Guernsey Press

New arrivals will double production at egg farm

The arrival of more than 4,000 chickens is set to double production at the island’s only commercial egg farm, but a change to shipping schedules almost scuppered their arrival.

Last updated
Jessica Rihoy feeding some of the growing flock of hens at Castel Farm Eggs. (Pictures by Peter Frankland, 33233850)

Jessica and James Rihoy took the island by surprise when they purchased Castel Farm Eggs and started running the business from 1 January, just a week after their wedding.

The previous owners had agreed a closure plan with Environmental Health officers, having been taken to court after persistent problems with flies.

The new owners have spent their first few months tackling those issues before restocking the chicken sheds.

The new chickens were booked to arrive on a sailing direct from Portsmouth, but changes to Condor’s schedule meant it was heading to Jersey first.

‘We obviously didn’t want the chickens having another five-and-a-half hours on board,’ said Mrs Rihoy.

Jessica Rihoy grading eggs at Castel Farm Eggs, which has taken delivery of 4,200 more chickens to brings its flock up to 11,000. (33233853)

‘We want to say a big thank you to Condor. They pleaded our case to Jersey and got them to agree to the boat coming come here first, even though it delayed a lot of deliveries going there.

‘We are really grateful they sorted it out.’

There are now 11,000 chickens on the farm, who between them eat 1.5 tonnes of food every day.

The newest arrivals, 4,200 chickens in total, should start laying any day, taking egg production from 5,500 a day to closer to 10,000.

That will still be some way short of the 15,000 eggs a day previously produced at the farm, but with the island using about 30,000 eggs every day, the new operation at Castel Farm Eggs has room to grow.

However, the Rihoys are busy planning more changes before any further chickens arrive.

‘With no more new chickens until September, we now have a gap to sort out the farm and really tidy everything up,’ said Mrs Rihoy.

‘Perhaps we will even get the chance to get a few hanging flower baskets up.’