Home NewsAustralia 1,400 hens for sale as fed-up chook farmer throws in the towel

1,400 hens for sale as fed-up chook farmer throws in the towel

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An exhausted Queensland egg producer is asking it quits, blaming the crippling impression of COVID-19 on the hospitality trade.

Paul Heaton, from Phat Belli Farm on the Sunshine Coast, must rehome 1,400 Hyline Brown laying chickens and has put the birds and the entire related gear up on the market.

Since 2016 Mr Heaton has been constructing his enterprise up at Belli Park, however he mentioned orders from cafes and eating places had dramatically diminished due to the pandemic.

The stress of working 100 hours seven days every week has left him with little time to spend along with his household.

An old caravan and a feeder next to it with lots of red chickens inside an electric fence.
Paul Heaton is promoting the rooster “tractors” he transformed from outdated caravans.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

“You are coping with Mom Nature as properly — she’s probably not pleasant typically,” Mr Heaton mentioned.

“We have had vans blow over within the wind.

“Farming is a tricky gig, it truly is, and if I knew again then what I do know now, I am fairly certain I would not go into it.

A smiling woman with dark hair cradles a chicken.
Lee McCosker from PROOF says loads of smaller operators have achieved it powerful throughout the pandemic.(ABC Rural: Kim Honan)

Blended outcomes

Lee McCosker from certification enterprise PROOF (Pasture Raised on Open Fields) mentioned the fortunes of pasture-raised egg and pork farmers trusted their markets.

“The folks that promote to established farmers’ markets or impartial supermarkets have been doing properly, however sadly people who depend on hospitality are struggling,” she mentioned.

Ms McCosker mentioned small PROOF-certified farmers relied on native commerce and didn’t promote into main supermarkets or produce at giant scales.

A big green field with two chicken caravans in the distance near trees.
Phat Belli Farm had excessive welfare requirements and produced eggs on an open pasture.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

Prepared for a relaxation

A diesel mechanic by commerce, Mr Heaton remains to be contemplating his subsequent transfer, however needs to thank his supporters.

“There’s been lots of people, a number of cafes and eating places that saved us going,” he mentioned.

Mr Heaton mentioned he was trying ahead to not having his life consumed by work.

“So the youngsters can see daddy when he isn’t pressured — that’d be nice,” he mentioned.

Lots of red chickens inside an electric fence near a commercial chicken "tractor".
Hyline Brown chickens are a business egg-laying breed.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

Phat Belli farm relies at Belli Park, between Kenilworth and Eumundi on the Sunshine Coast.

The layers have been priced at $18 every.

Mr Heaton is providing offers for purchasers to purchase 5 and get one free or purchase 10 and get three free.

The farm will be contacted via Facebook.

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