A Dubbo business “born out of necessity” is helping a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.
Former defence force member Michelle Graham established Mother Clucker Eggs as a new enterprise less than 12 months ago.
A surprise spin-off from the business is the emotional benefits it’s providing to the family.
Mrs Graham is the full-time carer of husband Shaun, who suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Afghanistan.
“The creation of Mother Clucker Eggs was really born out of necessity that I needed to do something else for our family and I needed to do something else for our farm that was manageable for me with a husband and a son that I was caring for,” Mrs Graham said.
The arrival of the fowls for the pasture-eggs business has had a positive impact for Mr Graham.
“The chooks are my business and his therapy,” Mrs Graham said.
“It’s been a really lovely thing to see how the chooks have helped Shaun with his PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
“From time to time we have other veterans come out to the farm as well.
“So that’s been a really lovely thing too.”
Since the cartons of Mother Clucker Eggs first hit the stores late last year the business has grown to supply six eateries at Dubbo and 12 in Sydney.
The eggs are also available at retailers in Dubbo, Tottenham, Nyngan and Cobar.
Within the first three months the Grahams doubled their hen numbers to 1000 to meet demand.
They’re planning on taking the numbers to 2000 by the end of the year.
“It’s gone ahead a lot faster than I anticipated in my initial business planning, but that’s been purely from market demand,” Mrs Graham said.
The business already employs two people, and the business owner said there could be more jobs created as part of their expansion.
Mrs Graham, who studied nutrition and naturopathy after her 13 years in the army, attributed some of the business’s success to a growing awareness of locally produced food and goods.
“There’s also a real trend around food at the moment, people have become much more aware of how their food is produced, the nutritional contents of their food and I think a large demographic of the community want to make sure they’re only purchasing locally produced, ethically produced and sustainable food,” she said.
“And I think they’re big believers in a healthy animal produces a healthy product which is better for the animal and better for the human.”
- Any veteran looking for support can contact the Dubbo RSL sub-branch on 0447 272 230.