Jacob Springs egg program
One of Jacob Springs Farm's most popular programs is the self-serve egg bin on the farm. Eggs, produced by our eggmobile can be purchased from the egg bin, which is simply an old chest freezer, at any time, however, eggs are only added to the bin Monday through Saturday at around 8:30am. Frequently, eggs are sold out within a few hours of being placed in the bin.
Eggs are sold for $10 per dozen. This works out to about $6.67 per pound. Egg buyers are encouraged to bring their old, empty cartons when they come to buy eggs.
Care and feeding of our egg flock
In our eggmobile production system, hens are fed a wide variety of foods, most salvaged from pre-consumer waste from a local organic burrito factory and waste produce from a local organic grocery department. A small amount of Fehringer Farms' organic, no-corn, no-soy layer feed is occasionally fed supplementally. In winter, when few forages are available, hens are often penned in the barnyard, here they assist in the composting program as cheep labor employed to turn and scratch through the pile. see composting with hens
Spring, Summer and Fall, they live on the Jacob Springs eggmobile, out at pasture. The egg mobile follows the grazing rotation of the cows, picking out the insect larvae hatched from eggs laid into the manure and scratching and distributing the manure to get at the organic millet fed to the cows for this purpose.
Each year we rotate between starting chicks of one of three large bodied breeds of brown egg laying chicken, Black Australorp, Barred Rock, and Cinnamon Queen with a smattering of dark egg laying Welsummer and green-egg-laying Easter-eggers sprinkled in for variety. Each year we focus on one of these breeds for replacement of the older hens of that breed, who are ushered into our spent hen program as soon as the young of that breed are about to start laying, in this way we can immediately tell the age of the hen by her color and we can easily cycle our flock without unproductive, older hens overstaying their time.
Raising replacement layers
Sometimes we retain eggs of a particular breed for incubation and hatching in out Henmulator incubator the summer before they are slated for the cooking pot. Other years, we order chicks through commercial hatcheries and raise them until laying age, first in the brooder later in portable chicken shelters outdoors, and finally integrated into the flock - either in an eggmobile (summer and fall) or a chicken house (winter)