Can you imagine collecting 14,000 eggs a day?
This is what Steve and Emma Brooks, owners of Castel Farm Eggs, do rain or shine every single day of the year.
You may be led to think picking up 14,000 eggs a day would put you off but Steve confirms he’s still a big fan.
He said: ‘I love eggs! I could eat them poached all day long – that’s my favourite way to have eggs.’
How did a couple from the UK end up breeding chickens in Guernsey?
The couple originally worked for a company in Winchester and had supplied the Channel Islands with eggs for more than 30 years before moving across the water to Guernsey.
It was a holiday to Guernsey which shortly changed Steve and Emma’s lives and they were soon running their own farm.
Steve said: ‘I went to Guernsey on holiday with my wife and I popped up to see Martin. Martin was running an egg farm and was someone I knew from dealing with him for a number of years. He had a sign up saying he was looking to sell the farm.
‘My wife suggested that I should buy it and moving to Guernsey might provide a nice change of life.’
The rest is history. Steve and Emma now run their own farm, deal directly with suppliers and make sure the Channel Islands have a constant supply of free-range eggs.
How do the eggs get from the chicken to our homes?
When the chickens arrive at Castel Farm they are just 16 weeks old. Steve and Emma then keep the birds until they are 18 months old, collecting their eggs on a daily basis.
Steve explains that when the chickens are laying they will go into a lay box in the fields. The box is designed so it’s titled slightly making the eggs roll down on to a conveyor belt. They are collected by hand and graded by Steve and his team.
He said: ‘I love doing what I do because I see the whole journey. I see the eggs being laid, I collect them and grade them and then I deliver them to stores myself.
‘I make sure all my chickens are healthy and looked after and I know exactly where they have come from, right from them being incubated.
What’s a normal working day?
‘I wake up at 7.30am and head out to the fields,’ Steve said.
‘Then I won’t go back home until about 5.30pm. The first thing I do is collect all the eggs. Then they all get taken into the grading shed and get graded by hand. I organise all the deliveries and make sure everything is correct and going where it should be.’
Why’s it important people buy free-range eggs?
Steve said: ‘Buying local means people know where their eggs have come from. When someone buys a generic free-range egg from a supermarket they don’t really know that it is free-range, or where that chicken has been living. If people buy my eggs then they get that confirmation.
‘For just a few pennies extra, people can buy local, free-range eggs and can be guaranteed that they know exactly where their eggs have come from and the chickens have been looked after.’