Silver Dale has eggscellent way to farm chickens
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A BIG part of what we do at Silver Dale Eggs at Calliope isn't to do with eggs at all.
There is a line of thought that we subscribe to, and that is that healthy land produces healthy food, which produces healthy people.
In essence, agriculture isn't the cultivation of crops and animals, but the cultivation of people.
And this is why five years ago, Rob and Sandra Waterson, owners of Stowe Park, the home of Silver Dale Eggs, introduced laying hens into a rotation with cattle.
They had the aim of improving the health of the soil and its flow-on benefits to the people who eat the food produced from this farm.
Our hens get to roam our pastures all day long, eating grass, chasing bugs and having dust-baths in the sun.
We think this is why they lay such delicious eggs.
Sharing this philosophy is also important.
Recently we hosted 50 Masters students from the International Water Centre, discussing with them a range of innovative ideas that we practise.
The students were keen to see how our grazing of cattle and chickens is benefiting the land and the water.
A lot of work has been done around restoring natural flow patterns on the land, turning our creeks into a series of permanent water holes that trickle water all year long and are brimming with life.
The upshot to all of this is that the cattle now graze nutrient-laden grass that has been naturally fertilised by the chickens, producing quality grass-fed and finished beef that we sell direct to the public.