Victoria-based poultry farm Abundant Layers delivers the most delicate of cargo – fertile eggs – through the post. Co-owner Bianca Geysen explains how the business ensures the eggs reach their destination in egg-cellent condition.
1. Tell us a bit about the history of Abundant Layers.
We bought the business four and half years ago, after two previous owners. The first owner had very much a backyard business and the last owners launched more into the pure and specialty breeds.
We’ve continued with that and made some of our own changes, such as really upping the vaccination schedule. Many people have issues with their chickens coming down with different ailments, so we’ve been working with a couple of avian vets to make sure we provide a quality product. We’re really focused on getting good, healthy chickens, and we often hear of vets recommending our business for that reason.
2. Who are your target customers?
Our customers are “ma and pa kettle” – the family backyarders who want some chooks. We do sell to some B&Bs and restaurants too,
as they like to have fresh eggs and often in a variety of colours if they get different breeds.
Some people really get into the culture of it and know what type of
bird they want, and others know nothing about it and learn about the different breeds when they come in or from our website.
We service mostly Victoria because the hens are pick-up only, but we have posted eggs all over Australia.
3. Have you noticed growing interest in keeping chickens or in chicken breeding / showing?
It’s been fairly consistent since we bought the business, but definitely more and more city people are realising that you don’t need to have a lot of room to have chickens and that they make great pets!
4. Apart from selling chicks, eggs and chicken-keeping equipment from the farm, you also post fertile eggs. What factors do you have to consider?
As much as possible, we try to post our eggs by regular post on a Monday, and people normally get them by Wednesday. We don’t post if it’s really hot weather, especially if they’re going to a place that might take longer with the post. Some parts of Western Australia or more isolated parts of Tasmania can get a bit hairy in terms of getting the eggs there while still fresh. We also try not to post in the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas, as packages can get a bit of rough handling.
5. How do you package eggs so they arrive safely?
We pack the eggs into egg cartons, then put wood shavings into the carton. If it’s hot, I dampen the carton with water. We then pack the carton in a box with polystyrene so that there’s no rattle at all in the box. Fertilised eggs don’t become “activated” until they’re incubated [up to 10 days later], so we don’t have to keep them at an exact temperature during shipping.
6. Is the business seasonal; are there times you don’t have eggs available?
We start selling babies from the end of July – that’s our first hatch of the season – and then we stop hatching late January, so eggs don’t go out beyond late December.
7. Which breeds are your best sellers?
Isa Browns are our best sellers. In the pure breeds, Silver Laced Wyandottes are very popular, Silkies, Sussex… the size and colour of the eggs vary depending on the breed, but it’s often the different personality types that people choose for.
8. What kind of customer feedback do you get?
I can’t count the number of times people have got back to me and said, “I never realised I would love having chickens so much!”. People often tell me their chickens have become part of the family.
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Abundant Layers poultry farm is located in Emerald, VIC. It sells baby and adult chickens, feed and equipment, and posts fertile eggs to chicken fanciers across Australia.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and the interviewees, and not of Australia Post.
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