Josh Buxton spends his day chasing chicks
- and he
gets paid for it. His day goes something like this ...
Basically, we do maintenance and sort the eggs out. I'm the driver,
that's my job. In the morning I get up and drive around, pick each worker
up and take them into work.
Once we get there, we all jump out, H. goes through all the pens and
checks on the chickens.
We then go into the egg room where all the eggs are out on a big rack.
We take them one by one and put them on a machine where they go through
and land in their own weight division and whatever weight they are determines
which box they go into.
Once we've boxed them all up, we load up the van and H., Spike and myself
take them down to the nursery and put them in the cool room. After that
we go to the Central Service Station and get smoko!
We then go to the Foodbarn and pick up a wheelie bin full of fruit and
left- overs and take it out to the chook farm. If the rest of the blokes
out there haven't fed the chooks by then, we give them the bin of food.
We put the bin on the ground and all the chooks eat that while two of
us go and get two bags each of chicken feed, which weigh 40 kilos each,
put them in a wheel barrow and take them around to all the feed bins
in the chook pens and fill them all up. After that it's basically just
cleaning up, like raking all the yards out or digging all the old dirt
out and put new dirt down.
We then go back out and do a bit more work around the yard, clean the
place up and make it good for the chooks.
I then sort the ducks out. I fix the ducks up by changing their water
and feeding them. After all that it's about 11:30 am.
We then go out and collect the eggs out of the pens and take them back
into the egg room in buckets. We fill the buckets up with water and
wash the eggs individually and put them on the yellow racks and leave
them there to dry.
We knock off and I drop everyone off home and I come home myself. In
the morning we do the same thing again!
The eggs just sit there in the yellow rack, we cover them up with a
fly net, although no flies can get in there now because we've fixed
it all up.
Spike gets the eggs off the rack and puts them on the machine and I
usually put them in the boxes and someone else stands on the other side
and watches for cracked eggs and the really heavy eggs. It's all big
No one's got a set job, whoever's there will do it. If you haven't got
anything to do, you can put stickers on the cartons and stack them on
Friday is our egg run day. We go back to the cool room, fill the van
up with all the eggs and go to the Foodbarn and give them quite a few
eggs, we go to Shell, BP, Mr Perry's, sometimes the caravan park, ANZ
and the video shop. Yeah, we go to quite a few places to drop eggs off.
There's one disabled chook out there, he's got hardly any feathers and
his legs are really long and lanky and his neck's all bent. He's been
here for ages, ever since he was a little chicken. I call him 'Steady',
'Steady Eddie Chicken'!
It's a pretty laid back job, but whenever there's work to be done, it
can get pretty hard because it's quite hot out here.
We get the chicks in a truck - they come in egg cartons! They're real
small little yellow chicks. We put them in a separate shed with drink
troughs and they all hang around there for a while until they get a
little bit older and once they get bigger, we let them out.
We pull the corrugated iron off the shed and they can all run around
and go wherever they want. As soon as they get old enough to go in there,
we just round them up and they all run down the alley way that we've
got out the back. They run down there to whichever pen we want them
to be in. The third pen is for all the youngest chickens, the second
pen is for the medium ones and the first pen is for the oldest chickens.
We've got one brown chook out there and she's been there for about two
years now, she's the oldest chook.
We've got a few ducks out here. All the baby ducks have grown up now
and we're just waiting for the next lot to hatch. We breed ducks out
here and once we've bred enough, we start selling ducks eggs for people
to eat or for them to have ducks themselves.
We are supplying the town with free range eggs. Free range eggs are
a lot better than factory eggs because in factories, they just keep
the chooks penned up in little cages. Our chooks are a lot better, because
they can do what they want.
Chickens don't have much character, ducks have heaps more character.
You go to grab the eggs out of the drum and a chook will come flying
out a hundred miles an hour right into you face.
I like it, it's a good job with lots of teamwork.
Ronnie, Wade, Spike and Josh in amongst the chooks.
Harold and Ronnie
collect the produce.