GOLDEN CHOOK: Robert Smith of Pullens Produce with one of the chickens ready to lay they have.
GOLDEN CHOOK: Robert Smith of Pullens Produce with one of the chickens ready to lay they have.

Scrambling for eggs

THE prospect of a shortage of eggs over Christmas might be the trigger you need to take egg supply into your own hands.

Reports of an outbreak of bird flu, resulting in the death of 450,000 chickens at two egg farms in NSW, have authorities predicting a shortage in supply in the week before Christmas.

Sydney media reported NSW Farmers' Association egg committee chairman Bede Burke said demand for eggs doubles in the week leading up to Christmas, "but this year the eggs won't be there".

The solution it seems is closer to home: get a few chooks in the backyard working for you.

The sales manager at Pullens Produce, Brent Foley, said point of lay pullets in a pen in the backyard could supply you with all the eggs you need before Christmas.

"We have some in stock at the moment which have just started to lay," Mr Foley said. He said he was not aware of commercial egg growers in the region.

"We get our eggs from Herons Creek, near Taree and the live chickens we sell from Bond Enterprises in Brisbane," he said.

But he said there were a lot of people who kept chooks at home.

Mr Foley said hens started to lay at around 25 to 26 weeks and most point of lay pullets were sold from the 20-25 weeks old.



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