A few years ago Nigel told me about the fate of male chicks from the breeds we all use for egg production. For those of you who do not know, male chicks, of the egg laying breeds, have no monetary value and typically are ground up for pet food immediately after hatching. This little known fact really upset me. It seemed such a waste and irresponsible. I know there are those who believe no animals should be involved in our food system, but quite frankly that is a very large discussion that we have to keep for another time. So, for the past few years, I have been asking Nigel if there wasn’t something we could do. There had to be another way. We, my family and most of yours, enjoy Eatwell eggs, as evidenced by the number of eggs you are ordering. Our chicken/egg operation is already at a level that no one else is doing, at least not on the same scale. Isn’t it time we try to do it just a little bit better? I hope most of you have at least heard about our breeding flock project and know about our BarnRaiser project to help us fund the cost involved in getting this system set up. If you haven’t heard, here it is in a nut shell.
We want to breed our own chickens. No more ordering from hatcheries where chickens are bred to live indoors in large chicken houses, in very tight quarters, and yes even small cages and the male chicks have no value/life. If we breed our own, in a short amount of time we can select birds that are acclimated to the environment and lifestyle they will enjoy here at Eatwell Farm. We believe, in time we will have a much heartier flock and generally healthier birds. The Black Australorps we are working with are what is referred to as a dual purpose breed. The male chicks will be kept and pasture raised here at Eatwell Farm then harvested as meat birds. The females will be our egg layers. According to our chicken expert, Jim Adkins, the Black Australorps have a longer laying life, so these girls will have a longer life on the farm. Hatching our own flock will be a lot more work, and it will be complicated, especially the first couple of years. The first Black Australorp hens are just starting to lay their first eggs. Pretty soon we need to buy those incubators and special nesting boxes and build different houses, but it will be worth it. It is the right thing to do. So you see persistence sometimes pays off because here we are.
Please consider helping us out with this great venture. You can donate to our BarnRaiser campaign at www.eatwell.com/ewbr (there are some great gifts including a few dinners for 6, cooked for you by yours truly!) AND/OR share this information with everyone you know (seriously everyone you know). The more we get the word out the sooner other egg producers will begin to think about making a change to this industry standard. Much gratitude goes out to all the members who have already donated, we have raised over $8,000, only $12,000 to go, with about 22 days left. As always, thanks for your support and I hope to see lots of you at our last Tomato Sauce Party August 30/31st! - Lorraine
Please visit www.eatwell.com/ewbr
This campaign ends Sept 12, 2014!