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The Autumn moult is here

Johanna Bell

Between March and May, we come back from the nesting boxes with a little less eggs than usual.  This is because our chooks are going through their seasonal moult.  It all happens with the onset of cooler weather in Autumn..

The chooks will shed their old feathers in order to replace them with beautiful, shiny new ones that will keep them fluffy and warm through the winter.  Feathers are 80-85% protein and so, it takes a lot of energy for a chicken to go through this process.  In order for them to grow their new feathers, their egg production decreases or even temporarily stops.  This time also allows their organs to have a rest from producing an egg everyday, so they will be rejuvenated and invigorated for egg laying once the moult is over.  A natural moult can take up to 6-12 weeks for a chicken to complete and you can usually expect the chickens to start laying physically bigger eggs once it's finished.  

As moulting is a completely natural process, we let our chooks have as much time as they need and ensure that their living conditions are just right.  This includes access to sunshine and fresh air, which our chickens already get every day out in our paddocks.  But we can also ensure that they are getting plenty of protein into them.  Some of the best sources of protein for chickens include scrambled eggs (our babies absolutely love getting treated to eggs for breakfast, which we often do for them), mealworms and pumpkin seeds.

Unfortunately though, it is not like this for many chickens in the egg laying industry..

Commercial egg farms often practice 'forced moulting' which aims to reduce costs, increase profits and optimise facilities (Faitarone et al. 2008) of the farm by forcing the bird's reproduction system to rest for a shorter period of time than what would naturally occur (Ramos et al. 1999).  Basically, it is a planned and scheduled technique to make the natural moult process quicker and therefore get the birds laying bigger eggs, more often.  This allows the commercial farm to force as many eggs from the chickens as possible, within the year or so that the chickens will be kept.  There are a few methods in which forced moulting is induced in commercial layers.  These include, the use of drugs; altering and reducing the nutrients in feed; artificial light suspension; and most commonly, feed and water withdrawal (ie. fasting/starving the chickens) (Faitarone et al. 2008).   :(

 

Thank you all for your patience during our moult, we know everyone is eagerly anticipating more eggs.  Rest assured, after this natural moult, our girls will be rejuvenated and ready to go!

Giving our chooks the life they deserve - right from the beginning!

Johanna Bell

You have probably seen many pictures on our social media of adorable, fluffy baby chickens on our farm (how could we possibly resist taking so many photos of their cuteness!)..

This is because, every single one of our chooks have lived at Allamburra for their entire lives! They are all raised by our family (including the dogs, of course) on our farm from when they hatch.  This concept may not be something you would normally even think about when considering the welfare of farm animals, but when you do give it a bit of thought, you can see how important it is..

Many "normal" (conventional/free range etc.) egg farms will buy in their chickens at point of lay (when they are at an age where they are about to start laying eggs).  This saves the farmer a lot of time, money and effort in looking after the chickens whilst they are too young to lay and therefore not making a profit (that's usually about 15-20 weeks!).  Until that time, those chickens are kept and raised by the wholesale poultry farm - I don't think we really need to go into the details of what the living conditions are like there, it's not pleasant and I'm sure you've all seen the disturbing videos/photos.

At Allamburra, we actually LOVE all of our animals and genuinely enjoy providing each of them with a fulfilling, nourishing, adventurous, fun life - which is exactly what they deserve, right from the beginning!  As the great Joel Salatin would say, we are respecting and honouring the chicken-ness of the chicken - but we are making sure that we do that for their whole lives, not just the timeframe that suits us best.

Raising chickens from when they hatch is a requirement of the Australian Certified Organic standards and yet another reason why we believe certified organic is the best way to go.

Thank you for choosing Allamburra Organics and helping us to give our chooks the life they deserve - you should be very proud of what your food choices are achieving here!

Welcome to Allamburra Organics

Colin Boxall

We are really excited to share our organic farming journey with you!  Many of you have been with us since the very beginning and some of you have joined us along the way – we can’t thank you enough for being a special part of our Allamburra family.  2016 has been a big year for us, as we have become officially certified organic (ACO) and have been busily hand-raising our beautiful chickens to be ready for the lay in August.  Our focus is on providing quality, healthy produce to our customers by farming ethically, sustainably and naturally.  We do things with a whole lotta love and to be honest, we think that makes a huge difference.  Our daily routines involve many conversations with chooks, animal cuddles and laughs (in between all of the hard work, that is).  Call us crazy, but we love what we do and most of all, we love making our customers’ taste buds happy!