Graeme is somewhat of a farming pioneer in New Zealand, having been inspired to introduce modern barn farming to the country in the mid-1990’s. In barn farming, layer hens are kept in large sheds, able to roam on litter and make use of perches and nest boxes.
Today, the once “old and run-down farm” he purchased is the proud home of Henergy. The farm houses around 80,000 hens making it the largest of its type in the region of Wairarapa, and it continues to grow with sheds now being added to accommodate increased demand for barn-farmed eggs.
Known by many for his enthusiasm about egg farming and for the wellbeing of his hens, Graeme says this type of farming ‘ticks all the boxes’. As an egg farmer for nearly two decades, he echoes the need for egg farmers to have a commitment to their hens and an instinct for good stockmanship.
Graeme’s skilled team starts the day well before dawn to care for the hens, collect and process the eggs, and clean and maintain the farm. But Graeme says the knowledge that his birds are happy and healthy is the best part of the work day… that, and fresh eggs poached on a slice of five-grain toast.