Over the last few months, our hens have been at the forefront of our minds. As most of you know we are situated in the Wet Tropics of North Queensland just outside of a town called Millaa Millaa, which gets around 3500 mm of rain a year, and about 80 days of sunshine. This is perfect for cows – the climate means they always have lots of delicious green grass to munch on.
However the wet weather isn’t so great for chickens. Last wet season we noticed the impact on our birds, and egg production. The beginning of this year particularly saw us with some extreme weather, where we had only a handful of days of sunshine in three months! The chickens really felt that, which is when we first began to question the practicality of having pastured hens on our farms.
Coupled with this the price of Organic grain went through the roof with the droughts happening down south. Last year we could buy Organic grain for $400 a tonne, delivered to our farm. This year that price rose to $1200 for the same amount of grain.
As a family we had to face the reality that continuing with our bio-eggs was no longer viable and we started the process of rehoming our hens.