Where does your food come from: CQ eggs cared for with love
NEXT time you are settling in for an eggs benedict or even a piece a cake at many of Yeppoon's cafe and restaurants and even some in Rocky, you will be pleased to know that the eggs come from a local source in Cawarral farm.
And what's even better, they are free range as well.
While the law for free range is actually 10,000 hens to a hectare, these hens have plenty of room to move around.
This egg-cellent story is the seventh edition of The Morning Bulletin's Home Grown series.
Lindy Lisle, of Laid with Love Pastured Eggs, explained the chickens freely move around the 10 hectares on the Botos Road property
The chickens have a moveable trailer where they lay their eggs and sleep in and are enclosed by an electric fence. There are also two trailers with water pods for drinking and feed troughs.
This set up is moved every two weeks or so, and they move onto a new block - so they always have access to fresh grass.
The ground also benefits as weeks after the chickens are done, the ground greens up from their manure fertilising and constant pecking at the dirt.
Mrs Lisle started her business around a year ago.
She started with 200 chickens, and within four to five months, she added another 200. About a month ago, she added another 200 bringing the flock to 600 hens.
Bringing new hens, which are all sourced from Abbotts Poultry in Biloela, into the pack is a careful process.
The new hens are enclosed in a fence next door to the current flock. The hens talk to each other through the fence and get acquainted for a couple of weeks before they are put in together.
While most chicken and egg farmers sell their egg produce at the markets, Mrs Lisle focuses her business on the wholesale side of things.
"The markets take so much time, it's half a day at least," she said.
When starting out, she approached businesses across Rockhampton and Yeppoon who were all enthusiastic to jump on board and support local free range eggs.
"Some were a bit sceptical of how much we could supply," she said.
Among her 600 chickens, she collects around 530 eggs a day. She collects them twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
Her boxes have 15 dozens eggs - which can make for lots of cakes.
Laid with Love Pastured Eggs are used at The Jam Factory, Vue Restaraunt, Flour (some), Rocky Resort (Cloud Nine Restaurant) and Riverston Tearooms.
Mrs Lisle said it has been wonderful to have the support from local businesses.
"They could get their eggs from wherever but they choose local," she said.
Mrs Lisle who says she has no idea how she ended up in the egg business.
It seems it just fell into place.
"I lived on a property my whole life, much bigger than ours now and we always had backyard chooks," Mrs Lisle said.
With a husband who works away and two young children, it was something she could do at home.
Her children, Cooper and Hayley, love helping out with the egg collecting although Mrs Lisle says there are "many broken eggs".
LAID WITH LOVE PASTURED EGGS:
Cooked with at cafes/restaurants:
- Lure Living
- Jam Factory
- Vue Wine Bar and Restaurant
- Rocky Resort (Cloud Nine Restaurant)
- Riverston Tearooms
- Big Billy's Takeaway
- Jacques' Coastal Meats (Yeppoon)
- Richo's Meats (Northside Plaza)
Find Laid with Love Pastured Eggs on Facebook
In an environmentally friendly move, the eggs in the dozen pack are not packaged in your typical cardboard pack.
The eggs are packaged in a plastic packet which is made from melted down soft drink bottles.
"Cardboard is chopping down more trees, they take less carbon monoxide to produce our plastic containers," Mrs Lisle said.
But an issue that is continuing to rise is the price of chook food.
In the 12 months they have been operating commercially, the price of feed has nearly doubled.
While it has been dry, the feed consumption has not gone up noticeably.
For Mrs Lisle, it is because of supply and demand in the market - prices are going up because other farmers, growers and graziers are having to buy food because of the drought and there is a high demand for the product.
Mrs Lisle goes through around a tonne of feed every 10 day to two weeks.
"They can't just live on grass," she said.
Collecting over 500 eggs a day, Mrs Lisle has no further expansion plans.
The eggs that are now being laid are mostly sold and it's a full-time job along with being a mum.