14,000 hens live at Cornhill! They are all Bovan Browns and are a tough breed, ideally suited to face the elements at the top of the hill, at the farm. Our hens do not lay as well as some other breeds, but they are more hardy to our inclement weather, and so are ideally suited to our site.
We provide dense cover crops areas near the sheds to encourage them out ranging, and our aim is to get as many hens as possible out on the range. Within a couple of months, the hens will have devoured the cover crops, and they make very good lawnmowers on the rest of the field.
When the hens leave us at 76 weeks old, we move the shed down the field, washing and disinfecting it, ready for the next flock of pullets.
Our chickens live in purpose built houses, 3 of which we designed and made ourselves at Cornhill. Two thirds of the house is raised a metre off the ground on slats where they feed, drink, socialise and have access to the nest boxes where they lay their eggs.
The remaining third of the shed is floor level scratching area, where the chickens can scratch in the dirt under cover. We provide them a dry woodchip bedding, which they can dust bath in all year round, which is especially useful in the winter when it’s wet outside.
We also give them extra enrichments such as grit, hay bales, string, milk bottles and CD’s to peck and play with, which helps to keep them active.
We constantly aim to produce the best tasting free range eggs you’ll find anywhere. We have 4 hen houses, with 3500 hens in each, and each house has 10 acres of herb rich pasture to range, and we actively encourage them outside. Home grown cereals are fed through our mill and mix, and they have feed and water in constant ad-lib supply.
The hens have full access to the range to roam, scratch, dust bath and behave like every chicken should. These are not eggs from hens who lounge about inside all day, or are restricted in any way in their environment, or the amount of range they have in front of them.
We passionately believe the quality of the range ensures our girls have the best life possible, and they lay the tastiest eggs around. The deep colour of the yolk – that comes from happy hens, eating worms and grubs from the fields.
We were a proud Waitrose egg producer from 2002 to 2021, achieving their Platinum Standard, awarded to only 5 producers in the country.
In early 2021, we decided to go it alone, and work even more closely with local wholesale outlets and suppliers, which is the future for our business. We love building strong links with other like-minded businesses, where quality produce, and efficient service are key.
We maintain the highest standards of farming possible, which is evident in the quality of the produce we make. We have regular audits from Laid in Britain, and the BEIC (British Egg Industry Council) to keep us on our toes, producing the best quality eggs for our customers.