Sunday, November 15, 2009

Egg Transitioning

The egg production is 1/2 of what it is in the summer so not many eggs to wash these days.  The last farmers market is this weekend.  We've only gone every other weekend the past few weeks as we wouldn't have had enough to last us even an hour at the market.

We have moved the egg mobile by the barn in order to do maintenance on it and to thin down the flock.  It's a huge structure.  HUGE!!  Either this weekend or next weekend we'll be converting some of the older layers to stewing hens.  Evidently, stewing hens make the best stock-  (I'm a little obsessed about stock these days).   Then we'll keep around 70 hens and a few roosters.  I think we have about 7 roosters which is way too many.  However, Nicky is one rooster, Roadrunner is another rooster and then I've got an Arucana, Barred rock and Maran roosters.  And I was kind of thinking that I want a few more hens next year-- but I thought I'd put 2 hens with 1 rooster in the brooder room and see what happens.  I'd love to see if we get home grown chicks.  

So we will thin out the hens and then convert to organic feed.  Folks have asked me if the eggs will taste better.  Nope-- likely exactly the same.  What we really want out of the feed is the genetically modified corn.  Being a person who loves productivity improvements, I understand the benefits of the genetically modified corn.  However, I also could understand the growth hormones for cows as well and that had some negative side effects.  It's different now that I have to choose what my animals eat.  I might not have thought about it before but in the end I eat what they eat.  And so organic, non-gmo corn it is.  We want to see how much extra it will really cost for organic feed.  So expect our price/dozen to go up.  How much?  Not sure yet.  We'll try it out for a month and I'll post results.

The chickens are now not inside electric fencing but just regular old perimeter fencing.  So they are now pretty much free range.  If you come to our house, drive carefully as there will be chickens all over.  They get braver each day and explore a little further.  I'm just hoping they don't go up to the neighbors house. 


Anonymous said...

Where will you source the feed from? Do Bowman's or Tractor Supply carry it? said...

Bowman's mixes the feed. They source local, conventionally grown feeds and mix in Fertrell's organic poultry Nutra-Balancer mineral supplement into the feed. Next year I will be purchasing certified organic feed from the MD Small Farm Co-op folks. These birds will not be certified, but their feed will be certified. Our next batch will be able to be certified organic.