Local lad, Max Dudley, launches new chicken farm with weekly subscriptions in Berkhamsted following lockdown
COVID has had such a huge impact for us all, with many looking at alternative careers and starting up businesses as the recession starts to hit. With a passion for food, particularly farming, Max Dudley (aged 30) has started an ethical, free-range chicken farm in Berkhamsted and launched Cheyney’s Pastured Poultry – a subscription egg service providing vitamin and nutrition-dense eggs to local homes in HP4.
Designing and building the chicken coop from scratch, the former furniture designer and builder has created a modular, mobile, permaculture-led chicken house; with an ability to collect the mineral-rich chicken poo and cultivate egg production. The farm, though less than a month old, is already collecting over 100 eggs a day, a yield set to double as the farm expands and the chickens become more accustomed to their exciting new environment.
Max Dudley, founder of Cheyney’s Pastured Poultry explains, ‘Lockdown has demonstrated the importance of food security, it was only a few months ago that we were scrambling around for eggs, which were in short supply due to the virus. COVID has been enlightening to all, as we understand the fragility of food supplies.
‘When lockdown started, my work-stream stopped overnight, so it was ‘now or never’ that I would pursue my passion of chicken farming. Inspired by my travels and a permaculture course I took in New Zealand, I set about building a chicken farm and starting my business.
‘It wasn’t all plain sailing, farming is an exceptionally difficult industry to penetrate, and requires a lot of upfront capital, so I went round Berkhamsted speaking to various farmers to lease a small piece of land. And that’s when I met Steve from Hill Farm, who like me, has a passion for more sustainable farming and together we set about making my vision a reality.
‘What people don’t realise is that chicken farming in its current guise is not sustainable, you may opt for free-range eggs but this is not having an impact on production. My vision is to create a more productive farming method, and have better food security, and this is easily done if we change our farming techniques. Which is why I set up Cheyney’s Eggs. We deliver a weekly subscription service providing households in HP4 with 6, 12 or 24 eggs.
‘We’ve had a great uptake thus far and we look forward to supplying more homes and businesses with eggs laid in Berkhamsted.’
To find out more, please visit www.cheyneys.co.uk or visit the Hill Farm Shop to buy eggs.