Happy hens make tasty eggs
Every single St Ewe egg comes from free range hens that have plenty of space to roam in the clean, fresh countryside air. It is well known that hens will only venture outside in the day if they know their roosting place is safe for them to return to, so we make sure each hen has plenty of room to perch at night. It stops them squabbling with their neighbours as they bed down and means they head out happily as day breaks.
Free Range Hens
In our case, the chicken does come first. If we look after the hens in the best way possibly, they will look after the eggs.
The hens are fed specially devised feeds and live in traditional, single tiered housing with generous room for them to roost at night. By day they range the fertile countryside, scratching for natural foods and freely displaying all their natural tendencies.
We have continually enhanced their living and ranging conditions by investing, for example, in new housing and in flock monitoring that provides us with a constant flow of data on health and productivity.
We know our hens, hen health and welfare inside out. We can tell when something is amiss and deal with it promptly. As a result we have a fine flock of birds with glossy feathers and shiny eyes, producing eggs with lovely shells and amazing quality, colour and flavour.
The eggs are collected by hand every morning, just after the hatches open. We grade our eggs twice; the first grade is done by hand, separating at least 75% of the cracked and miss shaped eggs.
The second grade happens in the Packing Centre, in the candling booth where we are able to see through the shell for any internal imperfections.
They are then date stamped and printed with the Red Lion logo before being packed into boxes.
We also only use 100% recycled egg boxes, as well as using renewable energy to power our packing centre.
All our hens are reared to exacting standards that comply with the RSPCA’s Freedom Foods accreditation and their welfare is paramount to us. A full vaccination programme, frequent physical checks and regular land rotations ensure that the health of our pampered girls is second to none.
We’ve been keeping free range hens for more than three decades and, over that time, farmer Richard Tonks has meticulously observed and recorded the effect of what a hen eats on the quality of her eggs. Working with our dedicated feed supplier, Humphreys Feeds, we have combined all this valuable information with the latest scientific thinking to create our own unique feed rations that have helped our eggs gain an incredibly tasty reputation.