The Chicken and Egg Page: American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

By Staff

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

Owner(s): Don Schrider (Communications Director)
Address: PO Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312
Phone: 919-542-5704
Email: Don Schrider []

  1. What chicken breed(s) do you raise? ALBC has been implementing a project that is part of the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) grant from the Cedar Tree Foundation, to determine if old hands-on evaluation techniques can be used to bring a breed of chicken back to historic levels of productivity, and how many generations are needed to achieve goals. For this project, the critically rare Buckeye chicken was chosen.
  2. Why did you choose those breed(s), and are you satisfied with their performance?The Buckeye was chosen because it is a critically rare American breed which has history of use both as a broiler and as a layer. Additionally, this breed, even though rare, is available from several commercial hatcheries and has a reputation of being a premiere range breed. Buckeyes are noted as being the most active of the America breeds, and our experiences seem to confirm this trait. The breed lays brown eggs.
  3. Which breed’s eggs did you send in to be tested?Buckeye – a participate in our study, The Shady Grove Farm, Steven and Sara Moize, provided the actual eggs sent in for the experiment.
  4. How many laying hens do you have?There were approximately 26 hens used in 2007.
  5. In what year of laying are the hens?All the hens used to provide the eggs sent in were from one year old females.
  6. Approximately how many eggs do they lay per hen, per month? Please include seasonal variations.Our appraisals indicate that the Buckeyes we are working with lay between 175 and 235 eggs per year. Actual number of eggs per month varies from hen to hen, however we do have individuals recorded as laying 22 eggs in 28 days.
  7. What, if any, measures do you take to extend the egg production season?None
  8. 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.The Shady Grove Farm will answer this.
  9. If you have kept confined hens, can you estimate how much less feed hens raised on pasture consume?My personal experience with Brown Leghorns and Buckeyes seems to indicate 33-45% reduction in feed generally, and 50% during some seasons.
  10.  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?The Shady Grove Farm will answer this.
  11.  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?The Shady Grove Farm will answer this.
  12.  Have you had problems with predators, and how have you solved them?The Shady Grove Farm will Answer this.
  13.  Do you sell your eggs? If so, where and for how much?The Shady Grove Farm will answer this.
  14.  Can you estimate how much you earn per year, per bird?The Shady Grove Farm will answer this.
  15.  What do you think are the main reasons customers choose your eggs? (flavor, nutrition, more humane conditions, etc.)For me, taste and freshness.
  16.  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?The Shady Grove Farm will answer this.
  17.  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.The Shady Grove Farm will answer this.
  18.  Feel free to share any additional comments with us.



  1. On what date were your egg samples shipped to the lab?
  2. 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.

Cholesterol: 321 mg      

Omega-3: 590 mg

Vitamin E: 4 IU

Folic acid: 8.51 mg

Selenium: ND: 0.08       

Beta carotene: 70 IU

Retinol: 613 IU

Total vitamin A: 683 IU