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Selling Eggs, Week One

We had plans…they changed.

We planned to purchase chicks in the winter of 2024 and have them laying eggs for us in the spring. Well, we do have chicks and we also have laying hens.

In the fall of 2023, Grandpa was finishing up his final flock of commercial contract chickens. For decades he had started day-old chicks and raised them to pullets (mature laying hens) to fill laying houses. He didn’t own the birds, he was contracted to raise them for buyers who had placed orders through the hatchery. His final flock was 15,000 birds. When the birds reached maturity, they were scheduled to be transported to 4 different farms.

The week the birds were scheduled to leave, one of the buyers backed out. Grandpa said this had never happened before. The hatchery still owned the birds and they began looking for someone else to take them. There were 3000 of them. 3000 hens that were on the verge of beginning to lay eggs. 3000 birds that were eating 2 tons of feed every 5 days. 3000 birds that needed a new home or, well, the rumor was they were going to be destroyed.

Since we were hoping to have some laying hens in the spring, we inquired about purchasing some of the birds for us. In the end (which was just the beginning) we purchased all the birds with the hopes of finding new homes for most of them. We immediately made a list of places to advertise these birds. We felt an urgency to move them quickly as we were not set up to deal with 3000 eggs and we didn’t want to spend more on feed than necessary.

We agreed to purchase the birds right before Thanksgiving. We bought chicken feed, 6000 lbs of it. A truck arrived on the evening of Black Friday and augered it into one of the feed bins. The morning of Black Friday we made a Facebook post entitled. Black Friday Sale:

This post spread like crazy. It was shared hundreds of times, and my phone began to ring. In the end, we ended up keeping about 300 hens for ourselves and finding homes for the rest of them. Through this experience, we were able to connect with many people in the local ‘chicken world’:)

When the ladies began laying eggs, we made them available for sale in our farm stand. We also gave many away to friends, food banks, our homeschool co-op, and at church. Last week we also added them to the Doorstep Dairy menu! This means our eggs are now available for home delivery in 5 counties!

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The Mast Family - Christmas 2023.

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I feel that it would be most important to begin with the most important, the nearest and dearest.

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