Surat Bay enjoys bounty of eggs

Surat Bay Lodge operator Esther Johnson’s yellow-eyed penguin statue casts an envious eye over...
Surat Bay Lodge operator Esther Johnson’s yellow-eyed penguin statue casts an envious eye over her daily haul of eggs. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Surat Bay Lodge’s "Hilton Henhouse" has gone from famine to feast thanks to the recent lockdown.

Host Esther Johnson said she had become "overwhelmed" with eggs from her 25 Rhode Island reds now her six-room bayside lodge was in Covid-19 lockdown.

Ordinarily, hungry visitors to the lodge and neighbouring Newhaven Holiday Park would make short work of the chooks’ daily two dozen, but an absence of mouths to feed had led to a supply chain switch.

Mrs Johnson said she was now distributing eggs free to nearby neighbours’ doorsteps.

"They’re the most delicious, free-range eggs because they’re happy chickens by the sea.

"We always used to run out for me and [husband] Jack, but now we’ve got so many I’ve had to look up new recipes to use some of them up."

Current household favourite was "proper egg custard" she said.

Although the lockdown meant the couple’s plans to redevelop the lodge into self-contained units was on hold for the time being, no such concerns were troubling her chickens, safely ensconced in their luxury digs.

As the birds were of a discerning nature, Mr Johnson had built an upmarket annex for the brood on their arrival in 2017, before christening it with its swanky sobriquet.

Her feathered guests ruled the roost, Mrs Johnson said, and were fed accordingly.

"They get all the best scraps from our kitchens and the holiday park, so they know who’s in charge.

"But they make lovely companions. You’re never lonely with chickens, even in a bubble."

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