Welsh egg producers survive the storms

West Wales’ egg producers have emerged relatively unscathed from this week’s storms, despite 100mph winds blowing down power lines and trees.

Many producers were without power for long periods, but most had standby generators that immediately kicked in.

But at Birchgrove Free Range Eggs near Aberystwyth, there is no emergency electric power system and the blackout created many challenges.

Fortunately, the power failure happened after the nesting boxes had already opened, but the darkness confused the 3,000-hen flock, leading to a significant number of floor eggs.

Gwen Burgess, who runs the business with her husband Tony, said the eggs would not be wasted, as they could be used in their mayonnaise production business, but they all had to be collected by hand. “We used a head torch in the hen house because there was no light, and this upset the hens,” she said. “We also had a backlog of eggs sitting on the conveyor belt – everything was on hold.”

Mrs Burgess paid tribute to her drivers, who maintained their delivery schedules despite difficult driving conditions.

At Oaklands Farm Eggs, which processes up to three million eggs daily, the storm didn’t disrupt supply, but it did cause some problems. “A tree fell on the shed housing a generator 40 minutes before the power went off, but luckily we could still use it,” said owner Elwyn Griffiths.

In Pembrokeshire, which bore the full brunt of Wednesday night’s storm, NFU poultry board chairwoman Clare Morgan relied on a generator to power her multi-tier system near Haverfordwest. High winds also ripped a roof off a grain store at the farm.

Has your egg business been affected by the storms? Contact Poultry World by emailing philip.clarke@rbi.co.uk or phone 0208 652 4921

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