Mini Mac's pullet eggs

Organic egg producer Susie Macmillan from the Mac’s Farm in Ditchling, East Sussex, is launching her own brand of “Mini-Mac’s” pullet eggs following recent publicity on Jamie Oliver’s Friday Night Feast TV show.

Her business featured heavily in the programme, which called for pullet eggs to be sold direct to consumers rather than for processing.

She believes there is a potential retail market for pullet eggs, which have big yolks, less white and hold together well when cooked.

“We have always pushed pullet eggs when they come along via our farmgate sales – but our involvement with Jamie Oliver gave us the opportunity to try to take it further.”

With six flocks in the extended family business, getting a year-round supply is not an option, as the small eggs are only around for a couple of weeks with each new flock.

“Our birds tend to come into lay a bit later – about 19 weeks – as we do not like to force them,” said Mrs Macmillan.

“This means the average size comes up quickly, so after a couple of weeks we will have to hand-pick the smalls.”

But the reaction following the farm’s appearance on Friday Night Feast has been “incredible”, she says, with emails coming in from all over the country from people wanting to source pullet eggs.

The initial offering is being made to local shops and restaurants, but if it grows she would like to see pullet eggs offered in supermarkets.

“The fact there are gaps in availability is all part of the novelty,” she said.

The product is being priced relatively cheaply, at £3.50 for a tray of 30, or £1 for a box of six. That just about covers cost of production, but is still four times what the eggs would be worth if they went for processing.