Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

“growl” by John

More frost this morning. Rain/snow/hail on the weekend. When is Spring actually here to stay?

Also, lost another chicken – most likely to a racoon attack. And the chickens we have wouldn’t sit on the eggs we left in the boxes for them. Looks like it’s time to buy some more laying hens.

At least it’s sunny!

Ooh – and the meat birds are finally going outside of their own accord!! Will hopefullly have a page on our website about them soon.


“Farmer John’s Update” by John

Wow – just had a look back at the blog and saw that not only have the proverbial “we” not posted in a while, but I haven’t posted in even longer. Oops.

So some people have been asking about the chicken with the growth. I’d take a picture and show you how she’s doing, but I can’t tell which one she is anymore – it seems that the growth has completely subsided and there’s no sign of any chicken being ostracized from the group at the moment, so I think all is well. My guess is that it was an infected cut, but I guess it could be cancer that’s gone into remission. Either way – it seems to be sorted out and we’re getting 5-6 eggs per day again and looking forward to more as the days get longer!

Some of you may also know, though we didn’t post it on here, that we were thinking about adding three little pigs to our farm family. A local farm family is moving away for a few years and had three pigs not yet ready for slaughter that they were selling. We hemmed and hawed and even went on a tour of Terra Nosa farm (an amazing organic farm here in the Cowichan run by amazing people with some good livestock experience) but eventually decided that we weren’t ready for pigs (fence needs mending, not sure about requirements for care etc) so we turned them down. Since that time I’ve borrowed a book on raising pigs and now I *really* want to do it, so we’ll see if we can get the systems set-up in time to get some weaners this spring.

Otherwise, things are progressing. We’ve borrowed a rototiller and tilled under the greenhouse in preparation for some early greens followed by hot weather plants. We got a delivery of 1,500 strawberry plants to put in the ground sometime in the next week. We’ve pruned all of the raspberry plants and are starting to side-dress with compost. We’ve pruned all of the grape vines and rose plants (thanks bro and Andrea and Yan!). We’ve learned about pruning blueberries – but haven’t yet waded into the blueberry field to get that done. And, generally, we’re looking forward to the rain stopping so we can get some of the work done that needs the soil to be a little bit more dry.

And that’s a quick update. Sent during breakfast before I go to work. Will this timing be the answer to getting John to post more … only time will tell.

“Chicken Numbers and Business Sense” by John

Last weekend I went to an event on Saturday called the “Survival of Agriculture Forum 2” It featured a number of panel speakers, successful farmers, researchers etc., a lunch speech by the provincial ag critic, and an afternoon session talking about the proposed $100/farm levy, among other things.
One of the morning speakers was a successful (7 or so employees, farming full time) organic veggie grower from up island. Another was an agrologist/researcher (also from up island) who has done a number of state of the industry reports.
The lessons I learned were that you have to pay attention to the small details and treat the farm like a business AND that, according to the agrologist at least, if you’re not grossing $40,000 in sales, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll break even.

So, I’m trying to pay attention to the details in this post.

Eggs in the laying box

I swear, I didnt' line these up. The chickens did that themselves

We record the number of eggs we get per day. The average for October was about 10/day. The average for November will be slightly less I suspect. That gives us about a dozen eggs to sell ($3.50/dzn) every 2 days after we eat our share.
We haven’t been tracking each time we put in a new bag of feed (one today) which is the next thing we need to track in order to figure out costs. Cindy figures we use about a bag ($12/bag) per week.
Running the numbers, it appears that we can gross about $600 over the year with a net profit of just about $0 (not including labour, hydro or water) … but at least we get free eggs!
So … how do people make a living in this business again?