The secret to tasty nutritious eggs is a happy chicken flock with a rich social life and a great environment that provides a varied diet of woodland weeds, insects and berries.
The hens at Thornbush are heritage breeds that include barred rocks, black austrolorps, gold-laced wyandottes, speckled sussex. Each breed has its own personality, but they all share a love of foraging.
All feed is organic, supplemented by worms, weeds, and scraps from the garden, orchard and nursery.
Charcoal from orchard pruning, forest thinning and sawmill trimmings are used under the chicken roosts to absorb excess nitrogen from the droppings. The result is a rich organic magic which after 6 months of composting becomes biochar, a valuable addition to the garden and nursery.
Some of the charcoal goes into the worm composter to suck up the rich “worm juice” that runs out the bottom. The resulting biochar also goes into the garden beds and nursery pots. The worms, by the way, go to the hens, who gobble them up with gusto.