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So how does farm fresh, fertilized, heritage eggs sound to you

Posted by Lynn Nye on March 16, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Our Melo Farms vision is mainly based on sustainable pig farming with a goal toward farm to table. But all plans, especially those involving nature and the earth, must be layered and mutually beneficial. So it is with us and it's why we now have an awesome but small flock of 20 Brahma Light laying hens.

When dreaming about my ideal flock I realized my main criteria boiled down to this: cold hardy, gentle disposition, and on the Conservancy list http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/wtchlist.html#chickens. My soap box - be the change - and in this case save the dwindling breeds that have fallen out of favor as we raced to commercialization. The Brahma Lights, though hard to find and spendy, were found arrived here on the farm as day old chicks August 2010 and have grown and thrived.

The hens have a mobile house, the style that allows for moving to greener pastures often. Their job is to control the grass and weeds, scratch and work the soil - and between you and me eat every single spider and spider egg they can find with their cute little hardworking beaks. I also rely on them to fertilize and enrich the soil for future healthy plant growth. In turn we get over a dozen large brown eggs a day. The goal of course is to sell the excess eggs, which for us is about a dozen a day, to cover the cracked corn we treat them to and winter supplemental feed when they're indoors, safe, warm but unable to graze.

Since we raise everything to a mind of what we want to eat ourselves I'm attracted to the notion that giving the girls regular treats of flax seed helps boost their egg's omega-3 nutrients. And each time I crack open one of those luscious, thick, deep yellow yolked eggs I see the goodness of what each hen has consumed.

Also we have a grand rooster that tries his best to ensure all the eggs are fertilized. Since conservancy is in our mission we sell hatching eggs to perpetuate this gentle and majestic breed.

And when our grandson and granddaughter retrieve warm eggs from under calm, large, healthy hens I'm reminded of the other multi-layered benefit of starting this farm later in our life - we are all finding joyful moments of discovery we never could have imagined.

So multi purpose, mutually beneficial and sustainable. And about that dozen eggs a day - call me - I have some to sell you:)

Peace,

~M

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3 Comments

Reply kolupalka
3:05 PM on September 6, 2011 
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Reply Lisa
5:58 PM on March 20, 2011 
Hey, Melody. It was great meeting you today. I'm glad you made the trip out here to see your new babies. Todd and I look forward to visiting your spread. I like the new map feature of your site. Good job!
On the egg subject, we charge 2.00 a dozen which is up from last year. I only sell them to teachers at school. Probably next year it will go up again. I think the market will support a price hike.

Happy growing,
Lisa
Reply Trase Passantino
11:49 AM on March 18, 2011 
Love your Brahmas! We are building a mobile coop for our second flock this year. Our original flock has a stationary house, simply because there was an existing pavilion on the property when we bought it, and we added walls and finished out the inside. They are literally free-range, though, and run all over the property, so they get quite a variety of good eats. :D

I would suggest that if you haven't already, do a cost analysis of your egg production, and insure that you will not only cover your cost on the eggs, but make sure to build into the price enough for replacement of your birds as they age. It's something we often forget to do in our enthusiasm for our newfound love of farming! :) I have seen brown organic eggs in the grocery store going for anywhere between $4 to almost $6 a dozen, and let's face it, the USDA standards for "Certified Organic" means a much lower quality of life for those birds than what we are providing for ours. So I daresay the eggs from your birds are higher quality than that - the birds definitely have a better quality of life, too. So I think they are worth more than $3 for 18, and may be costing you that much to produce, once you factor in the rising prices of grain, corn, bedding, etc. Just something to consider - we just raised the price on ours from $3/dozen to $3.50 (we still give a discount to the co-op at $3.25) because we realized we were subsidizing other people's food at that price, and we can't afford to do that. Being a sustainable operation means moving away from all of the industrial food production models, including that subsidizing of the food. Just a thought. :)

I hope I'm not being too pushy, but I thought perhaps some perspective from a fellow small farmer might be helpful - pricing is never an easy thing to tackle! It was wonderful to meet you in person this morning and guess what's on the menu for dinner tonight? Ha! :)

Cheers,
Trase