Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Egg Count 4

The egg count for March stands at 259 dozen, or 3,106 eggs. That's an average of 8.35 dozen per day. Feed consumption remained the same, but because of the sheer increase in numbers, the pounds of feed per dozen dropped from 7.18 in February to 6.18 in March, or .515 per egg.

I also wanted to say, in reference to the previous post, that the grain issue is not just confined to poultry. People eat grain too, of course. As far as I'm aware, there is only one farm in the state of Tennessee that is growing local, certified organic, GMO-free grain, which is Windy Acres Farm in Orlinda, TN. I've been up there and talked with those nice folks extensively, and it would be great if we could begin to get their feed. They're going to offer roasted (rather than emulsified) soybeans as well, which provides a marked increase in nutritional quality. But if/when we do, it will take the cost of a dozen eggs to somewhere around $3.00 a dozen! (That's a huge increase, by the way.)

The same goes for organic grain we could have shipped to us. The only place that I'm aware of in the mid-South is Countryside Natural Products in Virginia. If farmers are advertising (certified) organic eggs or meat, then this is pretty much the only place from which they could be getting it. We could get it by the pallet, shipped in by tractor-trailer and shared around the ridge with other farmers, but again, it's a matter of cost. These organic grains, at the ration for laying hens, runs .48 cents per pound. Regular chicken feed - even the worst Co-Op stuff full of byproducts and antibiotics, runs just around .20 cents a pound.

Alternatively, we could get local corn but it's grown using industrial techniques, i.e., synthetic fertilizers and insecticides, and is planted with genetically modified seed. A family-owned mill in Pleasant View grows and can mill this corn, with soybeans (another problem entirely) from elsewhere. But they are entirely uninterested in modifying their cultivation practices to meet this so-called growing local demand.

So not only is it a matter of infrastructure, but of local agrarian sentiment and habit as well.


  1. Garrett just looked at these pictures and said "Huh. Well, they're not "truly free-range" are they? That poster is wrong".

  2. Ha! Well, yes, if "truly free-range" means running all over the place, wherever they like, then they are not that. Or, rather, only sometimes, and not by intention. I've certainly thought about that claim.

    But given the definitions at the link below, I think it captures the situation.

  3. Whatevs dude. These chickens range free. That fence is only a psychological barrier. You're not forcing them to do anything.