AN egg farmer has reported changing habits after starting a new online shop to help his business cope with the coronavirus crisis.

Darlington farmer Philip Twizell, who runs the Good Egg Fellas, has started doing more household deliveries as a result of the pandemic, with families and neighbours clubbing together to meet minimum orders.

He previously sold most of his free range eggs to restaurants, but because the trade is temporarily shut down, has switched to doing home deliveries to survive the shutdown.

He has had more than 1,000 new customers this week after launching an online shop to sell directly to households.

He said: "We supply eggs in trays of 30, with a minimum order of 120 – any less and the parcel is too light for the eggs to survive the courier’s busy schedule.

"So prior to COVID-19, we didn’t see many households ordering.

"However, now, with supermarkets being out of stock of so many items and large numbers of people completely avoiding visiting shops – there’s a wave of families, friends and even neighbours collaborating on bulk shops direct from British suppliers.”

Mr Twizell has more than 16,000 hens, which he keeps at his 40-acre farm near Darlington.

The family business has planted more 4,000 native trees and hedges to provide shade and shelter for the hens, plus scratch areas and perch space so the hens can express their natural instincts.