Winter 2023 Update from the Farm

Winter Paddock at Forage Farms

Winter farm happenings

There’s been no hibernating at Forage Farms this winter! We have made some significant farm improvements and have also been busy extending our chicken operation onto another block. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Meat chickens

A new brooder has been installed and is now fully operational. This is a shipping container decked out so that it can raise 400 chickens at a time. There is water inside and out and power for heat lamps, plus windows to bring natural light in which helps in fighting bacteria and keeping the birds healthy.

Two batches have been through it so far, and we are making small adjustments as we get familiar with what is working and what isn’t. It is easy to move once or twice a day, and our chooks are very happy with it. They love running to their new patch of grass when we move it. Foraging on new bugs and being outdoors makes such a huge difference to the lifestyle of the animal, and the quality of the product which is very gratifying. Brooder under construction

Brooder setup and ready

Brooder with Chicks


This time of the year is busy for joining of pigs and weaning the piglets. We will be well and truly ready for the Christmas ham season!


The breeding herd is continuing to grow. We have introduced some new smaller framed heifers that are more suited to our environment. There are 14 new Red Angus heifers and 12 Nguni Cross heifers that we plan to cross-breed. The Ngunis are an African breed, smaller framed and very tolerant to parasites, ticks, and flies. They are used to living in harsher conditions and have learned to forage. Introducing them will help us to reach our goal of breeding a better-suited herd for this country.

Our herd of Nguni X and Red Angus Heifers


In the paddock, everything is running smoothly. The processing area has been action stations though with numerous upgrades and changes to make way for a new packing machine in the shed. There is also a new shiny epoxy finish on the floor which makes the shed easy to clean.

The old machine was capable of packing 4,000 to 4,500 eggs per hour, and the new one can manage 10,000 eggs an hour! It has three automatic packing lanes to drop the eggs straight into the cartons for us. It arrived in pieces in a 40-foot shipping container and was quite a job putting all the pieces together! We have also had to train the entire farm team how to use it. It is much more efficient and even laser prints the eggs so there is no old ink stamp mess anymore. It is so efficient we had to slow it down a bit so the humans could keep up! 


Around the farm

With winter rainfall well below the average, it has been dry, but thankfully we have had a few showers recently to keep things green. We won’t say no to more rain as it looks like summer is going to be hot and dry.

Over the winter months we installed some extensions to our existing sheds to store machinery. Stuart is very happy with all the new improvements as there is now somewhere for his beloved machinery to live, out of the elements!

In other news, we have taken out a lease on Onyx Park at Belli Park so that we can have more chickens there. We have been busy with fencing and setting up water and have moved two chicken houses there ready for the first batch to arrive.

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Forage Farms Aerial Shot
Overhead shot of Forage Farms after charging our contours with water following Natural Sequence Farming practices