Recent high egg prices

Posted by: Bruce Smith

Recent high egg prices - 12/25/03 06:10 PM

Store eggs have been amazingly high around here. Large went to $1.89 a dozen a couple of weeks ago, and are still mostly over $1.50. There was a little sign posted at the grocery store in our nearby small town, the gist of which is as follows: The reasons for the recent spike in egg prices are 1) Consumption is up by 2%, largely because of the Atkins diet and recent announcements that eggs aren't as bad for people as we had been led to believe. 2) Three million birds were slaughtered in California because of the END outbreak 3) The UEP (don't know what this is) animal care certification program is causing layers to have more room in their cages, and this is reducing flock size.
Anybody have reason to think these are the real reasons for the price increase?
Just before this happened, our feed went up by 75cents per cwt around here, due, we are told, to a spike in the protein (soybean) market. The bean market was up, and has come back down some. My last feed fell by 25 cents to $10 per cwt. I found it strange that feed costs were not listed as part of the over all causes for the price spike.
Does anyone know if there is any prospect of the price staying high? I could make a killing if I could raise my price to $1.50 or $1.75 per dozen, like Lee has done in his area. My guess is that in about six months all the needed new layers will be coming online and the high price won't last long after that.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/25/03 06:39 PM

That's interesting that the store had a sign explaining it. The cheapest I saw eggs in the store yesterday was 99 cents a doz. for small. Or 99 cents for 8 brown ones. Other sizes were well over $1. I think UEP is United Egg Producers?
We wonder if soybean prices will spike due to Mad Cow ... feeding more soy protein to cattle instead of animal by-products. As for me, I'm on the Atkins diet and have been eating eggs almost every day for months. It's been great!I lost almost 40 pounds while enjoying eggs and bacon for breakfast 5x a week! A lot of people we know went on Atkins a year or so ago but I thought they were nuts until I tried it. Well, they are still nuts, but a little thinner ...
Ann
Posted by: Bill Ludwig

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/26/03 05:23 AM

Part of the cause may be the closeing of Buckeye egg farms. If indead they have shut down operations. Last news I heard was that they would be out of operation by years end. If I recall correctly, Buckeye had 14 million layers to dispose of. They were being shut down for repeted and multiple violations. I belive a radio news bite said they produced 4% of the nations eggs. My facts may be wrong however. Eggs have been high in our area too. We dont buy production egg though. When our gals production is down like it is now we go to a ma & pa operation not far from us in Amish country. Nice big brown eggs are only $1.10 a doz. unsized and unclassified but very good eggs. The owner knows we usualy want eggs when we come in so if he is out he will go get them while we shop. My wife will feel them to see if some are still warm comming straight from the nest.

Bill
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/26/03 07:04 AM

It's hard for me to believe that shutting down a few million hens can have much effect considering that 70 billion eggs have been produced annually in the early 2000s. But, then I reconsidered --- 70 billion eggs per year is about 200 million a day. If the population of laying hens fell by 20 million that is 10% of the US production. That might have some observable effect on price. Certainly increased demand - the Atkins high protein diet is being blamed for the higher price of beef as well (this before this latest mad cow episode).

It may well be that all this mad cow and other issues / problems with factory farming techniques that are driven purely by profit considerations helps people like us in the end by generating consumers who distrust the mega-suppliers. Those distrustful consumers still have to feed their families and they can be certain that naturally, organically, locally produced eggs and meat from our farm here will have no such risks.

My family gets beef from a local producer of organic beef. It means a lot to me to know that I'm not killing my kids with the food I give them. More and more people are thinking that way now. The mega-producing factory farms may be in the process of self-distructing. That would allow the resurrection of the family farm. There are millions of us who would like to be able to make a competetive living in Rural America. As it stands now, you have to have an investment of several millions of dollars in land and equipment to make $10K a year. And if you didn't inherit a farm from your folks or if you didn't sell a little crackerbox house in California for millions, it is extremely difficult to get started.
Posted by: CJR

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/26/03 07:35 AM

Leee, Have always felt that the small farms have always raised the products that are the Standard of quality that the megaproducers wish they could produce, but advertise that they DO! And the small farms have been the basis of all food production, including eggs, however precarious the business. I do like your possible projection that the huge commercial enterprises could self destruct, leaving the smaller farmer the position he used to hold in our food supply And this would mean local suppliers again. However, there are no Abatoirs or Processing Plants in our entire state any more, as far as I know. Everything goes to the midwest (and no Chisholm Trail to get them there). I think the last one was in Billings, MT and there are few Auction rings left, even for selling any local livestock. Except for the poultry processed on the Colonies, for direct distribution to towns, via roadside stands and a few markets, no poultry is now processed any place in this huge state, that I am aware of. It would be quite a startup of processing plants! Of course, this goes for all kinds of manufacturing, as well--gone to another place-- and quality is largely gone! Time for the Farmers Union, and all the other Farm organizations to take a relook at opportunity for the future. (I used to be able to take my fryers and broilers to a neighborhood processor--now it's a do it yourself project--!) There is always HOPE, not to go back, but to go ahead for real quality and safe food. CJR
Posted by: D. Caveny

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/26/03 12:06 PM

CJR dream on.....our day in the sun is long gone. As you can see by reading this site and the poultry connection, most folks here have a few pet chickens and very little husbandry (if any) as kids on a farm. Pretty soon most folks won't even know what a chicken or a cow looks like let alone be able to recognise cuts of meat by the muscle groups (I'll bet 99/100 can't look at a bone-out T-Bone vs rib-steak and tell you which is which. So called factory farms are what supplies food to the world and most of us are totally irrelevant as far as the overall picture.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/26/03 02:39 PM

I made this same point several months back when a discussion came up regarding inhumane animal treatment and mass production. Now, I have another reason to bolster my previous opinion - the rise in transferable illnesses due to a multitude of reasons - primarily inferior care of the animals - whether it be in their feed, their living quarters, or the human expectation for them to produce more than nature intended which can promote stress and illness within the animal. The real pity is that many are not motivated to improve these systems until it affects the human population. I do believe everything comes full circle - and the glory days of the small farmer WILL rise again, because people will not continue to support industries which may ultimately harm them and who blatently show little regard for anything except a buck. People are more educated about what is going on in some of these industries than they were in the past and alot of folks won't buy into it anymore. I know that most of the folks around here support our local farmers and smaller operations and are willing to drive the extra mile to put their money where their ethics are...and where they can be assured of quality - even if the price is slightly higher. I notice too, people are gardening more - and I don't think it's solely because they suddenly got a green thumb - I think much of it stems from a feeling of mistrust in the bigger operations - fear of pesticides, foreign shipments etc. It may take a very long while, but I definitely see alot of people who long for the "old ways" and who are putting their money where they feel it most beneficial to their family's health and safety. I know I do.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/26/03 04:12 PM

My Dear Caveny, please permit me the luxury of wrapping myself in Jean's lovely, warm dream. It can happen.

In France, confinement poultry facilities are already outlawed. The rest of Europe may follow suit soon. McDonald's has some 'humane criteria' for their egg suppliers to obey (a weak attempt, but motion in the right direction). Now, if Europe and the rest of the world refused to import our products because of the factory-farming way they are produced, there would be serious changes here in the US.

No one was more surprised than I when our organically produced, natural eggs started flying off the shelf of our lone commercial outlet. Even the store owner is amazed that people he never thought would, will pay $2 a dozen for eggs that are produced without chemical / medicinal inputs.

Caveny, this teaches me an important lesson. Even the South Dakota Rural People are worried about what we are doing to our environment and our food by seeking profits at any cost (such as feeding chicken offal to chickens and beef offal to beef and so on). Highly respected local 80 year old farm people have told me that they're worried about the agrichemicals in the groundwater and the chemicals/antibiotics/hormones in our food supply.

We have built quite a little clientel here in Brookings, South Dakota for our natural and organically produced eggs. We have found a following here in South Dakota where everyone is Republican and tighter than tree bark but still concerned about the quality of what they eat. It may actually be possible to save the family farm and decentralize food production - we could certainly use some help from our lawmakers in the form of "anti-trust" laws to bust the megaproducers, but it could happen, just like it has happened in France.

It could happen. And when consumers get out of this "cheapest is best" mentality and discover quality, we'll be on a roll.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/26/03 04:17 PM

We desperately need a farmers' union (or other organization with some deep pockets) that has the cajones to mount a blitz radio and TV advertising campaign that will show the average Citizen exactly what factory farms are. If we could do 10 times what the anti-abortion people have done (without killing people) we could make major changes in the US farming model. Why doesn't PETA do something useful?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/27/03 08:09 AM

It's just wrong to use the words 'farmer' and 'union' in the same sentence...
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/27/03 08:20 AM

Well, they're idiots for not embracing the power of collective barganing.
Posted by: CJR

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/27/03 11:17 AM

For want of real leadership, the Farmers Union has never united Farmers for their collective good. Some of the Ag college graduates, who otherwise may become employed by the Ag conglomerates could find a future which would be a service to the American (even world) markets. While food prices WOULD go up, the value added to health, community (now almost lost in even small towns) would be a strength our country has not seen since before WWII. IMHO (until further discussion reveals the loopholes). CJR
And all because of the price of eggs!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/27/03 11:19 AM

I agree if they banned together they would make alot more $ and be able to produce more of what we need.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/27/03 06:07 PM

Jean, it amazes me that farmers will band together in small groups to form co-ops for feed, soy processing, even confinement layer facilities, but they won't band together in large numbers to save the family farm (to save their way of life).

Developing a strong farmer union would be like trying to drive a herd of cats to market over the old chisolm trail.

Is it a matter of educating the farmers?

I agree - there has never been any evangelical, charismatic, passionate leadership. No one out there organizing with a passion and obvious conviction.

It takes money.
Posted by: CJR

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/27/03 10:34 PM

Leee, It's been true for the past 50 years! Afraid it won't change now. IT COULD. Farmers are independent geezers, and just won't even vote as a block, which could help affect prices, etc. The chap who farms shares for me is on the Board of Cenex and lobbies in Washington--but the competition between even the large corporations, not just grain and livestock, but fruit and vegetables, fiber, has made it impossible for them to work together to provide workable production plans, that would make it easier for all farmers. We are at the mercy of fuel, machinery costs, the weather and climate--but still, with the fantastic distribution and storage abilities of our country, we should be able to solve the supply/demand which partially sets prices. Futures, etc. is a weakness of marketing--and skims off much of a farmers profits. The small farmer's quality of life is still (or should be) the envy of half the world-- most of us are HAPPY with less! CJR
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/28/03 05:48 AM

" We are at the mercy of fuel" (CJR)

I saw this cool thing on the news that we have discovered a new fule source. It involves the fermentation of corn and soy beans and the product ends up very similar to diesle. It burns better giving better gas milage and it does not damage the environment as much, however currently it cost between $2 and $3 a gallon and only works in diesle cars and only a few gas stations carry it. I think this is going to make the farmer much more powerful, because we will be dependent on him to supply the power of our nation.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/28/03 02:38 PM

Living on a full-time farm, this is sure interesting.

It's hard to get farmers to work together ... although we do tend to vote conservative Republican because there are larger issues facing the country than farm policy.

We considered buying some equipment with a couple of different neighbors but in the end shied away because we weren't convinced they'd care for it the same way we would. You can extrapolate this attitude to farm co-operative efforts.

In our area, Farmer's Union and the Grange are a little too much to the left to suit many farmers. Farm Bureau is about right.

We operate a full-time farm and DH supports our family of 5 and partially supports his parents. Our poultry enterprise is just getting started and I don't know how big it will ever get since I dislike the idea of having a nuisance on my hands. My FIL always stayed diversified and that helped. We had dairy cows until that market fell apart ... we are lucky to have 3 local processors for beef and 2 for poultry. Because we live in an Amish Mennonite area there are lots of small labor intensive farms. One of our niches is "all-natural" beef and the other is small square bales of hay and straw. People can buy one bale or 1,000. Since we are practically in the suburbs this has worked out well.

You have to see what your niches might be. If you live in the middle of beef cattle rangeland ... small square bales of hay probably aren't going to go anywhere. But ... surrounded by backyard horse owners ... they're a go.

We are one of the few non-Amish families our age that do not have one or more of hte adults working in town.

I'm still sort of feeling my way in poulttry. I would like DH to tell folks "if you love our beef, try our chicken" but we'll just have to see.

Because of the nuisance idea ... I only want to raise broilers in the summer on pasture. the idea of having a big confinement barn is :rolleyes: not my idea of a good time! Same with the layers ... they sort of satisfy my dairy farmer urge to fuss over something ... but we'll just have to see how much the poultry contribute!

I like reading you folks' optimism about small family farms. Almost like you all read "Stockman Grass Farmer" like we do! laugh

Happy New Year!
Ann
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/28/03 07:43 PM

Quote:
the idea of having a big confinement barn is not my idea of a good time! Same with the layers ...
This is exactly what we're NOT talking about. I don't want a confinement facility of any kind. Our egg business is a free-range egg farm.

I don't see any reason to replace the mega-producers with little ones that do the same thing and produce food via cruel conditions.
Posted by: Sally

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/28/03 09:08 PM

I am interested to know what the all natural farmers use to worm their poultry flocks and other animals for that matter, and what you treat them with if they get a cough or sneeze or whatever. I have both housed and free-range birds. My housed birds are just that to prevent a nuisense to my neighbors. Also it is the only way to properly breed my flocks to not interbreed and to keep my purebreds pure. I do not cage them except as babies to keep ubnder lights etc. I have heard a lot about diatenatious earth. Anybody want to bite on its usefulness, amounts used etc.?
thanks
also as to the egg prices: Here in FL. where I live we sell fresh farm eggs from our local farmers at our feed store for 1.00 a dozen, un-sized and un- processed. Most times this time of the year we never have enough. I know from working at an egg processing plant many years ago that the plants withhold the most desireable size of eggs for that particular time of year and market them when that time comes. I know where I worked years ago they held medium eggs for as much as 4 months in the cooler waiting for Easter!!! EWWWWWWWWWWW......... I haven't eaten many store bought eggs since. They also raise egg prices seasonally as they do gas...if it is a cooking holiday such as Christmas the price goes up, usually.
Sally
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/29/03 06:31 AM

Sally ... boy, the things you learn! I thought cold-storage eggs were a thing of the past because of year-round production.

We have our pullets in a house, now, too but the weather's just not fit for them to be out.

Leee, our neighbors have 4 big (to us!) barns standing empty right now. And the big local contractor is looking for more growers on our side of the county. The lady that butchers our broilers has a barn of 6,000 broilers right now on contract with this outfit. (I'm guessing that would be about like having a herd of 6 dairy cows.)

And there were rumors of a contractor seeking "free range" brown egg growers amongst the Amish ... they'd build you a barn if you'd raise the chickens and sell them the eggs and buy their feed. This was a couple of counties away in the Amish community so a lot of it might be hear-say. But supposedly if the barn door's open the eggs would be considered free-range.

DH of course is considering the possibilities but I made a snap decision ... YUCK!

Maybe the factory farms are self-destructing. It almost seems that way, doesn't it!

Happy New Year
Ann
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/29/03 06:40 AM

In Western NY I've seen grocery store egg prices ranging around $1.30 a dozen for plain-jane white eggs, about $2.50 a dozen for "Eggland Best." An in-law (on Atkins) living in Central NY pays almost $3 a HALF DOZEN (she wasn't exactly sure of the price) for certified organic free range brown eggs in clear packaging.

I've just got a small flock, but sell the extra eggs. My customers are folks in town and folks I work with. I get $1.25 a half dozen, and due to my flock limitations, have my "regulars", and have had people actually excited about eggs and chickens and asking to become customers. I label my cartons with pictures of the chickens (done using the digital camera) and folks get really excited.

A local grocery store chain (Wegmans) uses the tagline "Food You Feel Good About" to advertise their line of food items. I think that is a brilliant motto. I think that average feel so very disjointed from their food that they eat. Most don't garden, and certainly don't have room, time, or knowledge for chickens (or pigs or cows). A lot work in technical jobs where they drive a desk all day. The media widely covers stories of animal cruelty and bad practices in the food production industries. But not everyone wants to become a vegan! So I think that if a good-faith connection can made between the customer and the chicken (and the people caring for the chickens!) that that will drive desire for those eggs and price will become secondary.

At least this is the theory that I've come up with my small flock... smile
Posted by: Bruce Smith

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/29/03 06:55 AM

There have been some discussions of diatomaceous earth in the past. Try a keyword search using 'earth' or DE in the Poultry Health and Management areas. Some people believe in it, and some don't. I use it extensively in my garden, as it is very effective on soft-bodied insects such as cabbage worms and potato beetle larvae. I think it probably has some effect on some internal parasites, but I'm beginning to think (from the experiences of others) that it probably isn't 100% effective all the time. In the recent gapeworm thread in the Waterfowl section I told about my recent experiment with DE-treated wheat against gapeworm in ducks. I think that because the gapeworms attach to the throat lining, the wheat may have been effective since it carried the DE directly to the soft bodies of the worms as the ducks swallowed it. This was an empirical "study," to repeat myself.
With production down after our late moult here, I recently wormed with piperazine for roundworms. This way I only lost about 2 1/2 dozen eggs during withdrawal.
As for sniffles, most people try to isolate birds as soon as any sickness appears, then treat the affected ones with medication specifically for what they have. About three years ago when our barn roosters came down with laryngitis, we isolated them, then treated with gallimycin that we knew was effective on respiratory problems in poultry. When they were thoroughly cleared up and kept away for a couple of weeks, we put them back in the barn and have had no trouble since. Personally, I don't mind using drugs when they are really needed, but I also don't believe in medicating anyone on an ongoing basis.
I think if we continue this direction we probably ought to be moved to Poultry Health. Liz has some good points about the original topic.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/29/03 01:22 PM

Sally, you can also search for worming - we've had this discussion here before. Where we are, there hasn't been a concern about worms. Our free-range layers may have a mild parasite load. Our fecal exams do not indiate that we have a problem. As per posts long ago, Dr. Darwin Brightman, a retired poultry scientists at SDSU, advised us that the worming medications would stress the birds more than a light parasite load will. So, unless the parasite load gets high enough, the treatment is worse than the disease (has a more negative impact on production and overall health of the bird). Older birds develop a resistance to parasite infestations.

We do not cull a bird that sneezes, although many do. When sneezing starts, they go to the hospital pen where they are well-fed and watered. We assume that the problem is a viral one, as it would be in humans, unless it persists long enough to begin causing a non-clear discharge, then that is presumed to be bacterial and we WILL administer antibiotics at that point. A bird that has taken antibiotics can return to the flock after a pre-defined period of time (to allow the medication to leave the body). I don't remember the recommended time period right now because we rarely have had to give antibiotics. It is way more usual in our flock to have to treat an infected rooster eye than it is to have to give antibiotics to a layer.

With regard to diatomaceous earth (DE), I have seen research that supports the viewpoint that it is worthless for worming. Now, there are many people who use it for that reason. We don't.
Posted by: Sally

Re: Recent high egg prices - 12/29/03 06:42 PM

Thank you all for all the info. Some of it is new to me and some isn't but all is appreciated. I will go to the other room to see what is up.
so much thanks......so little time....
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 01/01/04 05:18 AM

Argh - hit the wrong button too soon! mad

These are some thoughts that are running around in my head. I apologize if it is obvious to others... I'm used to hearing about this/thinking in these terms for my other job, I think it could apply to chickens and eggs and help drive people to your product rather than a generic egg.

Who do you want to sell to? What are the characteristics of this group?
- people who can afford to pay a little extra for eggs
- people who have money probably don't have lots of extra time (so make it convenient to get to the eggs. Selling from a convenient location comes to mind, but could it also mean having a delivery service? Working with a milk-man if one is in the area? Can eggs be sold from the cooler of a work-out gym? Which pairings make sense?)

Some folks are just not going to be the targeted consumer. I'm thinking of my Dad who grew up in the depression...he is just not going to spend the extra $. But people with little kids who want the best for "Johnny" might.

What is the value add of your product? How does purchasing your product bring the consumer an additional value compared to purchasing a generic egg? How can this be conveyed to the customer?

-- it could be that the product being sold is different (Leee, I keep thinking about the multi-color eggs all in one package. That is so cool! Does the consumer know that before they open the container?
I think this is what other producers do when does when they advertise the Omega-content of their eggs and follow it up by stamping each egg)
-- the product is fresher than the competition. Budweiser puts a "Born on date" on the label. What about a "laid on date?" (The downside may be the need to track this date & pull product from the distributers if it gets too old...)
-- it could be that the customer purchasing this product does not have to feel badly since the chickens producing this product are not living in inhumane conditions. How can this be conveyed to the consumer? I get this feeling when I get the time to go to the Farmer's Market and I can meet the farmer. How can this be conveyed without the face to face meeting?

...and so on...

I hope this makes sense. I'm interested in tossing these ideas around. Happy New Years!
Posted by: Bruce Smith

Re: Recent high egg prices - 01/01/04 09:37 AM

So how many birds does Eggland keep in a building? Are they floor birds, or is the 'organic' part just derived from what they eat? Is all the grain in their ration organically produced? I doubt it, and I doubt that they truly range free. And being 'certified organic' with the official USDA rules now doesn't impress me much, either. Is Eggland just doing a better job of public education (some might call it propagandizing) than others? Here is a corporation that is talking to the public, but is the public getting what it really needs to know? At $6 per dozen, I could put out lots of press releases, too.

Lee's point is a good one. Every mass-produced factory egg in the stores is 'farm-fresh.' It may be farm fresh from storage in their cooler for five months, but it's fresh from a farm of some kind. This point emphasizes the need to promote products in meaningful ways. I like to use the phrase "These eggs were laid by happy hens." This gives an opportunity to respond to the customers question about what makes a hen happy.

A local producer has the opportunity to get the truth to consumers if he chooses to do so. There's a niche.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 01/01/04 10:36 AM

Jake, perhaps we're saying the same things in different terms. If we had a multitudinous army of smaller, passionate producers who raise poultry products humanely and of very high quality, these people out there aggressively educating their consumer base, that is certainly one way.

But, I am pessimistic that it will happen that way. I have participated in our Farmers' Market for quite a few years now. The other vendors there just sell and take money. They don't do any education. They themselves are uneducated.

My point is this, Jake. An effective food movement needs leadership. It needs passionate leadership. It needs a huge effort to educate the mass public about the present state of food production. A bunch of cats out selling "farm fresh stuff" isn't going to get the job done. If that's what you wanna do, more power to you, Jake. That's what we've been doing for a long time now and it fills niches but it doesn't accomplish anything big. We need a passionate organization with a passionate leadership - people willing to shave their heads for the future of the family farm and the safety and quality of the American food supply.

Farm Fresh Eggs you got? Yeah, yeah.... (yawn), that's what they all say. Even the mega-producing confinement facilities (farms) say that. It has no meaning now because everybody says it.

Do you know, Jake, that Corporate has new ways to fool the public? Some now claim "cage free" egg production. But this is still a confinement facility, they just use a broiler house packed full of layers and they use migrant workers who pick up eggs. The hens still live a miserable life packed in a building like sardines. Debeak them so they can't pick each other bloody. There you have it! Cage free! A huge improvement in humane production of eggs! (not)

Anytime I see a person saying the phrase "Farm Fresh Anything" I see 1) someone who is so nieve to think that anyone believes that (or attaches any meaning to it) or 2) a crook trying to fool me. It's like when the used car salesman tells you that he's a Christian.

I like Bruce's "Happy Hens". I will start using that.

"The highest quality eggs come from Naturally Happy Hens!"

Forget the "Farm Fresh Eggs" cliche.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 01/01/04 01:40 PM

Hmmm ... I have farm fresh brown eggs from cage-free,free-roaming,"free range weather permitting" happy hens. I think. How will I ever get all that on a package! J/K

EggInnovations is advertising for growers in our area, BTW ... has anyone ever dealt with them?

I just wonder where our end of the food industry will be in a few years since people have lots of questions about sources of feed, and processing and by-products .... all kinds of questions.

Lee has a good point about educating the consumer. It's hard to imagine (having gone to craft shows with my folks lo these many year) a vendor NOT trying to educate as they sell.

Perhaps the Internet will help us small farmers do more niche marketing.

Very interesting discussion!
ann
Posted by: Sally

Re: Recent high egg prices - 01/03/04 08:50 PM

To advertise all natural eggs what does everyone feed? Is it then bad to feed chick started because it has medication? or processed feed because it has preservatives? My neice would only eat my eggs because as a "naturalist" (whatever that means to her) she will only eat eggs from chickens that are not oppressed. That said, she will also not eat any dairy products because she thinks the milking process and housing "depresses and opresses" the cattle. In Florida many of our local food stores now carry advertised "free roaming, all natural brown eggs" they won't try the blues tho. Only the health food stores and the feed stores and farmer's market.

Sally
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 01/04/04 10:00 AM

I had peel and stick labels printed for my egg cartons (very nice but way too expensive)It has my farm logo and tagline which says "from natural farming comes natural goodness." Although my practice is organic, I'm not a certified organic farm, so that's why I went with natural.
I do say "organically fed in a free range environment" on my label. I'm paying $18 per 50 lbs. for organic feed so believe me I'll tout the organic angle. I charge $3 a dz. I fed medicated feed when they were chicks, but stopped well before egg laying. I put together a sampler of 4 brown eggs, 4 white, and 4 tan. The tan eggs are small so I worried about selling them, but people really like the different colors and sizes. Right now I'm just selling to friends, since I've only got 13 pullets. That means I'm making $3 a day before expenses! I plan to get 25 more chicks in the spring. I plan to get the clear egg cartons and use my labels when I start selling farmer's market in the spring. Then since the cartons are so expensive, I plan to offer a 10 cent refund on the cartons.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Recent high egg prices - 01/04/04 10:59 AM

We're lucky to be within 35 miles of a farmer who raises organic grains. He grinds feed for his mother's flock of 400 layers and we buy feed from him.

You don't need to be certified organic to advertise that your eggs are "organically produced" or "produced with organic methods".

I would like to do more than just "fill a niche". I would like to see fundamental changes in the way animals are treated and therefore fundamental changes in the way food is produced in this country.