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An “Eggs”ellent Business Opportunity January 8, 2007

Posted by Laura in Farm.
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(Okay, that was the corniest possible title we could have given this posting, but it just begged to be written).

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(Pictured here is part of today’s egg gathering. The beautiful blue-green ones come from our Ameracauna hens. The small off-white one is from our Frizzled bantam. The dark ones are from our Wellsummers and Penedesencas).

We have a flock of chickens that hovers around 50 or so in number. About a third of them are the (now grown up) day-old chicks we bought from Rural King the first spring we were here. With two exceptions, the rest have been added periodically by purchasing hatching eggs or by hybrid crosses our broody hens insisted on hiding out and hatching. It’s been a lot of fun to raise such variety. Some of the chickens are quite rare breeds, some are rather common, and some are downright silly, but they’ve made farm life interesting, all of them.

As soon as “the girls’” production exceeded our own demand for eggs, we began to give them away to friends at church and elderly neighbors. When we would go to the dentist or doctor, we’d take a carton along there, too. Before long, people began to call me The Egg Lady. (Egg Lady, ChickenMama… there seems to be a theme here).

Though we didn’t really intend to get into the egg business, one kind of evolved anyway. We had never charged anyone for our eggs- we kind of saw it as an opportunity or excuse to stop by and see folks or to treat people to something different and tell them about the rural life we treasured. Before long, though, we had people who refused to take the eggs if we didn’t accept something in return to at least go to the feeding of the birds.

We regularly took eggs to our closest neighbor since he is a country boy at heart. After several months of having a steady supply, he said he couldn’t ever eat store bought eggs again- that he’d even tried the “cage-free, organic, free-range” $3/dozen brown eggs from the grocery store once when our birds were molting and that those eggs just weren’t fit for eating. He said he’d just wait on “the girls” to start laying again. He offered to sell all our excess at work for us if we’d just keep him in eggs. And a little egg business began to develop.

A few months later, we were approached about setting up weekly delivery into Nashville to supply about as many as we could come up with. We were a bit surprised, but delighted to have the eggs so appreciated. So, word began to get out and interest grew. Now we even have a lady who drives 30 minutes to our house just to pick them up because she says they are the best eggs she’s been able to find anywhere.

At present, we can’t keep up with demand, so we are planning to expand our flock soon. We’ve been expecting a baby, so we’ll have to get past the sleep deprivation weeks before we take on the task of tending scores of day-old chicks again, but we are looking forward to getting more fuzzballs.

A number of people have asked if they can buy dressed chicken from us once they know we process our own birds for table use. At some time in the future, we’d like to start doing that, but we’ll need to build a lot more chicken tractors and a Whizbang Chicken Plucker before we’ll be ready. (Always a long list of projects we want to do around here).

We’ve also been working on a “Meet the Flock” insert to go with our eggs. People really seem to enjoy knowing where their food comes from and getting a personal look at the real, live animals that produce their food. Keep an eye out for some “Chicken Bios” in postings to come.

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments»

1. Deanna - January 8, 2007

There are several things that come to mind as I read this post but those are things that I will have to wait and share with you privately – you’ll thank me! LOL

But ya know I was thinking…since so many people want to pay you in some way for your eggs I was just thinking that before you leave for the hospital you really oughta take along a large box filled with SEVERAL cartons of eggs and offer them to the doctor, anesthesiologist, hospital administrator……. ya never know!! LOL

2. Laurie - January 8, 2007

The eggs are so pretty. Love them. It’s so neat that you’ve found a market for your eggs. I look forward to “meeting” the chickens and the new little bambino when he/she arrives, of course!

3. Emily - January 8, 2007

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such encouraging words for me. I can’t say that my physical condition has improved much since then but I am learning to seek the Lord for His sake alone, not with an ulterior motive, if that makes sense. I’m not asking to be healed, just for His will for me to be revealed, and to be in total surrender to His leading. As Paul stressed being contented in all circumstances, so I would like to be at peace despite my pain, with my eyes fixed on Christ. May we all seek that!

I love the variety of eggs. Must be neat at your farm with all the different breeds. We have a dozen Red Stars. They were supposed to be Rhode Island Reds according to the feed store. Boy was I surprised to see the two roosters grow up to a creamy white with reddish brown markings, and the hens reddish brown with white markings. After doing some online research I found out they are Red Stars. Oh well, we love them anyway. We’re getting nine eggs a day from the ten hens and I’ve been giving them away right and left. We could use some customers! 🙂


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