After weeks of welding, cutting, hammering, digging, burying, we welcomed a new flock of girls. The new addition to the family is enjoying the autumn revival of fresh new clover under the tall phalaris grass.
The pursuit of happiness made simple: grass, a dog and a kid. And some fresh eggs. Happy New Year everyone!
A few thoughts on yolk color: We find our eggs' color varies with the season, and with the different paddocks that the chickens forage through.
Different patches of grass produce different color of egg yolk: lucern is the most orange, clover is bright yellow, phalaris grass produces lighter yellow.
There is also a difference between seasons, which depend on the rainfall and the balance between green matter and dry (sweeter) matter.
However, as the American Egg Association says, "Color has no relationship to egg quality, flavor, nutritive value, cooking characteristics or shell thickness".
At the end of the long working day, we pause and take in the view:
the sky, the chickens, the hilltops.
Beauty in the moment.
We are all standing on the shoulders of giants.
Or at least, giant eggs.
The phrase comes from Latin, "nanos gigantum humeris insidentes", or 'dwarfs on the shoulders of giants'. We are all discovering the truth building on all previous discoveries.
Or, as Isaac Newton put it in 1675: "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants".
This week, students from The Australian National University visited the farm.
Standing in the very same paddock where we first started our chickens, we all looked at how green and thick and fresh the pasture has become. You might recognize the place from the front of our packaging.
Chickens give more than they take from the land, and even in the midst of winter, with the frost and the morning freeze, the pasture is thriving, thanks to the natural fertilizer.
We are excited to work on new projects together with the team of students.
Hidden in the shed where we keep hay for the sheep, three chickens have made a secret nest.
Perfect construction planning and building, perfect circle shape. The nest is even feather lined for comfort.
In the deepest, darkest of winter, in a muddy, rainy, windy week, finding an egg that is still warm: there is hope in the world. There is good in the world.
"I am excited about chickens", says Bill Gates. So are we!
Food for thought in Bill Gates's article on how chickens can solve the world's problems by eliminating malnutrition, empowering women and raising people out of poverty.
Hilltops pastured eggs have now been reviewed by the Choice Institute's CluckAR app, the detector for true free-range eggs. We are proud to have received the highest green rating.
You can read more about the CluckAR app developed by Choice Institute in Australia, or watch the video on how to use the CluckAR app. It is fun to see the happy virtual-reality chickens run around on top of our carton, when using the app.