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Pastured Laying Hens Ben A. Bergmann Fickle Creek Farm Efland NC.

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Presentation on theme: "Pastured Laying Hens Ben A. Bergmann Fickle Creek Farm Efland NC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pastured Laying Hens Ben A. Bergmann Fickle Creek Farm Efland NC

2 Egg-laying Breeds Black Australorp Araucana

3 Egg-laying Breeds Buff Orpington Red Sex-linked

4 Egg-laying Breeds Rhode Island Red Barred Plymouth Rock

5 Predators Fox Raccoon Possum Hawk Snake Owl Dog Weasel Coyote

6 Predators: Fencing Permanent perimeter Semi-permanent internal

7 Predators: Fencing Temporary netted Temporary netted gates

8 Predators: Guard dogs One per fenced area, starting at about 1 year old

9 Housing: Chicken tractors Used after brooder until hens are relatively hawk-proof

10 Housing: Eggmobiles Wire mesh ramp, sloped corrugated metal roof Hens concentrate around feeders and waterers

11 Housing: Eggmobiles More siding toward nest box end Old trailer bed easy to move with small tractor or utility vehicle

12 Housing: Eggmobiles Hand-made wooden nest boxes Wire mesh floor cleans feet and litter falls through

13 Housing: Eggmobiles Roosts of small diameter cedar trees or ripped rough hewn boards

14 Housing: Eggmobiles Old hay wagon trailer, second- hand nest boxes

15 Feeders and Waterers Range feeders Water troughs Oyster shell pans

16 Eggs: Collecting Nests with hay Eggs transported in buckets

17 Eggs: Packing

18 Selling Farmers’ Markets Local Grocery Farm Direct More than just eggs

19 Records: Hen performance



22 Records: Financial performance 2004 Laying Hen Expenses (%) Feed68 Chicks/Hens2 Supplies16 Egg Cartons1 Electricity6 Process Hens1 Equip Deprec3 Oyster Shell0 Dog Food2 Labels0

23 Records: Financial performance 2004 Laying Hen Income (%) FMsWSMFD Hens:5015 Eggs:5635495 All:61354

24 2004 Laying Hen Production Average Number Layers423 Feed Used (lbs)60,350 Hens Sold103 Eggs Produced74,127 Gross Income$17,188 Total Expenses$12,359 Net Income$4,829 Records: Financial performance

25 2004 Laying Hen Production Records: Time keeping FrequencyTask% T Ea daya.m. water, clean nests17 p.m. water, collect eggs22 pack, label eggs30 Ea weekbuy feed 2 move EMs, feed out 6 fill hay bags 3 deliveries, FMs14 Ea monthrecords 1 Occasionale.g. fencing, EM clean, building, repairs 4

26 2004 Financial Summary (ave 423 hens) Net Income/Year$4,829 Net Income/Week$93 Hours Worked/Week31.5 Pay/Hour$2.95 Records: Financial performance Expenses not include “other overhead” nor brooding Caveats Income not include value of hens to overall farm system or home consumption of products

27 Records: Lessons learned Three egg-producing years is probably limit Feed such large component of expenses difficult to improve profitability without reduce this cost (bulk feed, annual forages?) Collecting and packing eggs approx half time in process (ways to increase efficiency?)

28 Key Features of Raising Laying Hens on Pasture Eggmobiles Portable net fence Guard dogs Range feeders

29 Decision-making Economics Size of operation Overall farm system - stage - components Ethics/values Personal preferences

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