The early bird gets the worm.
And a field trip to a Happy Egg Co. farm is definitely worth getting up before dawn for!
After a quick snack, it was time to get suited…
… and booted!
Before meeting up with JP, the farm manager.
A true egg-xpert!
With the most adorable furry guide ever, we took off to the fields, eager to meet the the Happy Egg Co. V.I.Bs (Very Important Birds) and find out how happy they truly were.
All Happy Egg Co. farms truly do everything they possibly can to make sure they have happier lives – and lay tastier eggs.
Hens are naturally inquisitive animals, and love spending their days rummaging around in treelines and hedgerows – after all, their ancestors were jungle-dwellers!
Which is why, besides loads (and I mean LOADS!) of room to roam, happy hens also benefit from a minimum of 20% tree coverage to play, forage and shelter in.
They also have their own henhouse, where they sleep, eat, drink and lay their eggs.
The hens usually leave the henhouse between 8am and 9am, then head back to bed at dusk, depending on the season.
However, Happy Egg farmers try their best to encourage the hens to go outside as much as possible.
Besides giving the birds a beautiful red crown, it helps them remain healthy and reduce both stress and violence, which can in turn affect the quality of the eggs (soft or wrinkled shells…).
Despite the Happy Egg Co. being a massive organisation providing free range eggs to supermarkets across the UK, I was surprised to find out it works as a cooperative of family farmers.
Each farm is hand-picked according to a strict set of rules, guaranteeing that the farmers are truly committed to the wellbeing of the hens.
The best farmers have their own quirky ways of keeping the girls happy – early morning walks on the range, singing in the henhouse, employing a bunch of alpacas to ward off pesky foxes, or even hen-petting!
Which we obviously couldn’t resist trying, though our attempts weren’t all quite succesful…
Looks like it’s just not something you can wing!
After photographying the farm’s VIBs from every angle (could you resist those shiny & fluffy feathers?!), we went on a egg hunt…
With eggs-tremely good results!
After the eggs get collected from the henhouses, they get hand-stamped.
0 means organic, UK is (quite obviously) the country of origin and the following 5 numbers are a unique code for the farm of origin, allowing absolute tracability of the eggs.
The eggs are then stored in a giant fridge until they’re packed and collected by lorries to be distributed across the country.
After a morning in the fields, we were all pretty egg-cited for lunch!
Especially since egg-specialist Jackson & Rye had come all the way from London with a cracking menu!
Starting with Smoked devilled eggs
Creamy yolk, firm white and plenty of smoked paprika, it was and egg-celent modern take on the retro classic.
Avocado Egg Florentine with Truffle Hollandaise
With eggs Florentine on of Jackson & Rye’s signature dishes, I can tell you this was no yolk!
Another good egg, that dish!
Last but not least, Jackson & Rye signature Pecan Pie, served with maple rippled crème fraiche.
No word to egg-spress how good it was, so you might just have to go and try it yourself!
Quite an egg-straordinary day altogether!
This peak behind the scenes has re-inforced my choice of always doing my best to support animal welfare and farmers doing their best to garantee it and I truly believe choosing The Happy Egg Co. brand does just that.
Going above and beyond the RSPCA Freedom Food standards, they’re definitely worth paying a little eggs-tra!
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*I visited The Happy Egg farm as a guest of the brand, but all opinions, pictures & terrible puns my own!