AN­GELA

Country Style - - OUR LIFE IN THE COUNTRY MOUNT ROLAND TASMANIA -

I was born and bred in Sh­effield. Mum and Dad had fol­lowed the Hy­dro around and Dad came here to work for the Hy­dro. I grew up in town and I went on a farm­ing jour­ney when I met Phil. He was shear­ing and I used to go along and rouse­about with him. Phil al­ways had chooks and he used to show as a boy. We needed another busi­ness and to make a go of this place. Now we’re in eggs. We put lots of hours in. We’re up at four in the morn­ing and on Satur­day I do Launce­s­ton Har­vest Mar­ket. I’ll sell 300 to 400 dozen at mar­kets, and the rest I whole­sale to fruit and veg­etable shops or cafés. I do a lot of de­liv­er­ies my­self on Wed­nes­days and Satur­days. I used to do a lot of wash­ing eggs, one by one. Our son was build­ing an egg washer for us, but he’s an air­craft en­gi­neer and got too busy, so we have just bought a flash new egg washer that saves me around 14 hours a week in win­ter. We also got a new egg grader and that saves about five hours a week. Phil and I have our roles. He looks af­ter feed­ing and col­lect­ing. I take care of clean­ing eggs, pack­ing, mar­kets, in­voic­ing and ac­counts, and also help him. We’ve learnt ev­ery­thing about egg pro­duc­ing our­selves. We built the sheds and saved our­selves a few dol­lars. The chick­ens learn where their own shed is and ev­ery four to six weeks we lock them up at night and then move them to make sure they have grass all the time. We don’t use chem­i­cal sprays, and we stick to na­ture as much as we can. We have worked seven days a week all our lives. We went for a hol­i­day once. At the mo­ment, we’re in the process of be­com­ing a tourist farm. We will run tours and have a chicken museum, her­itage chicken breeds and pet­ting an­i­mals, and an ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram for kids to see where eggs come from. Ev­ery­thing will be about chick­ens. Sh­effield is very busy dur­ing the sum­mer time. We are half an hour from Devon­port and just over an hour from Launce­s­ton and have a lovely view at the back door, but it does get a bit chilly in win­ter! When cloud comes down on the moun­tains, you know it’s go­ing to rain to­mor­row. It’s a great life­style, be­ing around an­i­mals, at home, and we work to­gether well. In a six-year pe­riod we’ve come a long way. It’s been hard, but we’re get­ting there.

CLOCK­WISE, FROM TOP LEFT Eggs go­ing through the grader; two tiny chicks perch on Phillip’s hand; An­gela gets down to talk to the chick­ens. “We love to sit and watch them,” she says. FAC­ING PAGE, CLOCK­WISE, FROM TOP RIGHT An­gela says hello to Roswell; Hy-line Browns are good lay­ers; check­ing the weather be­fore they head out for the day; Phillip gives the hens some ex­tra grain.

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