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The Leavenworth Farmers' Market had its opening day on Saturday, May 1. I got there bright and early with eggs and yarns and my spinning wheel.

This year, I have raised the price of eggs to $3.50 per dozen. No one objected, and they all sold by 9:30 am. The price of chicken feed has skyrocketed in the past year.

What used to be $6 or $7 for a 40 pound bag of feed is now $10 to $11.

I need to at least break even on the eggs. In the summer, I don't have to feed the chickens much because they are true free-range chickens. I get up in the morning, let them out and they wander around the farm eating weeds, bugs, seeds, whatever is around.

Some chickens prefer hanging out in the goat pasture, others like the horse pasture and still others like to hang around the house - hoping beyond hope that John or I will appear with leftover pasta or some other treat for them.

I need to renovate the nest boxes this spring or summer. Many of my chickens have taken to laying eggs in the big barn, in the hay. I check their favorite spots a couple of times a day to collect the eggs there, but it would be better if I can get them to all lay in regular nest boxes.

Many customers on Saturday came to me for eggs because they love getting the occasional green and blue eggs from the Araucanas. I guess I'll have to get more of those, since they are so popular.

There is one little old lady, though, who only wants "real farm eggs", you know - the brown ones!

Most people don't seem to understand that the egg color comes from the breed a chicken is, not what they are fed or where they are raised.

What would you do?

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There is a nice woman whose husband is going through CGSC at Ft. Leavenworth. She likes my eggs, and calls every couple of weeks to buy a couple of dozen. Typically, I just meet her at the PX.

Well, she called on Tuesday, and we agreed to meet at the PX at 10:00 AM yesterday. I was there at 9:58 and waited until 10:25, and the nice woman did not show up.

When I got home, after giving my eggs away to some friends, there was a message on the phone that she had waited at the Commissary for me and then realized she was supposed to meet me at the PX.

Now, I'm not really mad that she made an error. But, that was 30 minutes of my life that I will never get back for $6 worth of egg money that I won't get. I'm thinking that from now on, if someone wants eggs, they can call, and if I have some, they can just drive out to the farm to get them.

Honestly, I'm not making a penny on the eggs in the winter. I'm not even sure that the little bit I make during the market season even pays for the chicken's feed during the non-market season.

Most likely no one will bother to drive out here for eggs. Ugh.

I could just get more egg recipes and use them up and freeze the culinary results until we get around to using them.

Comments, suggestions?

 I have moved all the chicks out to the Keetergarten, after making it more chick safe by adding a second layer of 1" poultry netting to the inside of the pen.  So the garage is slowly getting back to normal, at least for the moment.
The guineas have started laying - willy nilly - here, there and anywhere I find a guinea egg.  I'm going to incubate them all again this year, once I have about 30 eggs or so.  I think I'll incubate some of the duck eggs, too.  I'd like more ducks, but they cost over $5 each at the feed stores as ducklings! 

I'm also going to incubate some eggs from Darling, our very smart little bitty chicken, just to see if what she has learned about staying safe from predators is passed along to her chicks.

I'm pretty excited about a new farm implement John bought me for Mother's Day! It is a disc cultivator that goes behind our Polaris Ranger.  We found it at Feldmans Farm and Home in Bonner Springs, Kansas, several hundred dollars less than the exact same model at Northern Tool Supply, TSC and Orschleins. 

I can use it to cultivate the area I want to be my garden area - much easier than using the damn Sears overly-expensive and unreliable tiller that is only one year old and will not work!  If this disk cultivator works, I'm selling the damn tiller!

I'm sitting around waiting for the rain to stop, so I can go outside safely (there is lightening close enough that I don't want to be a target) and feed the goats, horses, chickens, Buffy and get the trash out!

Hopefully, I'll be able to make it to the Farmers Market tomorrow.  I'm on antibiotics and I'm not contagious, so if I have enough energy, I'll be at the Leavenworth Farmers Market tomorrow morning - bright and early! (ugh!)  

Well, the sky is looking better.  I'm off to check the chickens!
 And no end in sight.  The weeds are doing quite well - some have grown 3 feet in 2 days!.  I figured out the cash register.  I am now going to make some informational signage on how good eggs from happy, free-range chickens are for you.

I refuse to call the free-range eggs.  I think of cartoon eggs with legs walking around, bumping into each other when I hear that term!

The chickens are free-range.  The eggs are not.

Weather forecast for tomorrow morning is ... yucky. Just hope I can avoid rain at the Market.

I refuse to buy a canopy for 2 months (after that, the pavilion will be finished, and I won't need one).

I think I'll take the Aztec tomorrow, rather than the truck.  I'll use a card table that should work.

Eggs Eggs Eggs

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What does organic mean? Organic means that chickens are raised without any antibiotics whatsoever on feed that was grown without any pesticides or non-organic fertilizer. It really has little to do with the treatment of the chickens, though the regs are changing somewhat.

There is an USDA Certified Organic label that can be used by farms that have paid the big bucks and waited 3 years to be certified "Organic" by the USDA. They figure it takes 3 years for any non-organic residue from previous use of pesticides to be leached out of the land. Last time I checked, earning that "Certified Organic" label cost from $400 to 1,000 a year.

Because I have such a very small business, I am exempt from going thru the certification process. The regs allow those of us who sell less than $5,000 a year of organic products to use the organic term. A good story about how all that works is here:

Anyway, the only time I can say my eggs are totally organic would be in the summertime, when the birds fend for their own on the farm every day - they eat seeds, grasses, bugs, even frogs, toads, snakes (apparently a great delicacy among the chicken folk). I don't have to supplement them unless it looks like they are not getting enough - then I give them "Natural" scratch grains from Purina - which means it is all grain and fruit, no animal by-products. A lot of feeds have things like feathers ground up in them, and other lovely things. Not that there is anything wrong with feathers - they help to make a great compost, but as food, eh, I don't know.

This time of year, my birds still eat grass on the ground, hay from my own hayfields, and the Purina Natural scratch grains. They also get leftovers! They love leftover veggies, casseroles - just about anything, but I never feed them leftover chicken casserole!!! You can, but to me, that's just not right!

Some use the the term "all natural" for their chickens and/or eggs - that only means that they are on a vegetarian diet. Only chickens are NOT vegetarians, they are omniverous, like humans. I find that the more insects, worms, snakes, frogs, etc., that my chickens find, the more wonderful their eggs are.

Help Beth feed all those chickens via PayPal!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Eggs category.

Dogs of Castle Argghhh! is the previous category.

Family is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.