HOME TO ROOST
FOR MOUNT ROLAND EGG FARMERS ANGELA AND PHILLIP GLOVER, THEIR MUCH-LOVED CHICKENS ARE PART OF THE FAMILY.
WHENEVER ANGELA AND Phillip Glover drive the ute out into their lush green pastures beneath Mount Roland in northern Tasmania, they’re mobbed by hundreds of excited chickens. The birds hop up onto the tray and dart around the truck amid a deafening cacophony of chicken chatter. It seems like a happy, heart-warming show of affection — or perhaps it’s just curiosity that brings them running when they see the couple. But if it really is some form of chicken love, then the feeling is reciprocal. The Glovers are mad about their chickens. “We love getting out among them,” says Phillip. “We love to sit and watch them,” Angela adds. And with more than 3000 chickens free ranging on their 40 hectares, young chickens coming on, plus Phillip’s collection of heritage breeds, they have plenty to watch. The layers are a commercial Hy-line Brown breed producing 1400 dozen eggs a week, which they sell at Launceston’s Harvest Market as well as wholesaling to local businesses under the label Mount Roland Free Range Eggs. Twelve mobile homes from where the chickens come and go are moved to a fresh location every four weeks. If location is everything, then living in the dress circle of the dramatic Mount Roland is like millionaire’s row for chickens. Both Angela and Phillip grew up in the area, and bought their current property in 1998. They have tried their hand at different enterprises while raising their now 24-year-old son, Brady, and daughter, Lauren, 23. Phillip has two older children, Haley, 30, and Jarrod, 29, who grew up in Dubbo. Phillip, 52, started out as a shearer. Angela, 45, was a restaurant supervisor for TT Lines in Devonport. They’ve farmed dairy cattle, sheep, rare breed pigs, ran a store and worked in the security business together, to boot. “A lot of the time we were doing three jobs, shearing, milking cows and doing security, as we were struggling with a young family,” says Phillip. “Security is a big industry and we did all the courses. I’ve done The Footy Show, bands and other things. Ange caught a bank robber once!” Meanwhile, Phillip had been raising chickens since he was a boy. “I used to show them. I started with Rhode Island Reds, Light Sussex, Australorps and Blue Andalusian.” In recent years he has also been raising pullets for the layer market. For the Glovers, starting Mount Roland Free Range Eggs in 2012 was just a natural progression. “We needed to make a go of this place and thought ‘Why not eggs?’” says Angela. Mount Roland Free Range Eggs, telephone 0499 981 807. >
Chickens enjoy free ranging on the lush green pastures of Mount Roland. FACING PAGE Freshly collected eggs ready for the markets.