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Speckled Hen Free Range Eggs: Highveld farm

Highveld free range egg farm is located in the beautiful Dargle region of the Midlands. They're sold under the brand of Speckled Hen Free Range Eggs.

Dargle, KwaZulu-Natal

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Cages aren't cool, let's free range


“This one’s name is Henny Penny,” states four-year-old Angus as he picks his way through a flock of glossy auburn feathered hens pecking on the grassy hillside. His mom Vicky laughs, “They’re all called Henny Penny at some stage or the other, I think.” The hens have just popped out of their breezy shed perched on a lofty Dargle hill for their morning stretch, while the farm hands collect the eggs laid during the night. The shed, though it’s certainly packed with hens, is clean and dry and the hens look healthy. They’re allowed out during the day, but are locked up at night, and don’t seem that keen to venture too far away from their shed anyway.
For Vicky and Craig Alison, farming is in their blood. Having grown up in a farming community, it was just natural that they would pursue a living through some or other form of farming. Even when the couple did their ‘overseas experience’ in the UK, they were drawn to the farms.  When they returned to the Midlands looking for their next farming adventure, they decided to branch out a little and tried out exotic bird farming. After some time rearing McCaws, African Greys and other such birds, they realised cages weren’t for them, and that they are food producers at heart.

Living food

The farm that Craig’s family have owned for 16 years was too small for a commercially viable herd of cattle. As the Midlands is known as a poultry production area, this seemed a natural choice. However, while in the UK Vicky and Craig observed the trend towards free range chicken. And having realised that cages were no fun for animals during their exotic bird stint, they decided to try out free range egg farming. In 2010 they opened the doors of Highveld Freerange farm, which now produces 4000 eggs a day.

Vicky and Craig believe “food producers should live food”. They love their own product, and are very hands on farmers - even their two young kids enjoy collecting the eggs with the farm hands. The couple believe free range should be accessible to all consumers irrespective of what they earn. So they try to keep their prices down, and religiously check that their retail customers are not marking them up exorbitantly. “Earlier this year (2012) we had a run in with a retailer who marked our eggs up by 75% because it was free range. We fought them and they brought the price back down, thankfully’” says Vicky. “It’s not necessary that this type of food should be elitist.”

Farmers with integrity always get our stamp of approval!

Highveld eggs are sold as Speckled Hen Free Range Eggs and are available in the Midlands at Pick ‘n Pay’s and Spars, Pick ‘n Pay’s in Pietermaritzburg.

Perched on a lofty Dargle hill at Highveld Farm


The hens are let out in the morning to range around as they like


Pretty packed, but clean and dry. The hens look healthy and no signs of hen pecking


A hands on farming family


The proof is on the inside. Highveld eggs are firm and hold together well when they're cracked.


The Alison family


Highveld eggs are sold as Speckled Hen Free Range Eggs, distributed by Midlands Eggs.

These are available in the Midlands at Pick ‘n Pay’s and Spars, Pick ‘n Pay’s in Pietermaritzburg.

Also available in Dargle at Croft Farm, and in the Midlands Meander at The Best of the Midlands shop and their online store.

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