Bio eggs from steep slopes

At Hotel Adria we use and serve organic eggs from the Tschenglsberg cooperative in Venosta valley

In Tschenglsberg in the Upper Vinschgau, three farms have joined forces and together produce and market organic eggs.

"Our hens are doing well! They receive organic feed, they can roam freely all day at 1,250 metres above sea level, and they don't have to give up the real rooster. Our dual-purpose hen Sandy ensures that all the chicks survive, because the male chicks are also properly reared". This is how Philipp Thoma of the Psegg farm above Tschengls explains part of his production philosophy: 'We produce our products according to the principles of sustainable, regional and local farming and not tied down and bound by long journeys, fair-trade and non-exploitative farming, organic rather than mass-produced and sustainable rather than geared towards quick profit. This works because we work together: Toni from the Standlair farm with 500 chickens, Kurt from the Vernatschhof farm with 400 chickens and Philipp from the Psegghof farm with 600 chickens. Together we can guarantee our customers security of delivery without having to keep thousands of chickens in the barn. If fewer chickens are kept, the quality of the eggs also increases," the three are convinced.

"How do we differ from others? Because we breed all our animals outdoors, so that each animal can scratch around, exercise, enjoy the air and the sun; because we feed them with only grains, without the use of animal protein, without the use of dyes, and without overfeeding; because we follow our animals from the first day of life to adulthood, with full control of all growth phases; but above all because we breed slow-growing breeds, like those of yesteryear, which therefore have the desire and time to breed in the open air' Who are the customers for organic eggs? Philipp Thoma: 'Anyone who cares about their health and is concerned about the health of their children buys organic eggs. People who want decent animal husbandry, who want to support regional mountain agriculture and appreciate an honest and nutritious product. The informed customer also knows that organic chicken and food requires a lot more work and attention and is therefore also willing to pay a few cents more.

At the Hotel Adria we are convinced of this and gladly pass on this philosophy and healthy food to our guests; all our dishes and food containing egg are made and cooked with eggs `from` the Tschenglsberg cooperative.

Philipp Thoma, the president of the Tschenglsberg cooperative explains: the organic chicken lives well, because it is reared on the ground, has the possibility to go outside, even if it has a covered area to shelter `from` the rain and hatch eggs, and to scratch, which is the activity that takes up most of the chicken's day.

Chickens scratch and dig the ground with their feet, until they make a one-centimetre hole. Then they look for small insects, worms and small stones that they eat, not because the feed they are given is not enough, but because they simply like to behave this way. The wide variety of protein they take in this way gives the animals a special flavour, which makes them taste better, tastier, than animals reared indoors ('on the ground') or in cages. All organic eggs are weighed on the Psegg farm, sorted by size and packed in egg cartons. This is done by President Philipp Thoma, who personally delivers the organic eggs to our hotel.

How do you recognise organic eggs? All eggs distributed in the European Union bear a stamp that makes it possible to trace their origin back to the barn number: a valuable aid for the consumer. The most important digit in the ten-digit code is the first one: the numbers zero to three provide information on the laying hens' storage conditions. 0 organic production (so-called 'organic eggs'), 1 free-range, 2 ground maintenance, 3 cages.

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