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.