How’s this for an office?  This is a picture of Dan Green’s egg farm in Lower Carrajung, South Gippsland.  You may know Dan through his eggs, which he calls, Dan’s Real Free Range Eggs .  I’m telling Dan’s story because I saw in the news this week a story about a free range egg farm being fined $300,000 for not getting the “free range” part of free range eggs right and I thought I’d contrast that with Dan’s farm, where he’s really all about  getting the “free range” part right.

Dan has an honours degree in economics so naturally he became a chicken farmer.  Well not quite, in 2010 after a career in the city and with an unrealised passion for poultry, Dan bought a farm in the Strezlecki Ranges and 600 isa brown chooks.  Right from the get-go Dan wanted to farm with the welfare of his chickens and the land foremost in his mind.  To Dan free range wasn’t a term to get around or to manipulate, he fully embraced it. Dan’s free range manifesto goes something like this; chickens have access to pasture 24/7 and are never locked up. Each flock has 300 hens per hectare (2.5 acres) compared to the industry average of 10,000 per hectare.  Chooks are protected by maremmas (those enormous aloof white dogs that lounge amongst the flock with a calm yet piercing gaze that can sense the chicken harming intentions of any passing predator).   There’s no de-beaking and no artificial ingredients or hormones in their feed.  

Each Monday there’s a new delivery of Dan’s eggs in our cool room.  He slips into the warehouse after he’s done his stall at one the various farmers markets around the city every Saturday. Read more … 


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