Chicken & Egg Issue 14 - page 29

In each edition of Chicken & Egg we like
to showcase a really good egg from the
industry and this time we shine a light on
Laydilay Organic Eggs.
Andy and Mandy Johnson set up Laydilay
Organic Eggs in 2004; the farm is south
of Dartmoor and their small flock of just
under 2,000 hens roam 18 acres of rolling
hills and woodland. The hens are kept in
mobile houses which can be moved to
fresh ground, and the hens enjoy straw
bedding that is turned and changed
regularly.
The smallest house accommodates 100
hens and the largest house 300 hens, and
all of them have access to the range from
dawn to dusk learning to use the automatic,
light sensitive pop holes. For protection
the hens are behind electric fences,
and 2 alpacas also help to keep any
predators at bay.
When I asked Mandy why they chose
to farm organically, this was her reply:
“We passionately believe in “putting the
chicken before the egg” – that if we tend
to the hen’s needs first, she will reward us
with good health and by laying well”
“Putting the hen first for us means looking
after her in a way so that she can display
her natural behaviours. By belonging to
an organic certification body, flock sizes,
stocking density and stock rotation are
closely monitored to ensure optimum hen
welfare.
We do not clip the wings or beak tip any
of our hens nor do we use any routine
antibiotics, and by using organic feeds we
are helping to preserve the environment
and avoid GM products. We believe that
this is the second best way to keep hens
after keeping a few in your back garden."
The eggs are sold locally to retail outlets
and restaurants, and the website has a
map which indicates where their organic
eggs can be bought or enjoyed; giving
customers total transparency. Finally, and
because they understand that hens can
live for years and years, Andy and
Mandy kindly allow the birds to be adopted
through the BHWT once their working
lives are over.
In our view Laydilay hens are very lucky
hens indeed.
29
Chicken & Egg. Welfare and Food Together.
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