Raising poultry on a small-scale beginning farm is a pretty common thing, especially when the birds are egg laying hens! There is just something aesthetically pleasing about seeing a flock of hens foraging through the pasture and farm yard softly clucking or chasing bugs. Plus, they produce eggs with dark orange yolks that have a flavor that most people are used to when it comes to the simple egg. But, is there really a dark side to the small-scale farm egg-laying flock? Maybe "dark side" is a little much, but the truth is for most small-scale beginning farmers the profit margin is pretty slim when it comes to the eggs. Once you factor in the cost of the chicks, the cost of the feed just to get them to laying age, their housing, the water, the labor, the costs of marketing the eggs, and all the other incidentals each carton of one dozen eggs has a lot of money in them! When I think about all of that I often wonder, "Why in the world did I just order 150 laying chicks?"
That is a valid question because if we've learned anything from over 100 episodes it is that the beginning farming journey isn't always easy! I do think there are some good reasons for having laying hens and egg production as a part of your farming enterprise and I would love to hear why you think it is an important piece of the farming puzzle ... comment below!
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