Q. ARE THE CHICKENS REALLY ALLOWED OUTSIDE THE SHED?
A. After the chickens are fully feathered (approx 21 days for meat birds and 6 weeks for layers), the birds are free to roam outside during daylight hours except in poor weather or when being vaccinated, wormed etc.
Q. HOW CAN I BE CERTAIN THE CHICKEN IS GENUINELY FREE RANGE?
A. Free Range Egg and Poultry Australia is an independent certification body that audits free range farms. If the FREPA logo is not displayed, then the chicken or eggs have not been certified by FREPA.
Q. ARE FREE RANGE CHICKENS GIVEN ANTIBIOTICS?
A. Only if the birds are being treated under veterinary care. Meat chickens treated with such antibiotics are not sold as Free Range. Eggs laid by layers which have been treated with antibiotics are withdrawn from sale.
Q. ARE CHICKENS GIVEN GROWTH PROMOTING HORMONES?
A. Since 1967, no meat chickens in Australia are given any growth promoting hormones. Egg layers have never needed growth promoting hormones.
Q. DO OTHER WILD LIFE OR ANIMALS HAVE ACCESS TO THE CHICKENS?
A. The chickens are kept in fenced paddock areas. All attempts are made to keep predators out. Chickens are housed from sunset to sunrise to keep them safe.
Q. DO THE CHICKENS EAT WHILE OUTDOORS?
A. Chickens are free to forage outdoors, however, their feed is kept indoors to prevent attracting unwanted predators.
Q. ARE THE CHICKENS KEPT IN CAGES WHILST THEY ARE INSIDE THE SHEDS?
A. No birds accredited by FREPA are kept in cages.
Q. ARE THE CHICKENS PROCESSED CHEMICAL FREE?
A. During the cleaning stage, chicken processors generally wash chickens in water that contains small levels of chlorine. The chlorine kills any bacteria that may exist in the water and ensures the chicken is clean. The amount of chlorine used is extremely small and is regulated by government regulations.
Q. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHITE AND BROWN EGGS?
A. Only the colour. Different coloured hens lay different coloured eggs.
Q. DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE A ROOSTER TO GET EGGS?
A. No. The eggs we eat are infertile.
Q. HOW MANY EGGS DOES A HEN LAY EACH DAY?
A. It depends on the amount of daylight. One every 26 hrs is a rough guide.
Q. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE AN EGG?
A. It takes 10 days for an egg to develop from start to finish.
Q. HOW OLD ARE HENS BEFORE THEY LAY?
A. Egg production starts from 18 to 26 weeks of age, depending on the strain of bird and time of the year.
Q. DO I NEED TO CANDLE MY EGGS?
A. If your eggs are to be sold they must be candled.
Q. DOES SELLING INCLUDE BARTERING?
A. Yes, it does.
Q. DO I NEED TO REFRIGERATE MY EGGS?
A. Yes. Eggs should be kept refrigerated in the carton in which you buy them.
Q. CAN I USE SECOND HAND EGG CARTONS?
A. No. By law you must use new cartons to sell eggs and they must by properly labelled.