam, regularly moved through the paddocks and red gum forests, in a mobile caravan. The chickens dust bathe in the sun, forage through fresh pastures and feast on grubs and bugs, with supplementary local grain.
Rock Chic Eggs, Richmond
The Murphy family hens run wild in large paddocks, eating grass and bugs, scratching and rolling in dirt, running, jumping, stretching and flying. The eggs are laid to order avoiding unnecessary waste or use of the soil and grazing areas.
Smith’s Free Range Eggs, Temora
Helen and Dennis Smith’s 2 500 hens have sheds with laying boxes, perches, feed and water. They are collected weighted, packed, marketed and distributed by the Smiths. Tip from @bizzylizzycooks
Taluca Park, Exeter
Frank and Annamaria Vigliante use a rotational grazing program to ensure their chickens are constantly on fresh pasture. The chicken dig, collect bugs and dust bathe. Llamas protect the chickens from predators.
Tathra Place, Taralga
Luke and Pia Winder’s chickens are fully beaked, which is useful, as they forage for bugs and worms. The chickens sleep in caravans, which are rotated over 100 acres, behind the cattle. They are currently stocked at 6.6 birds per hectare.
Topi Open Range, Bungwahl
Sue Williams’ chickens always have access to open green pastures, fresh rain water, dust baths. The feed is Australian Certified Organic.
Waterfall Produce, Orara
Troy Blackman and partner Hannah run their Australorps behind a herd of cattle, moving into a new paddock each week. The chickens scratch away at the cow manure and eat the bugs, worms and ticks; this helps to sequester carbon, and improve the soil and pasture.
West Walla Farm, Walla-Walla
‘Rambling Riverina Pastured Eggs’ are laid by hens who roam free, pecking and scratching, eating bugs and grass. Tobias and Amy Lehmann move the ladies onto fresh pasture every few days. The hens shelter in their caravan whenever they like; they are never locked up!
Windellama Organics, Windellama
The certified organic farm has two flocks of 100 chickens each, with each housed in a mobile caravan ranged over four hectares of paddock. Thus the stocking density is 250 hens per hectare. Each flock is protected by solar-powered, movable, mesh fencing.
Woodstock Paddock Eggs, Woodstock
The chickens graze freely in the paddock, stocked at 100 hen per hectare.
Working with Nature, Guyra
Derek and Fiona Smith’s hens enjoy 5-8 hectares of pastured paddocks at a time. They forage on green grass, herbs, fresh shoots and insects. The sheds are moved around daily following the cattle. Maremma dogs protect them from predators.
Wybalena Farm, Canowindra
Natalie Mihalic’s hens are moved onto fresh pasture daily; they free range from a mobile shelter where they lay and sleep. They forage for plants, seeds, bugs, insects, with supplementary feed of lucerne hay, grains and milk.
With beaks and wings intact, the chickens at Joe and Dan Frazer’s farm live a full life. They forage amongst native pastures and waterways, protected by Maremma dogs. Housed in a mobile shed at night, they are moved twice weekly-weather permitting–to new pastures.
Abundance Farm, Raglan
Guarded by alpacas and a maremma dog, Alex & Kali’s hens are free to explore as far as their hearts’ desire. Their mobile houses keep them safe at night and takes them to fresh pasture.
Bass Coast Farm, Glen Forbes
Grazing behind cattle, Sylvia’s 225 Isa Brown hens improve soil fertility and pasture management. They clean the paddocks of parasites and fly larvae, spread cow manure, as well as fertilise with their own manure. Their diet is supplemented by organic chicken feed.
Beyond Free Range Eggs, Woodstock
The fully-beaked chickens graze on organic pasture. They sleep in thermally efficient housing, cared for by a dedicated shepherdess not mechanised management.
Bimbadeen Phillip Island Free Range Eggs, Ventnor
During the day the hens lay their eggs in the nesting boxes in their mobile home. At dusk they return to perch and sleep. The doors of the mobile home are left open due to the success of the Phillip Island Nature Parks fox eradication program.
Bonnie View Farm, Warragul
Chris and Michelle Winterton are the custodians of 57 acres of beautiful undulating country in Bona-Vista, West Gippsland. Their trailers are moved around the paddock to spread manure and provide fresh areas for the hens to graze, supporting organic farming.
Buckley’s Farm, Hilldene
Buckley’s farm aims to produce a high quality genuine free range egg whilst providing an environment for our chickens that is as close to nature as possible and brings out their “chickeness”, that is they are free from cruelty and able to roam free whilst still protected from predators.
Bullfrog Gully Eggs, Gormandale
On Ian Onley’s certified biodynamic farm, the chickens are rotated on pasture. He feeds the flock grain and fermented milk from his cows. The chickens roam free by day, and are sheltered in their mobile caravans at night.
Caravan Eggs, Dundonnell
Jill and Oliver Warner’s hens enjoy 24/7 access to fresh pastures, moving location once every three days. The chickens are protected by four alpacas and two Maremma dogs.
Chickens Choice, Chepstowe
Leanne and Matt White’s hens are free to roam outside during the day and forage amongst natural vegetation under the watchful eye of their guardian alpacas and Maremmas. At night they sleep in mobile caravans, that is moved from paddock to paddock as the need arises.
Chooks at the Rook, Cororooke
The hens on Xavier Prime’s farm have unrestricted access to pasture, all day and night. They roost and lay in a large A-frame mobile home on skids. Rescued maremmas protect the hens.
Dheavii Farms, Yannathan
The birds can practice all their natural behaviors like flying, scratching, stretching and taking dust bath. Each week, their trailer homes are moved to fresh pasture. At night the birds are housed in small numbers to roost.
The Egg-erton Free Range Eggs, Mt Egerton
Making a move from Queensland to Victoria, Leah Christie bought backyard chickens for eggs. Her husband’s workmates started asking for eggs, until he sold more than she produced. She now has a small commercial enterprise.
Elderslie Organics, Ellinbank
The Wallace family reside on a 120ha farm producing organic eggs and milk. The hens lay eggs in old caravans parked around the dairy paddock. Maremma dogs guard the hens and travel everywhere with their allocated vans of hens. No artificial chemicals and fertilisers are used.
Family Homestead Genuine Free Range Eggs, Myrniong Hills
The Luketic family hens are free to run around outside in the paddock with Maremma dogs for protection; they’re never locked up, not even at night. They’re housed in mobile sheds that are moved on a rotational basis for fresh pasture.
Fishers Farm Produce, Dumbalk
Sharon and Rob’s chickens are free to roam on pasture during the day, and are housed at night to protect them from foxes. The chickens have access to unlimited feed and fresh water.
Forge Creek Free Range, Forge Creek
The small, family-run farm produces eggs from pasture fed, free range chickens. The hens are housed in mobile sheds, and are free to fossick and roam happily during the day, guarded by portable fencing and alpacas.
Freeranger Egg Farm, Grantville
Phil Westwood’s farm is home to 1 200 hens. They run in flocks of 200-300 in separate paddocks; each flock has a mobile roosting shed with laying boxes and is protected by a Maremma dog. The chickens eat a mash of natural grains, with no meat meal nor colouring additives.
Freshwater Creek Free Range, Freshwater Creek
Jim, Tara, and entrepreneurial son Finbar, stock their chickens at a maximum rate of 750 hens per hectare. The chickens are housed in mobile shelters and are protected from predators by alpacas.
Gippsland Free Range Eggs, Mirboo
Richard and Ashlee Clark are the new owners of the business, having bought it from the previous owners, Shane and Marnie. The farmers have been working together to ensure a smooth transition as they continue to provide the same high quality eggs.
Glorious Googies, Korumburra
Emma Brown’s girls feast all day long on fresh green grass supplemented by specially selected grains with no artificial colours, additives, chemicals or animal proteins. They are free to run, flap, squawk, sit, play or dust bathe and do what chickens do best.
Greg’s Eggs, Winnindoo
Protected by alpacas, the chickens are free to roam on pasture, with a mobile caravan to lay and roost. The caravan is moved around the paddocks to fertilise the soil and provide the chickens with fresh pasture.
Greta Valley Free Range Eggs, Laceby
Emma and Matt Brennan’s 400 hens are free to roam the paddocks, protected by two Maremma dogs.
Guildford Grown Pastured Eggs, Guildford
Natasha Harris and husband Edward continually move their 400 hens to fresh grounds, at least a couple of times a week, preferably each day. The chickens follow a herd of cattle, spreading the manure and sanitising the chemical-free pasture.
Hand to Ground, Baynton
Alex and Emily Sims’ flocks live on real grass pasture–in the open air, with space to move, peck, dust bathe and forage. They are moved to fresh pasture weekly, via the egg mobile. They eat a rich diet of garden scraps, insects and bugs, and GMO-free wholegrain feed.
Hillcrest Farm Organics, Swan Reach
Billie and Teresa’s chickens live in a converted caravan, free to range on fresh pasture. Trailing after the cows through the paddocks, they have plenty of bugs and a variety of plant life to eat, and cowpats to scratch. To supplement their diet, they are fed a certified organic grain mix.
Hillgrove Farm, Darnum
Andrew and Dianne Glass rotationally graze their 550 hens in four mobile sheds that are moved daily. The hens, free to roam on pasture, peck for bugs and worms and fertilise the soil.
Huon Farms Free Range Eggs, Wodonga
Phillip and Leanne O’Connell run 700 birds at a stocking density of one bird per 657 square metres. On their property, they have shade trees, the chickens can move around with the guard dog and wander for more than 100 metres.
Inverloch Free Range, Inverloch
Will and Emily Rankin farm 750 Isa Browns, free to range around in fresh pasture, scratching for worms. The mobile sheds provide a safe, warm and dry place out of the elements for the hens to lay their eggs and roost at night. They are protected 24 hours a day by Maremma dogs.
Josh’s Rainbow Eggs, Kerrie Valley
Josh moves the egg-mobile daily so the chickens are always on fresh pasture. They have a healthy diet that includes foraged seeds, bugs, worms and native grasses with supplementary grains. The eggs are harvested twice daily and delivered the same or next day.
Kilmorack Farm, Ranceby
Kilmorack Farm is a mixed farm run on regenerative principles. Jo and Bob McLeay’s hens free range on 26 hectares of organic pasture, guarded by alpacas. Their diet of grass, insects and bugs is supplemented with certified organic grain. At night they sleep in caravans that are moved regularly to fresh pasture.
Kiss & Run, Hamilton
Caroline and Brett Kissel’s hens play an integral part of regenerating the soil. As the chickens scratch and forage, they help blend the compost the farmers apply each year over the entire farm. Their mobile homes are moved every few days.
Little Yarra Free Range Eggs, Launching Place
Glen and Sue Glenmill’s chickens roost and lay inside a mobile caravan that is moved onto fresh pasture daily. The chickens are kept safe from foxes behind electric poultry netting; they also have the protection of trusty dog, Sweep. Supplementary feed is a crushed grain mix.
Love Your Eggs, Modewarre
During the day, Larissa and Adam Logan’s chickens scratch around, dig holes, and eat grass and bugs, protected by a Maremma dog. At night the chickens return to their mobile shed. The chickens are stocked at 1000 hens per hectare.
Lucky Cluckers, Jindervick
The hens live in chicken caravans that are moved to fresh pasture every few days. They return to the caravans to lay their eggs and roost. The remainder of their time is spent in the paddocks scratching, clucking and socializing!
Madelaine’s Eggs, Hollyburton Park
Madelaine Scott’s flock of 1 000 layers roam the orchard which provides them with fruit and protection from the elements, supplemented by Hollyburton organic layer feed. In return, the chickens keep the mold and bugs away.
Milawa Organic Pasture Eggs, Ovens Valley
Russell Mickle’s hens have shelters to protect from extreme temperature and predators. Their pasture diet is supplemented with a high protein vegetarian feed, free from meat and fishmeal. Tip from @essjayeff
The Old Farm Happy Valley, Flowerdale
Diego and Georgi Puyol’s pastured chickens are free to roam the beautiful and luscious surrounds of Happy Valley located just 95 kilometres north of Melbourne. They’re fed supplementary organic grain.
Organic Ways, Numurkah
Tim and Tracy Zanker’s chickens are free to scratch around on pasture throughout the day, guarded by Maremma dogs. They are housed in moveable coops which are shifted weekly. The chickens’ diet is supplemented with a porridge of milk from their dairy cows and organic wheat.
Powlett Hill, Campbelltown
The Fawcett’s chickens free range foraging for worms and bugs. They sleep in sheds that are regularly moved around the biodynamic cropping paddocks and grazing pastures. The laying chooks are fed whole wheat, bran, seaweed meal and shell grit—all separate and free choice.
Ravens Creek Farm, Moriac
Hayden and Jasmine Findlay offer pasture-raised eggs from their diverse farm. The chickens forage in chemical-free pastures, protected by electric fencing. They roost in their caravan at night and are moved with planned grazing.
Real Free Range Eggs, South Gippsland
Dan Green rotates his flocks to allow for natural regeneration of the soil. The chickens have 24-hour access to pasture, food, fresh water and shelter. They can dust bathe as they desire, they’re not debeaked nor fed hormones or any artificial additives.
Rocklea Free Range Farms, Stonehaven
The farmers move two mobile hen houses around the 80 acre paddock, with 450 hens in each. The girls are free forage in fresh pasture, perch and flap their wings. Maremma dogs keep the hens safe from predators. Tip from @localfoodloop.
Ruby Hills Organics, Walkerville
Amy and Nicholas Paul give their hens 24/7 access to the certified organic paddocks. Every few days, Nicholas pulls the eggmobile to fresh new ground. The Maremmas protect the hens from predators.
Seven Acres Farm, Tonimbuk
Martin and Jenny Dunn’s chickens are free to roam on pasture, protected by electric netting. They are moved in their mobile vans to fresh pasture.
Taranaki Farm, Woodend
Ben Falloon and Nina Grundner have established an Australian farm modeled on Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm. Their chickens are pastured, with a regime of twice weekly egg mobile moves to keep up with the cattle.
Tarrawalla Farm, Tarrawingee
Steve and Catherine Crawford focus on regenerative agriculture that heals the land and strengthens communities. Their chickens are raised on pasture, and sleep in a mobile shelter at night.
Top Hundred Acres, Yan Yean
KKate and Judy Rothacker’s chickens are free to range the pasture with access to a movable caravan for shelter, water, roosting and nesting space. The soil is nourished by a permaculture system, with no artificial pesticides or fertilisers used.
Tom’s Paddock, Glenburn
Sally and Tom Abbotsmith Youl’s chickens have unlimited access to fresh green forage, with a diet of native grasses, clover, rye grass, grubs and bugs. They’re rotated twice weekly to fresh pasture, with an electric fence for protection.
Wes and Mandy Humpage’s chickens are fully-beaked, and free to roam on pasture from sunrise to sunset. The chickens are housed in mobile hen houses–with solar powered air-conditioning—and are moved weekly, following a herd of cattle. An alpaca protects them.
Wild Hen Farm, Myrrhee
Diego and Georgi Puyol are new owners of Wild Hen Farm, using similar practices as founder, Cheryl Graham. The production system produces ethical eggs of the highest quality and flavour, enriched with a pasture diet. The hens are rotated around the paddocks; they lay and roost in their mobile caravan.
Willow Zen, Trafalgar
Kelvin and Sumi Slade’s hens enjoy fresh pasture every day and roam from mobile trailers. They eat grass while scratching for bugs and enjoy natural grain feed. Protected by Maremma dogs and alpacas, they are free to live, lay and roost as hens should.
Lil’s Yolky Dokey Eggs, Somerville
Jack and Gab’s 1500 chickens free range on pasture during the day and sleep in caravans at night. Four alpacas and two Maremma dogs protect their brood.
Farmer Brown’s Free Range Eggs, Hall
The Brown family hens roam freely, foraging for grass and insects, and dust bathing, with a density of under 100 hens per hectare. Supplementary feed is a diverse range of nutritious ‘waste’ food.
Majura Valley Free Range, Majura
Nick Weber and Anne McGrath run 2 000 chickens to produce biodynamic eggs to local stores, restaurants and from the farm gate. The chicken sheds are moved to different parts of the paddock weekly; this means their soils are fertilised with nitrogen-rich manure.
Also look at NSW producers.
9dorf farms, Lilydale
The Neuendorf family’s hens aerate and fertilise the soil; they feed on pests after the cattle have grazed the paddock. At night, they sleep in the caravan and are released early in the morning to range. The caravan is moved regularly onto the next paddock, to follow the cattle. And so the cycle starts again.
Blue Sky Heritage Eggs, Biloela
The hens are free to roam on a quarter-hectare of fenced-in grass, with both sunlight and shaded areas. Their caravan is cycled around to a new area of the 80ha property every few weeks.
Dynamic Eggs, Lake Mary
Anthony Sylvester’s birds live in groups of 500, free to range on paddocks during the day under the watchful eye of maremma sheepdogs. At night the birds retreat to their mobile caravan-style roosting sheds.
Echo Valley Farms, Goomburra Valley
Randal and Juanita Breen prioritize the health, wellbeing and natural instincts of their pastured hens. The mobile pens are moved every few days onto fresh pasture; Maremma dogs protect the hens from predators.
The chickens are housed in a mobile henhouse, and moved to fresh pasture every seven to ten days. They scratch in the new soil, chasing fresh worms and bugs, and graze the seed and leaf on the new grass.
Forage Farms, Kybong
Stuart and Megan Andrews’ chickens scratch around, chase bugs and forage in the fresh grass; they have access to fresh green pastures 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Two Maremma dogs protect the girls.
Freckle Farm, Eton
Deb McLucas and Rob Bauman rotate their cattle, pigs and chickens throughout their chemical–free pastures. The chickens love to scratch the soil while pecking, eating fresh grass and catching bugs. Fencing and a Maremma dog protect the chickens from predators.
Golden Yolk Whitsundays, Strathdickie
Matt and Jane’s hens are moved weekly, following the cattle in rotation, onto fresh pasture. The hens nest and sleep in moveable caravans. Alpacas protect them.
Happy Hens Pastured Eggs, Bundaberg
Courtney Fleming’s chickens are free to graze on 20 acres of pasture at a time under the watchful eye of Maremma dogs. She moves them to fresh feed every two days.
Jalbiiri Googums, Bongeen
With a maximum of one bird per 14 square meters, their birds are free to roam. They sunbathe, enjoy dirt baths and eat a varied diet comprising insects, grasses, and weeds.
Kelvin Falls, Elbow Valley
Andrew and Rowena O’Dea’s chickens will happily scratch, eat insects and worms, dust bathe, and fertilise the ground as they go about their instincts, protected by electric netting. Housed in a customized caravan, they are moved to fresh patch of pasture every few days.
Kenilworth Free Range Farm, Mary Valley
The chickens are housed in mobile caravans, and are moved regularly to fresh ground.
Muckadilla Pasture Fed Eggs, Muckadilla
The cycle begins with cattle mowing down fields of oats. The hens follow the cattle; they pick at seed and native grass, as they spread the manure around. Megan Mackay and Adam Sutton keep the flock safe with electric netting and Maremma dogs.
Mungalli Creek Dairy, Millaa Millaa
Robert Watson has 4 000 cross-bred bond brown chickens. Their coops are built on skids so they can be moved around the farm, following the dairy cows, on to fresh pastures. Tip from PinkFarm
Rawganix Farm, Tansey
Cris and Lee-Anne Geri’s chickens are moved regularly to new pasture using movable pens. As they farm without chemicals and antibiotics, they deal with disease and injury by quarantining, using natural remedies and culling when necessary. Tip from @BTHOfarmgirl
Saddle Mountain Homestead, Hervey Range
Kerrie Dean’s chickens are outdoors all day, every day. The mobile caravan doors are never closed so the chickens are free to roam the pastures, pecking and scratching to their heart’s desire. As dusk approaches, they head back to settle in for the night.
Sandy creek pastured free range, Anderleigh
Scott and Maureen MacNicol’s hens forage on grass by day, and roost in their mobile chicken trailer at night. The hens tend to roam within the immediate vicinity of their trailer, so they move it weekly to give the hens fresh grass to forage.
Adelaide Hills Pastured Eggs, Mount Barker
Adam Oaten and Stephanie Grove move their chicken caravan onto fresh pasture every other day. The 80-acre property has 25 species of grass and legumes on 30 hectares to provide a smorgasbord for the 450 chickens.
Almond Grove, Murray Bridge
John Holland farms 2 500 Isa Brown chickens for eggs.
Elly’s Eggs, Kersbrook
Elly Congram chickens freely range on green paddocks, protected by Maremma dog and an electrified fence. They are fed certified organic vegetarian feed. She is trialing different breeds for welfare benefits.
Falkai Farm, Strathalbyn
Katherine and Luke run their 200 capacity caravan as a farm share arrangement among 400 acres at Nomad Farms. The hens are routinely moved onto fresh pasture, ensuring animal health and ecological wellbeing. Their grass fed diet is supplemented with certified GMO and soy free feed, grown in SA and sourced locally.
Feather and Peck, Mount Compass
The hens forage free in open paddocks by day and roost in mobile trailers by night. They are rotated every few days, following the cattle. The hens scratch, dig, bathe in the dust, peck the poo and fertilise the soil. Maremma dogs and electric fence netting keep the predators at bay.
Kangaroo Island, Kingscote
Tom and Fiona Fryar run 50 000 hens, moved for fresh pasture in a mobile poultry shed. The hens peck and scratch at seeds, insects and grubs; their feed is supplemented by a mixture of grains produced on the farm. Maremma dogs protect them.
Hood’s Earth Produce, Keith
Bill and Sally Hood’s chickens are free to roam, peck and forage, protected by Maremma dogs. Their mobile caravans are moved daily to new pasture.
Katham Springs, Kingscote
Graham and Kathy Barrett have been producing Demeter certified eggs since 1999. Their chickens live in mobile sheds that are moved around small paddocks regularly; Maremma dogs guard them.
McGwerriton Organics, Adelaide Hills
The chickens are free to roam, stocked at 400 birds per hectare. Their sheds are regularly moved to ensure the healthiest and freshest conditions for both ground and chickens. No chemicals are used on the grounds at any time. They guarantee from hen to shelf within 24 hours. Tip from Lisa.
The Natural Egg Co, Mount Pleasant
The chickens come and go as they please. Their trailer is moved frequently to fresh pasture, ensuring regeneration of the natural grasses as well as the minimisation of manure, which the chickens disperse by their scratching.
Serpentine Creek Farm, Redlands
Ben, Libby and Anais’ chickens are moved onto fresh pasture regularly, to enjoy full days of sunlight and dust baths. Their diet is rich with foraged worms and bugs, with supplementary certified organic feed.
The Splendid Egg, Eight Mile Creek
Within a year of introducing chickens to their farm, Sarah and Liam Brokensha noticed a significant improvement in the quality of their pastures. The chickens follow the other livestock and scratch up the cow manure, eat up all the bugs, sanitise and regenerate the pasture. They are moved every three days.
Charcol Springs, Manjimup
Charlie and Coleen Roberts’ hens sleep in their egg-mobile at night and are moved daily to fresh pasture. The hens follow the cows, cleaning up the cowpats, debugging and scratching to promote seed germination whilst fertilizing the ground and replenishing the soils.
Gimlet Grove Paddock Eggs, Jilakin Downs
Sara and Keith Wilson’s hens have plenty of space and ground to scratch around. They enjoy the sun, and feast on green waste from the farmers’ market. They lay and roost in a mobile shelter; llamas protect them from predators.
Happy Valley Free Range, Donnybrook
The Jarvis family have farmed on the property for four generations. The chickens free range in the orchard year-round to keep the bugs at bay, protected by Maremma dogs. The mobile chicken housing is moved weekly through each patch of orchard. Supplementary feed is organic grain pellets.
Kulin Kluckers Free Range Eggs, Jilakin Downs
Sara and Keith Wilson’s hens have plenty of space and ground to scratch around. They enjoy the sun, and feast on green waste from the farmers’ market. They lay and roost in a mobile shelter; llamas protect them from predators.
Lirravale Free Range Eggs, Chapman Valley
Shane’s chickens live in caravans and free graze rotating pasture paddocks, guarded by Alpacas. The chickens also have access to the orchard.
Manavi Farm Eggs, Watheroo
Lindsay and Robyn Cousins are broadacre farmers producing wheat and sheep. Their chickens roam in a paddock and lay in a mobile house that is moved regularly to fresh pastures. A Maremma dog keeps them safe from predators.
Margaret River Organic Farmer, Rosa Brook
Lawson Armstrong and Laura Bailey’s hens, free to forage from dusk until dawn, lay ‘Open Range Organic Eggs’. The chookmobile is moved daily within the 2500m2 grazing-cell; this cell, bound by electro-fencing, is moved every 4-7 days depending on pasture growth. The pasture is allowed to rest for at least four months before return.
Merri Bee Organic Farm, Nannup
Stewart Seesink, Bee Winfield and their son Lee have been developing a permaculture for 25 years on the banks of the Blackwood in Nannup.
Mountford Vineyard Raised Organic Eggs, Pemberton
Andrew and Sue Mountford’s chickens free range in the NASAA Certified Organic vineyard.
Organic Fine Food Co, Bridgetown
Mike Van De Griend’s chickens are housed at night in mobile chicken arks, which are moved every few days depending upon conditions. The chickens also have access to forested areas. They are fed biodynamic grain, with free choice calcium mineral from shells.
Out ‘N’ About Free To Roam, Nannup
The hens are free to wander the paddock eating grass and bugs and supplementary grain. The hens live in caravans in the paddock; one is for sleeping safely at night and the other is for laying eggs during the day. They are stocked under 300 hens per hectare.
Payneham Vale Organics, Frankland
Ron and Sue Watkins’ hens are housed in mobile modules, which are shifted weekly to provide fresh forage. The chickens run under the olive trees on occasion, to control bugs and disease. The hens mulch, debug and fertilise the soil with their manure.
Rosalie Pastured Eggs, Lower Chittering
The hens live in mobile homes, enjoy 24/7 access to the outdoors and with a stocking density under 200 hens/ ha have plenty of space to live as nature intended.
Runnymede Farm, Binningup
Blythe Calnan and her partner Greg rotate their small flock of hens to fresh pasture every few days across most of her property. Electric fencing and a Maremma dog protect the hens.
Wandiful Produce, Wandiligong
Megan Hughes and partner Geoff Boadle have an off grid and biodynamic farm. Their chickens are on pasture all day, scratching up bugs, worms and eating grass; they sleep in a chicken caravan at night.
Wandillup egg co, Bridgetown
The hens scratch out dust bathing bowls; an important practice to keep them clean and free of mites and other nasties. They live in mobile caravans, moved onto fresh pasture. Alpacas kee them safe.
Banticks Farm, Mangalore
Richard Barnes and Jeremy Price’s chickens are free to roam on pasture, dust bathe and feel the sun on their backs. They are protected from predators by an electric fence and sleep in a mobile shed that is moved daily.
Happy Eggs, Franklin
At Whistlers Ridge Permaculture, Celia Leverton produces pastured eggs, with hens stocked at 60 hens per hectare. The chickens are protected by a Maremma dog and sleep in a converted horse float and ice cream van at night.
Meander Pastured Free Range Eggs, Mole Creek
From sun up to sun down, Danny and Nan Tubb’s girls are free to roam large areas of natural grass and native forest. They exhibit their natural behaviours: dust bathing, perching, foraging and scratching for extra tasty morsels. The chickens sleep in mobile caravans which are regularly moved to fresh pasture. Tip from @olivewhippet
Mt Roland Free Range Eggs, Roland
The hens lay and sleep in a shelter, and are moved to new lush chemical-free pastures. Stock levels are kept to a minimum to ensure they have the best lifestyle possible. They welcome customers by appointment.
Mountain to Mouth, Mount Lloyd
The hens are free to roam on chemical-free pasture, safe from predators. They are sheltered in purpose-built moveable sheds that are rotated onto fresh pasture regularly, so the hens spread their manure, and enrich the soil.
Contribute: Do you know a farm that should be here? Email info AT flavourcrusader DOT com for inclusion. Learn more about the directories.
ABC Rural: Kim Honan and Sarina Locke, Egg farms may be forced to make changes after court case, Sep 24, 2014
ABC Gippsland: Jenni Henderson, Free range on show for World Egg Day, October 5, 2013
Brisbane Times: Amy Remeikis, ‘Free range eggs’ definition scrambled, July 29, 2013
The Age: Melissa Fyfe and Royce Millar, Coles sets its own squeezier standard, March 4, 2013
ABC News: ACCC rejects free range definition, November 2, 2012
Weekly Times: Egg supplier fined over ‘free range’ claims, September 5, 2012
ABC News: Free range definition to rise, April 16, 2012
Lexicon of Sustainability: This is the Story of An Egg, November, 2011
ABC 7.30: Truth in labelling bill ruffles feathers, October 7, 2011
Weekly Times Now, Leslie White: Cracks in free-range egg debate, October 5, 2011
Weekly Times, Leslie White: Egg industry cracks, October 6, 2008
ABC Radio National: Produced by Helen Thomas: Free Range Fiddle, June 26, 2005
cc photo by Christy McDonald