Chicken and Egg - page 30

30 Chicken & Egg. Welfare and Food Together.
FLYING THE BRITISH EGG FLAG
In every issue we like to showcase some
of what we consider to be our great British
farmers. This time around centre stage is
given to Patrick & Steph Bourns.
Cackleberry Farm is nestled at the bottom
of a hill just outside Stow-on-the-Wold, and
for four years it has been home to five small
flocks of Arlington White chickens, which
rootle and roam from dawn till dusk on
thirty acres of luscious Cotswold
countryside. They produce the exclusive
Arlington White eggs which are supplied to
the likes of Fortnum & Mason and used by a
number of prominent UK chefs including at
The River Café.
I asked Paddy and Steph why they chose
to farm in a more traditional way, and what
makes their Arlington White eggs special:
“We have always wanted to produce a
special egg, having the birds’ welfare at the
heart of what we do. Our birds are reared
from day old on the farm, in spacious barns
and are never de-beaked, as they are
kept in a relaxing environment with high
husbandry standards. We have no more
than 5,000 hens, housed in small flocks
Patrick &
Steph Bourns
at Cackleberry Farm
with plenty of perches, bedding to scratch
around, fresh water and a natural diet with
lots of luscious grass. By keeping our birds
in mobile houses our hens are happy and
lead a stress-free life which is the secret
to our exquisite eggs and what makes it all
worthwhile.
Our eggs are now being requested by chefs
across the county who are as passionate as
us about quality and happy hens. We supply
directly to the catering trade mainly
supplying hotels and restaurants,
including several in London. By having our
eggs collected daily from the farm, they
arrive pristine and fresh with their prominent
rich golden yolk which defines our Arlington
White Eggs.”
What a lovely thought, hens kept in small
flocks nibbling on a daily diet of grass
enriched with fresh herbs, free to range
where they wish. Paddy and Steph could
expand their business, but won’t even
consider it if it changes the quality of life for
his hens. It’s what we call real free ranging,
and this Flying the British Egg Flag feature
comes with a huge well done from the
British Hen Welfare Trust to another of our
great British farmers.
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