Boyd Carmody is on a mission – to provide fresh, high quality eggs to the general market, while ensuring his 2000 chickens enjoy a healthy, natural lifestyle. Boyd started Creswick Open Range Farm two years ago and has already won a Silver Medal from the prestigious Australian Food Awards.
Chooks haven’t always been in Boyd’s life. This 47-year-old, single Dad has an interesting background. He said, “I’ve never had an ordinary, full time salaried job.” Adding, “by my mid 20s I had a large earth moving business that I ran successfully until it wasn’t fun anymore and I got bored, so I sold it”. His former wife suggested that they could move on to something and somewhere different, so they looked at a map, decided that Geraldton in Western Australia looked interesting and that was the start of another adventure. What followed was long haul travel between Western Australia and Queensland as an outback trucker and Boyd says, “Yes, I have been bogged for weeks with a triple road train alone in the middle of nowhere”. We decided that we should move back to Victoria as the kids were at school age and needed to be more settled”. This next move was to their 20-acre property in Gordon where they bred heritage poultry while Boyd carted seed potatoes from Wallace and Newlyn to North Queensland.
Creswick Open Farm Eggs is very much a labour of love, albeit emphasis on the labour. Most days Boyd works alone feeding and watering the hens, collecting, grading and packaging the eggs, delivering to sales outlets and generally looking after all the maintenance on the property. He also builds the hen houses, with each taking about a month to complete. Currently there are ten houses on the property with four more in construction. He has had a few disasters such as losing a large number of hens from heat exhaustion one summer in the early days. A friend suggested he install water demisters in the hen houses, which has solved the problem. Each house is solar powered giving the hens 16 hours of light per day and the houses are moved to fresh ground every four days. Throughout the 113 acres there are trampolines dotted around to provide shade for the chooks.
Whilst mostly working alone, Boyd often has help from his best mate Clint, his 14 year old son Reuben who loves working on the farm and Reuben’s best friends, Ethan and Tyler. Boyd says this ‘boys club’ is always a hoot. The fun starts as soon as they all meet and the egg jokes, chook jokes and very bad ‘Dad’ jokes fly around with each trying to outdo the other for bad taste.
All this care and attention is reflected in the quality of the eggs. Boyd and his eggs are at Creswick Market the third Saturday of the month and you can visit the website for other outlets. Creswickopenfarm.com.au