Emma kept eight pet hens on the farm for years, with the eggs contributing to the family’s breakfasts daily.
About 18 months ago, Emma was speaking to other local mothers who said that they didn’t know where to get fresh, truly free range eggs – not from a big brand or supermarket, but from a local producer. She thought well, her chickens were free range, organic and she’d be more than happy to have a few more and supply other families with fresh eggs. From there, she grew the number to 40 and then 80, with the eggs being delivered directly by Emma, free of charge, to families in the local area each week.
Emma now has 150 hens, all of the Silver Link breed which are known for being friendly and docile, although that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get the odd escape artists: “The chickens enjoy a quiet country life – with the odd disturbance from my our young sons Monty and Dexter of course! We regularly move the large pen to make sure they are always on a best bit of fresh grass. The low open fencing means we are prone to the odd chicken jumping over and then being chased by me and the kids until it jumps back or we catch it, which can be a bit chaotic – but it’s worth it for them to live in such an open space.”
Whilst Emma might get a few more hens eventually – the local waiting list for her eggs is starting the grow – she’s doing it little by little: “Hens are actually quite sensitive and I think ours have grown to be quite spoilt, so adding more to the pen would mean an even bigger pen and the one they have is already pretty huge. But all in all, it’s quite fun and has become a really enjoyable part of my day.”