Eggsellent response to home deliveries saves 12,000 hens from cull at Fluffetts Farms in Fordingbridge
A FARMER who feared he would have to cull his chickens when Covid-19 hit is thanking customers for saving their lives after his desperate plea for them to have home deliveries turned into a roaring success story.
Ben Jackson, who runs Fluffetts Farm in Fordingbridge, faced having to get rid of most of his 12,000 free range chickens when the bulk orders he usually receives from hotels, restaurants, pubs and schools plummeted.
They had been ordered to shut down during lockdown and no longer had any use for the eggs, leaving him with a surplus of 4,000. If Ben could not find a new outlet for them, he would not be able to keep his flock going.
So in a last-ditch attempt to save his hens, Ben turned to social media and asked people if they would buy trays of a dozen if he delivered them.
The response was overwhelming.
“At the height of it we were making 2,000 deliveries of trays of 12 eggs seven days a week,” he said. “It was very hard work, and my wife, who did the deliveries, was often working 12 hours a day.
“But it really saved us and got us through those really dark points, meaning we could keep the hens. I would have been devastated if I’d have had to cull them.
“So, we really have to thank all those people who responded by buying our eggs – the community really rallied round us and the hens.”
In fact, the home delivery service has proved so popular that even though Ben is now once again supplying his normal commercial customers, Fluffetts Farm is going to continue its home deliveries.
He has also had to take on extra staff to help him run the new enterprise.
“We are in the process of setting up a website from which people can order their delivery,” he said.
“It’s a nice side business to have; people have been so pleased and the feedback has been great.”
His hens are now out enjoying their freedom again after undergoing their own lockdown after an outbreak of Asian flu meant they had to be kept inside since last December.
Ben said: “They are really enjoying being out in the open once again and having their freedom.”
For more information visit Fluffettsfarm.co.uk