Chrissy Wenzel-Swan has made Happy Egg farming a part of her daily lifestyle. Every morning the chook pen is cleaned out and given fresh water, the chooks are fed fresh, organic food scraps and seeds and they are freed to allow them free range roaming on her large property all day. This healthy lifestyle ensures that the chooks stay happy, and lay happy eggs, which make happy food, for happy people.
Chrissy swears by the cleansing and healing properties associated with sitting and observing the chooks for an extended period of time. Watching the chooks can help you ‘switch off’ and immerse yourself into the quirky structure of their simple lives. Slowly, the individual personalities of the chooks emerge, and suddenly, they don’t seem so different from us! This simple activity is relaxing, uplifting and most of all, fun : )
The egg farming industry
It has been estimated that over 60 % of the word’s eggs come from industrial systems, where chickens are caged, de-beaked, often pumped with anti-biotic and chemical-based products in order to achieve maximum egg production for minimum cost. However, supporting companies with these methods is easily avoidable.
Like Chrissy, you too can adopt and offer a happy home to one of the “spent hens”, which would otherwise be culled – a great way to have your eggs and eat them too!
If you don’t have access to home-farmed eggs, like Chrissy’s Happy Eggs, you can still make simple changes to the products you buy, putting financial strain on battery farms. Simply look for labels, which are marked ‘organic’ and ‘free range’ at your local supermarket.
But remember to check your nation’s legal standards. For example, in Australia there is no current legal national definition of the term ‘free range’, and therefore any cage farming company can label their eggs ‘free-range’. The only sure way to purchase ethical eggs is to choose labels, which are stamped with this logo:
This logo ensures that:
• The farm has been inspected and complies with the ethical standards outlined by The Free Range Farmers Association Inc Vic.
• The hens have not been de-beaked or mutilated in any way
• The hens are free to roam, outdoors, with natural light
Really, the most simple way to ensure that you are not supporting cruel chook farming is to reduce your egg consumption, or if you wish, avoid eggs together! Giving a vegan diet a go can be a fun way to spice things up in the kitchen and discover new recipes. You can also easily adapt many of your favorite familiar baking recipes to replace eggs with ingredients such as silken tofu, bananas or baking soda.
For great advice on some fun vegan alternatives, visit this vegan guide.
- Information on Australia’s ‘free-range’ code of conduct.
- Great advice on some fun vegan alternatives!
- Table comparing all the different standards set by different Australian bodies (inc. The Australian Egg Corporation, Australian Certified Organic, Free Range Egg and Poultry Association of Australia, RSPCA & the European Union)