Rookery Farm is a small, 150-acre family-run farm on the coast of West Sussex that has produced organic, free-range eggs for the last 20 years - their eggs are certified to both OF&G and The Soil Association. Run by Rupert and Robyn, their family has farmed that part of South East England for over 130 years. They take a slightly different approach to the vast majority of other British and EU organic and free-range farms, for example they have completely mobile hen houses! This means that they can rotate the whole hen house to a fresh piece of pasture when a new flock arrives.
A Typical Day
Each day starts at 5am, with the chickens being let out to graze at 8am where they are allowed to forage until they naturally make their way back indoors at sunset. Each hen lays, on average, 5 to 6 eggs per week which are collected by hand daily.
The ‘first sort’ is where the eggs are placed on trays and separated out with any noticeable imperfections (irregular shells, dirt or cracks) and the eggs that pass this stage are taken to The Shed for grading. This is where there is a ‘second sort’ is carried out. The eggs are the loaded onto a conveyor which carries them over candling lights, which reveals any flaws in the shell that aren’t easily visible to the naked eye.