IMAGE CAPTION: Petar Pirovic (centre) with members of the AOL team during a visit to Pirovic Family Farms in May 2022
You’ll find Pirovic Family Farms at Mangrove Mountain on the New South Wales Central Coast. The family owned and operated farm was established in 1965 as a producer of fresh eggs, before transitioning their offering over time to include barn-laid, free range, certified organic varieties, and liquid egg products.
Organic certification came in 2010 for Pirovic Family Farms, although they had been producing farm fresh eggs earlier than this. The decision to add organic eggs to their repertoire came as there was no consistent supply of organic varieties on the market at the time.
Pirovic chickens start laying from 21 weeks, with birds producing organic first quality eggs during their lifetime. The birds have access to pasture in the lay house where they can forage and are fed certified organic grain feed. The certified farm has an organic free range stocking density of 4 square metres per bird, or less than 2,500 birds per hectare.
Health and welfare of the animals is of paramount importance for the Pirovic family, which is now moving into its third generation of egg farmers. They add alternative certified products in the chicken’s water to naturally support their gut health, while they use only natural herbs to effectively prevent or treat health challenges. Free range organic chickens may be more prone to such challenges given their ability to range and forage, and their contact with wild birds and the environmental elements. These conditions (as well as foxes and dingoes) are a regular threat to free range production that the owners work hard to mitigate.
Cleanliness and quality are high priorities at the farm. During processing, eggs are inspected closely for internal and external quality, checked for cracks, and tested using an ultrasonic and candling system. As Pirovic Family Farms produce free range, barn-laid and other non-organic varieties too, a great deal of care is taken to ensure all eggs are packaged and labelled correctly.
The owners recommend that you store eggs in a refrigerator. If using organic eggs for baking or boiling, make sure you remove them from the fridge an hour before, so they are at room temperature for cooking.