Why are you
not USDA organic?
The feed is extremely expensive, hard to come by and would make my eggs unaffordable to many families. Additionally, I do not believe that I need to regularly give a portion of my income to pay for the certificate. I have always practiced these “guidelines” as a farmer anyway because it is the right thing to do. The only guideline that I do not follow is buying the organic feed.
What does it mean by antibiotic and hormone free eggs?
We do not put any additives in our feed or water that helps gain weight, lay more often, or antibiotics to keep the birds healthy. I provide a healthy environment for my hens by not overcrowding, quality feed and water, regular cleaning schedule and genuine love for my “girls”. Additionally, I do not force molt to get extra laying from the hens and I turnover my barns annually before they become too old and unhealthy to need regular supplements of antibiotics that larger producers typically use.
Why do you feed
your hens a vegetarian diet when chickens are omnivores by nature?
We do not believe in feeding bone meal and extra protein such as animal by products, and ground up feathers for bulking up the feed which is common in the egg industry. Chickens that even pasture will not get everything they need in a farm setting scratching the ground, so supplementation is necessary for raising laying hens. I work with my veterinarian and a nutritionist to provide a varied diet that contains natural calcium through ground oyster shells, linseed meal, soy, corn, alfalfa meal, and natural vitamin supplements to keep them healthy and provide great tasting eggs.
Why are they more
expensive than the grocery store?
We are a small sustainable farm, my turnover on my eggs are normally 36 hours from the hen house to delivery.
How do they compare
to high end retail commercial eggs?
Better because we are not a production farm and supply locally.
How long can we keep the
Legally from the time they are washed we can allow two months in the state of Wisconsin and thirty days in Illinois.
How do you enhance the
Linseed meal and it is blended by our nutritionist who prepares our feed and has independently tested our product to ensure that they meet this standard.
Do your birds exhibit
natural behaviors in the barn?
Yes. There is room to perch, they have scratching areas, are allow two square feet per bird which is over the standards for humane treatment and constant access to fresh food and water. If my hens were not happy and well cared for they would not lay. Hens that are stressed do not produce well and regularly which is not good for them and the farm.
How do you process your
eggs differently than the standard egg market?
We do not use the common and standard chemical, bleach egg wash detergent soap on our eggs. I never liked the smell or taste of that cleaner on eggs so we only clean them with warm water. When you wash the egg the pores of the egg open and take on that flavor. Many of my customers even say how much different our eggs taste and I believe that is one of the many quality standards that separate us from other producers.
Do you use forced molting
or de beak your hens in your egg production?
We have never force molted as this is unhealthy and stressful for the hens. We have the hens beak trimmed but do not de beak them so that they can still peck and scratch.
Why are there occasional
blood specks in the yolks?
These are not actually blood specks but what you are seeing is brown dots which are called meat spots (protein spots). This is not contained in all of our eggs but does indicate freshness as after a couple of days this is absorbed back into the yolk. This is common and natural in a quality egg and does not affect flavor or texture of the cooked egg.
Why are your whites
sometimes runny and don’t poach well?
A fresh egg does not peel well because there is very little air between the shell and the albumen to allow the whites to pull away from the shell. If you allow the egg to sit in the refrigerator for three weeks it will allow for better poaching and boiling.