Healthy, content and soaking up the best that the region's pastures have to offer, the traditional birds take on a vital role in the centuries-old cyclical practice of mob grazing. The cycle begins with herds staying bunched together and on the move, chomping and trampling to create a natural mulch, which allows the soil to absorb rainfall more effectively, while locking carbon safely away in the ground.
As the herds move onto fresh pastures, the traditional birds ramble out of their mobile sheds, which are on wheels, and set to work fertilising the land and stimulating new shoots by scratching through the manure, spreading nutrients to every corner of the field. Along the way, the birds get to enjoy a hugely varied salad bar of vegetation, as well as nutritious grubs and bugs that can be harmful to other animals, cleaning the land ready for the herds to eventually return.
Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains: “Incorporating traditional hens into the mob grazing practices that many forward-thinking cattle and sheep farmers are now embracing is a really exciting step in free range egg production, and something we are extremely proud to be pioneering in our efforts to ensure a sustainable future for independent family-run farms. The story goes much deeper than producing exceptional free range eggs though. Birds & Herds essentially encourages animals to behave like they did centuries ago; with the herds sticking together to avoid predators while they graze on varied herbal lays and the birds coming through afterwards to work through what's left behind, in the process protecting our land, enhancing biodiversity and minimising our carbon footprint.”
Birds & Herds free range eggs come in beautiful natural shades within half dozen packs and are currently available from independent retailers across the UK, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores.