Have you seen those little blue stickers on the packs of eggs recently? The ones telling you that hens have been temporarily housed in barns? It's because there's been a bout of Avian Influenza (AI), a disease that's bad news for the chicken population of the UK so they're all being kept indoors to prevent it spreading and these stickers are part of that process.
A few weeks ago somebody on Twitter was questioning whether it's right to carry on buying these eggs, if the hens are no longer free range. It's a good question, and not a very easy one to answer. I also realised that many people might not know the difference between barn eggs and free range eggs, so I've written this post to spill the beans on how the 35 million UK laying hens spend their lives. After reading this, you can make a decision on
I’ve always had an idyllic, romantic image of farms. A vision of warm, hazy summer days, vast open areas of lush fields and lots of animals hanging around to socialise with. It’s a storybook image of a farm, which belies the hard work and long hours that the UK’s farmers put in every single day, tending to their flock, fields or crop. So imagine my joy when I was invited to spend a day on a Happy Egg Company farm! Even my strong British stiff upper-lipped attempts at containing my excitement were short lived, because the happiness with which I anticipated this event was massive, I couldn’t wait to get down on the farm.
When I got there, I saw 120 acres of lush green pasture and 14,000 chickens, all purring away happily. Yes, I know that chickens cluck, but when you’re faced with the residents of a mobile chicken…