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Sunset 100% Free Range Eggs


Sunset's free range eggs are GMO-free, spray-free, from happy chickens in big rich pastures.

At Ooooby, we have been selling and eating them for years. They have so-called "muscle-tone" – firm whites that stand up to poaching. This is because the chickens' diet is a wholesome mix of pasture grazing and GMO-free feed and the chickens themselves live happy, healthy lives.

They are available in the following sizes:
Mixed sized - 1 dozen
Mixed sized - 1/2 dozen
Big buggers - 10 pack

Here's why they are soooo good. Or learn what's the difference between free range, pasture raised and organic.

The chicken's diet – "you are what what you eat eats"!

- Michael Pollan: In Defense of Food

In addition to eating pasture, Sunset chickens are fed a natural whole food grain-based diet which contains no antibiotics, hormones or GMO ingredients. We try to source locally grown grains where we can.

There are no artificial colours added in their feed. It contains antioxidant supplements like marigold, paprika and turmeric. These are added both to keep the chickens and customers healthy and produce a natural rich coloured yolk.

Outdoors on the range

The outdoor chicken ranges have plenty of trees because chickens are naturally woodland animals. Sunset keeps an outdoor stocking density of around 1000 chickens per hectare. The New Zealand standard for free range is 2,500/ha.  The chickens graze the pasture in a rotational grazing system so that the pasture has time to regenerate and to prevent compaction and excessive nutrients and pathogens in the soil.

The pasture is also grazed by sheep to keep the grass lush. The chickens are protected by a Maremma guardian Dog called Murphy.

Carl at Sunset says he has "made a conscious decision to stick to fixed chicken houses with a rotational pasture grazing system.  Our chickens have plenty of space indoors to move around, eat drink and dust bathe having 6 chickens per m2 where in comparison the New Zealand standard is up to 12 chickens per m2."

Naturally Fertilised Pastures, NEVER sprayED

Because of the natural fertilizers produced and spread by the chickens, no additional fertilisers are required other than an occasional dusting of lime.

Pastures are not sprayed. No glyphosate or other nasty chemicals!

Healthy chickens = healthy eggs

Unofficially, Carl of Sunset will say that his eggs have been tested and found to have higher levels of Omega 3, vitamin E, Beta carotene, and vitamin D than standard eggs. However, he is careful not to make any nutritional claims because of seasonal variations and the high cost of continual testing and compliance.

animal welfare

Sunset farms almost exclusively Shaver Brown chickens. After years of farming experience, they have found these hens to be highly intuitive and healthy chickens who are good at both ranging and egg production.

On their farms, chickens come before the eggs. They rear their chickens on their farm from day old, and give them the best nutrition and conditions to grow into strong healthy pullets.

Any sick chickens are carefully placed in a recovery house where they receive special care and there is plenty of room and less chance of being hen pecked.

Sunset sells or re-homes their chickens at the end of their first or second laying season, mainly to backyard or lifestyle block customers. When they are unable to re-home chickens themselves, Sunset worsk with the Animal Sanctuary who find them a forever home. The reason why they only keep our chickens for one or two laying seasons is because the eggs laid by older chickens have lower egg quality i.e. softer shells and watery whites.

Over the past 2 years, Sunset has rescued over 8,000 hens from farms where the chickens were mistreated or neglected.

Independently Audited

Sunset Free range has the highest animal welfare guidelines in the country and is regularly audited to ensure those standards are maintained. These procedures ensure that the paddocks have plenty of grass cover, are not over-populated and covered in mud. The bird numbers are kept to manageable levels to reduce stress, overcrowding and hen pecking. There are plenty of feeders, drinkers and nest boxes. The hens have 24/7 access to the paddocks where they can have dust baths, run, flap and eat bugs etc.

Free range vs pastured, which is better?

At Ooooby, we are big fans of raising animals in the natural habitat.

But according to Carl Ebbers at Sunset, it has to be done right!  He says, "much of the marketing to consumers portray mobile chicken houses as the best options because the chickens have access to fresh pasture. However, being mobile only works provided the mobile house is moved every 3-5 days and having a mobile house comes at a cost. The structure needs to be light weight. With little or no insulation and ventilation mobile houses can be are like an oven during the summer and wet/cold during the winter. There is also very limited indoor space for chickens to eat, drink and perch to rest. It is for this reason several Humane Societies will not certify mobile chicken houses."

Why not organic?

Sunset Farms' farming methods are similar to certified organic methods, being free from chemicals or intensive farming. The difference between Sunset eggs and organic ones is that we do not use certified organic feed. Certified organic feed is more than double the cost and hard to consistently source all year round.  As we are not constrained to a limited number of approved ingredients, in some situations the health and wellbeing of the chickens may be far better than organic. For example, has the freedom to feed his chooks vitamin and mineral rich veggie scraps.

How free range eggs are cleaned

Chickens are free range and because of that, they often have dirty feet and put dirt onto the eggs. Many consumers don't want to buy or bake with dirty eggs, so they clean them with a special machine designed not to damage the eggs cuticle (protective layer). A small amount of chlorine is added to remove any bacteria. The eggs are then rinsed with clean water and blow dried.

All of Sunset eggs are candled to remove bad eggs and ones with shell imperfections and then weighed into different size groups before being placed into cartons.

Sunset delivers eggs within 3 days of being laid.

Natures Corner

Carl Ebber of Natures Corner is a fifth-generation chicken farmer. It is more than just a 9-5 job for him; it's a vocation. He is passionate about high quality, healthy eggs and is continually learning more about chickens and farming every year.

He has 2 small egg farms consisting of small flocks up to 1500 birds. The relationship between the birds and farmer is hands on. They pay staff a living wage.

The first is Sunset Farms, which is 100% FREE RANGE, antibiotic free and focused on animal welfare.
The second is K&M, which is PASTURE RAISED taking things to a whole new level. Pasture raised means the hens basical live outdoors, forage more of the diet (seeds, worms and bugs) themselves in fresh pasture, have more pasture per bird and are antibiotic free, of course.

  • Store eggs at a constant temperature below 20°C - this maintains freshness and quality. The fridge is the best place to keep them in domestic kitchens

  • Keep eggs in their original boxes when storing - this ensures any odours from surrounding foods are shut out

  • If you take eggs out of their box, make sure you store and use them in date order

  • Take them out of the fridge half an hour before cooking for the best results, otherwise the sudden change in temperature could crack the shell or lower its binding qualities in baking

  • Store away from strong smelling food - egg shells are porous

  • Store away from raw meat

  • Wash your hands before and after handling eggs

  • Never use dirty, cracked, or broken eggs

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