Australian Food regulation now allows up to 10,000 hens per hectare farms to classify as free range. The free range label would also apply in cases of hens kept predominantly in barns and having access to the outside, if they choose to. You can watch a good reportage on ABC Landline about pastured eggs. We feel the free range label has now lost its meaning.
Keeping hens in barns in crowded conditions is of course vastly different from our Hilltops Free Range Egg farm. We have less than 1,000 hens per hectare; this is 10 times less than the norm set by the Food Regulator for a free range farm. Each of our hens has 10 sq.m. to herself, which is more than the average bedroom size.
Many small sustainable egg farmers have now started to call their eggs "pastured eggs", to differentiate them from the meaningless free range.
Therefore, Hilltops Free Range Eggs are now also Pastured Eggs. You can now order our pastured eggs online.
How free is Free Range?
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