Our Hens

The passion of an Oxfordshire family 

Free to roam

One of the nicest parts of this job is opening the pop holes early in the morning and watching the hens run across the fields – they never tire of the excitement! From early in the morning until dusk, our hens are free to explore the fields and dust bathe in the sunshine.

Modern mobile hen houses…. Our hens live in 5 flocks, each at a different age so that we can guarantee a supply of all egg sizes throughout the year. At night time, each flock is safe inside a single level hen house with space to perch and roost.  We have chosen mobile hen houses which allows us to move them onto fresh grass each year. When we move our hen houses, we can rest the land from the previous flock and let the UV rays in the sunshine improve the soil, avoiding the use of insecticides. Our hen houses have natural ventilation avoiding the use of electric fans and lowering our carbon footprint.

Enrichment… On a rainy day, hens enjoy having something to play with inside the hen house. We give our hens string, plastic milk bottles, straw bales and blocks of hardened food to peck at and each flock has a children’s play slide to explore. We’ve found the hens love spending time exploring these.

Our hens
Our hens

Customised diets, individual to each flock with ingredients from known and trusted origins

As humans, we feed our families the best quality food we can find, to keep them in the best health – hens are no different! We have partnered with the UK’s leading dedicated poultry feed supplier, who have a choice of over 500 unique cereal-based diets offering benefits for our hens welfare and quality of egg. The four main ingredients are wheat, barley, soybeans and sunflower seeds and the feed is free from antibiotics and hormones. A poultry specialist joins us on the farm each week to review the health of the hens and helps us select the diet which will give the right balance between levels of nutrition, energy and performance for each flock.

When a chef visits the farm, they’re often curious as to why our hens are so friendly, running over to peck at your boots or fly up to your shoulder. The secret is that from the moment our hens arrive on the farm, we spend hours every day training and talking to them, building their confidence so that we can easily walk through the flock. After a couple of weeks, they follow us around the hen house and fields.

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"We have used Mayfield free range eggs for over 6 years in both Brookes Restaurant and the Cookery School and would not hesitate in recommending them – they are always really fresh!"

Amanda Belz
Assistant Head Chef Trainer, The Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Oxford Brookes University