Becoming a producer

You don't have to go it alone. With our expertise, we can help you get it right from the start. We can advise you on every aspect of setting up and running a successful production facility as well as offering a contract with one of the UK's most successful egg supply chains.

Some free range chickens roaming free in a field

What we offer you as a producer

Stonegate offer production contracts to independent producers to supply eggs into our modern packing centre in Wiltshire. The independent producer invests in the necessary poultry building(s) and infrastructure for the enterprise.

Stonegate's experienced team will give advice on the selection and design specification of the buildings, help you to get the necessary planning permissions in place and then through active field support ensure that your new business venture launches and runs successfully. Stonegate contract to buy all the production from the enterprise for an individually agreed specified period.

Stonegate currently offer several types of production contract, although requirement for producers will be subject to planning and forecast market demands. Summaries of the specifications required for each type are available below:

  • Columbian Blacktail Free Range
  • Columbian Blacktail Organic
  • Free Range Eggs

What you need as a producer

Any reasonably level free-draining grassland or arable land is suitable for a chicken unit. Even woodland can be used providing that there is a reasonable amount of vegetation. The area of land available will govern the number of birds that it is possible to stock on a farm.

It is obviously an advantage if you have some prior stockmanship knowledge, but no experience of poultry husbandry is absolutely necessary. Stonegate will ensure through detailed producer manuals and ongoing training that the learning curve to successful husbandry is kept short. Most of our producers achieve good production, having started with no experience, and our field staff are always on hand to help and guide you.

All new poultry buildings will require planning permission from your local authority. Obtaining planning permission can be a complicated and drawn out process involving many technical and environmental issues. Stonegate's team will advise you on the best ways to approach any planning permission submission.

What do you need to invest?

The capital costs of poultry enterprises are relatively high, requiring investment in buildings and equipment, services (electricity and water) and roadways. The following guideline figures are fully inclusive of all costs except land (ie site preparation and groundworks, buildings, equipment, services and roadways).

What does it involve on a daily basis?

The production cycle for free range and organic egg production is 14 months, and the enterprise requires management and labour seven days a week during this period. As a guide we give the normal daily routines for a free range enterprise below:

Daily Routine:

  • Open pop holes to ranging area
  • Check birds
  • Collect floor eggs
  • Check ventilation and house temperature
  • Check birds feed and water
  • Collect eggs at least twice daily
  • Check time clocks and all automatic equipment

Other Routines:

  • Change outside paddocks every month
  • Grass in paddocks should be kept short by cutting or grazing
  • Check perimeter fence
  • Lay bait to prevent vermin infestation
  • Keep house clean and tidy