Our pastured egg production has been a disaster this year. We started out the year with a very desirable problem. We had 6 stores and were having problems meeting the demand. We were producing about 70 dozen a week and thought we could easily move 200 dozen. That led to a huge mistake. In an effort to boost our winter production rate, we bought 1000 one year old chickens that were laying at a 90% rate in a chicken house. They went into a molt soon after we got them and stopped laying. We expected that, but we thought they would recover and give us the eggs we needed. They didn't. We had a lot of money tied up in them and couldn't afford to replace them when we realized that they were not going to do the job we had hoped.
We recently bought 300 baby chicks, but they won't be in production for another 6 months. That is, if we can get them to live through the winter. We weren't able to get them until November 1st and it's been a little to cold for them. I'm sure most of them will survive, but how many we will actually have come spring is anyone's guess. This pastured egg business isn't as easy as it looks folks!
For the last few weeks we have only been producing 12 to 20 dozen a week. Our older hens have slowed way down and I'm not sure if any of these chicken house hens are laying at all. So, for now we have decided we have to limit our sales to the closest stores.
Macomb and Quincy, thank you so much for your loyalty. Hopefully we will be able to return in the spring. We will try to keep supplying the Burlington Hy-Vee Store on Agency and Ducks in Nauvoo.
Again we want to thank you all for your support! We believe we can do this because of you. Just need to retreat for the winter and rethink our strategy.
God Bless You All!