FREE range egg producers in North Devon are struggling and some are losing money despite upbeat reports about the poultry industry.
They have been hit by too many eggs on the market and illegal trading from Europe.
Chicken meat producers are recording greater demand than ever since the scandal over horsemeat broke six months ago.
But the picture is very different in the egg sector, as the South West representative of the British Free Range Egg Producers, John Warne, said: "There's an oversupply of egg. I would have thought it would be getting tighter with free range but it's not.
"One of the problems is that the caged bird producers have put in large units housing something like half a million birds, and oversupplied the market with caged egg.
"Because of oversupply caged egg prices have been reduced, which in turn has kept our free range prices down."
John and his wife, Claire, look after 5,000 birds on the fringe of Exmoor and supply the supermarket chain Waitrose with most of its eggs.
They have been hoping that the ban on battery chicken farming would have reduced the overall number of eggs on the market so they would have a better price.
But 18 months after the changes took place the margin for free-range is no better.
The Warnes earn the best price for their eggs, but still make a loss in the current market.
They have had a recent rise of 3p a dozen but said packers appear to have increased the number of eggs treated as seconds, thus keeping their overall payment down.
An independent assessment involving the National Farmers' Union and ADAS came up with a figure showing the loss of £2.64 for each bird on a 16,000 bird unit.
John said: "The other big problem is chicken feed is costing £300 a tonne and that won't start coming down until the new harvest is through in September."
So John and Claire have started their own private egg round, building up customers, delivering orders and setting up a small farm shop.
They've found that with fewer, and different, birds in their private enterprise their costs are less and they're managing to make a profit.
"The private business is growing and we've had to put in a bigger grading room, and we might have made a slight profit in that. We hope it's going to get better."