Our chicken’s eggs CSA offers fresh free-range eggs (to our vegetable CSA members only) to be added to their boxes when available.
The Oak Tree has kept chickens since 2012. Our original breeds included: Plymouth Barred Rock, Ixworth, Buff Sussex, Light Sussex, Speckled Sussex, Gold Laced Orpington and Rhode Island Reds.
We bred from these to produce robust, improved dual purpose chickens that suit the Oak Tree environment.
Many people don’t realise that most eggs, including most free range eggs, are laid by chickens that are breed for egg production only, so typically the boy chicks are killed as soon as they hatch. Our chickens are dual purpose meat and egg birds and when in the past we raised our own chicks we gave the male chickens a good few months of running around in the sunshine and consorting with the ladies.
More recently we purchased some hybrid chickens from the Suffolk Chicken Company and they have settled in well with our existing flock
An increasing number of our members are vegan and many of our members are vegetarians and we have ongoing conversations on many subjects. Members, volunteers and visitors see that our chickens are well looked after and that they enjoy a lovely outdoor life. They are also fertilizing out veg beds, and helping to keep the farm in good heart.
Many of our members prefer to eat Oak Tree eggs rather than “regular” free range eggs because they can see for themselves how our chickens are cared for.
Our chickens live outdoors all year round and are moved to new areas of the field on a regular basis. They have fresh vegetation to forage in and fresh ground to scratch on and they eat the bugs and vegetation in their enclosure. They enjoy vegetable trimmings and any damaged or spoiled veg we give them. They also love the brewers mash (spent mash from the brewing process) given to us by two local breweries.
We supplement this diet with layers pellets which we buy in.
Unlike standard layers pellets, the ones we buy are free of GM soya and free of yolk colour enhancers.
If you buy eggs from your local supermarket – why not ask them what they feed their chickens with – you might be surprised!
A CSA egg share costs £18, payable in advance (by bank transfer to the farm bank account), and consists of ten boxes of half a dozen eggs. Members who have signed up for an egg share won’t necessarily get eggs every week, as it depends how many eggs our hens lay. But you are guaranteed to get ten boxes in total and the eggs will be made available with your veg box. Buying an egg share is helping to “share the risks and rewards of farming” – which is what community supported agriculture is all about!
Towards the end of the ten boxes, you can sign up for another ten if you like, but you don’t have to. More details can be found in your regular members’ farm email newsletter.
If we have any egg surpluses in the summer months we also sell any spare boxes of eggs to vegetable CSA members at Saturday working parties, but we will charge a little more for these (£2/half dozen).
To find out more about how we look after our beautiful chickens visit the virtual farm tour.