- What chicken breed(s) do you raise?
Red Star (Red Sexlink)
- Why did you choose those breed(s), and are you satisfied with their performance?
Selected due to production performance and am generally satisfied.
- Which breed’s eggs did you send in to be tested?
- How many laying hens do you have?2800
- In what year of laying are the hens?
Varies – four flocks, two are in first year, one is in second year, one in third year.
- Approximately how many eggs do they lay per hen, per month? Please include seasonal variations.
Annually, we see an average of 200, so 17 eggs per month.
- What, if any, measures do you take to extend the egg production season?
- What kind(s) of supplemental feed do you use? Please be as specific as possible, including the brand name or farm where you get your feed.
Feed comes from a local private feed mill, which custom grinds and mixes to our specifications. It consists, dependent upon the season of corn, wheat, barley, roasted soy bean meal, and Fertrell Nutri-Supplement.
- If you have kept confined hens, can you estimate how much less feed hens raised on pasture consume?
- Tell us about the living and ranging conditions of your hens. For example, what kind of pens do you have? Did you build them yourself? Do you use moveable pens? If so, how often do you move the birds to fresh pasture? What is the approximate size of the area on which your chickens are free to range and forage on a given day? Are there any specific plants in the pasture that you know your birds eat?We have 24-by-24-by-8 foot high metal siding/roofind pole barns which we construct with dirt floors. We manage the carbon to nitrogen ration with wood chip to establish a deep bedding situation (this bedding is removed each Spring and spread on our pasture/hay fields. These structures are situated in the middle of approximately two acres with the birds having access to about a quarter acre at a time using electrified portable net fencing. In the paddock the chickens are to go to next, we run six lambs to mow the grass. We do not notice any particular forage the birds favor, except that they do not like broad leaf or woody stalk material. We offer one nest per ten hens and add 8 to 10 roosters to each flock for predator alerts and settling of the hens. Eggs are collected, washed and sorted by hand.
- How would you characterize the area in which you live—urban, suburban or rural? Are there any local regulations you had to meet to be able to raise chickens? We are in a rural area, having 67 acres ourselves with several larger farms around us and some 30 private homes in the immediate vicinity.
- Have you had problems with predators, and how have you solved them?
We have run the course of predators in this area. The rare Cayote or cougar is not controlled. Flying predators are dealt with using flashing pie tins on a string and plastic great horned owls on a stick in the paddock. Smaller four legged predators are not an issue with the electrified netting. Mink, however, cause us to close the birds in at night.
- Do you sell your eggs? If so, where and for how much?
We retail and wholesale our eggs at $3.25 per dozen.
- Can you estimate how much you earn per year, per bird?
- What do you think are the main reasons customers choose your eggs? (flavor, nutrition, more humane conditions, etc.) Flavor, humane conditions, natural but mostly local – people are looking to re-connect with their food.
- Do you have any notable comments from customers that you can share with us? Are there any customers whose contact information you can give us so we can talk directly with them about why they choose your eggs? Several mothers over the years have said that they have run out of our eggs and when they tried to serve their children (yes, children) be it “free-range,” organic or standard commercial, the children refuse to eat. Restaurant chefs pay 3 or more times the price for pastured eggs over commercial. Please contact:
Chef Cindy Wolf, Charleston Restaurant, Baltimore between 2 and 4 PM Tue – Sat., 410-332-7373.
Chef Mark Henry, The Oregon Grille, Hunt Valley, MD 410-771-0505
Chef Galen Sampson, Dogwood Deli, Baltimore, 410-889-0952
Executive Chef, James Lewandowski, Baltimore – 410/576-0766
- Many of you have expressed dismay at our using the term “free-range eggs,” because of the way that language has been tarnished by certain producers whose birds really have no access to fresh pasture. Are you aware of any of these “industrial free-range” farms in your area? If so, please provide us with as much information about the producer as possible.
Fortunately for Springfield Farm, there are none nearby.
- Feel free to share any additional comments with us.
NUTRITION TEST RESULTS
- On what date were your egg samples shipped to the lab? Monday, July 2nd – FEDEX overnight.
- Please confirm that we have recorded your test results accurately. If your report shows different values, please indicate that by making a note on the correct line below.
(I had to leave this blank for now, because we don’t have your results yet.)
Total vitamin A: