The business was established in 1935, when founder Douglas Moodie released some two thousand hens
into the fruit orchards on the home farm Eikenhof in the beautiful Elgin valley in an early attempt at
biological pest control. With third-generation Chris Moodie now at the helm, The Free Range Chicken Co
produces Free Range eggs on farms located in the Western Cape and markets over forty million eggs
per annum, about a third in the form of Free Range liquid Ready Egg.
in the northwest corner of the beautiful Elgin Valley outside Grabouw in the Western Cape.
A constant demand from other local egg farmers to acquire
surplus young hens from Eikenhof's
own pullet-rearing farms led to this activity becoming a significant mainstream business on its own,
and for many years Eikenhof enjoyed the status of being one of the premier suppliers
of point-of-lay pullets to the egg industry.
Among the first controlled environment pullet-rearing
facilities in South Africa
were erected on Eikenhof Farm.
The farm Sherwood (in the Malmesbury district) was
purchased as a pullet-rearing farm
with the first three chicken houses being commissioned.
The farm Zanddam (in the Stellenbosch district) was
purchased and became the home of the
egg production division, together with a modern egg grading, packing and distribution operation.
Eikenhof expanded to become a leading supplier of graded and packed shell eggs to the Western Cape market.
Commenced with the supply of Free Range eggs to Woolworths.
The Zanddam egg pack station was the first such unit in the
to receive the acclaimed HACCP accreditation.
Sherwood sold to Peak Pullets (Pty) Ltd, with Eikenhof
remaining the managing shareholder.
Eikenhof commissions state-of-the-art pasteurisation
in a modern facility on Zanddam farm, capable of producing
premium quality liquid egg products (Ready Egg) with an extended shelf life.
Melsetter Foods (Pty) Ltd is established to produce a range of
fresh Free Range liquid products as well as
value-added fresh chicken and turkey products for Woolworths.
Eikenhof Poultry Farms wins the coveted
Woolworths Food Supplier of the year award.