Can you imagine how many eggs the Hundred House needs each week? As well being part of our delicious breakfast dishes, we use them in cakes, glazing pastries, sauces, side dishes, you name it, eggs are involved in the kitchen every single day. As you know, we really care about where our ingredients come from and whilst we like to use as much of our own produce as possible, space and time mean we source our some of our ingredients from local suppliers.Over the next few months I’ll be finding out about many of our suppliers and the essential egg seemed like a great place to start. Peter Jarvis, owner of Hollowdene Hens was kind enough to answer some questions and take some fab poultry pics!
HH What can you tell us about Hollowdene Hens?
PJ I’m a former dairy farmer, and went into free range egg production just over 10 years ago. We run 3 separate flocks of about 2000 birds in each. This gives us a continuous supply of varying size eggs. Each flock is re stocked about every 15 months. Effectively this means we are re stocking one flock every 5 months.
HH Why are free range eggs better than other methods?
PJ The hens have the freedom to go out during day light every day. Judging by the speed they rush out every morning, this is something they truly enjoy. I haven’t said much about caged hens. Clearly, they are easier to manage, they eat less (therefore it’s cheaper to produce eggs) due to lack of exercise, but they have no life, other than that of a prisoner.
HH What do you enjoy about your job?
PJ For me, this is a very enjoyable job, although the down side is, it is truly 24/7, 365 days a year. Days off are few and far between.
HH Can the public buy your eggs?
PJ Our eggs are used in many top hotels and restaurants in the Shrewsbury / Telford area and can be bought in many independent shops in this area too. Under the Hollowdene hen’s logo.
HH Finally, do you have a favourite hen?
PJ the two resident cockerels are the only ones we have named. Colin and Stanley! Pictures attached. Stanley is the one posing in the back of the van, next to the egg boxes.
Free range eggs not only taste better, they really do come from hens that have had happy lives. Thank you Peter for telling us a bit more about Hollowdene Hens, and for taking the smashing photos. I’m pretty sure Stanley will be ready for a modelling career soon !