dale339, Layers, Porter Valley Farms

Next Steps

LOGO

We have a design team at The Logo Company in New York working on our logo.  Should have some designs to choose from by the end of the week.  We are hoping for a vintage logo, one that conjures images of fresh air, blue skies, and sunshine… a simple, pure, clean living farm life that we can share with our customers and connect them to a time and place in the past when life moved at a slower pace and things were simple. We want to promote an image of a small hometown farm that raises healthy products, not some big megafarm that plants GMO products and sprays them with pesticides.  I’ll post the logos our designers provide as soon as they are available.

LLC

We also need to make an appointment with our lawyer to create an LLC.  This will be especially important if customers are coming onto the farm.

LAYING FLOCK

Currently, we have 5 Rhode Island Reds and 4 Black Australorps.  I want to add 5 Plymouth Barred Rocks, 5 Americaunas, and 5 Black Copper Marans.  That will give us an assortment of large brown eggs ranging in shades from light tan to dark chocolate.  However, the Americaunas lay blue to blue-green eggs.  We plan to have one of these “Easter Eggs” in each carton and this blue-colored egg will be rubber-stamped with something like, “Good Morning!”  or “Rise and Shine!”  Below is a picture of our birds.  They will not be laying for 6 months, but that’s okay because we still have a lot of moving targets we need to nail down.  Right now, we have these chicks in our hen house with our personal egg layers, but they will be moved to pasture when we get the rest of our equipment in order.

IMG_1373

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EGG TRACTOR AND POULTRY NETTING

Our egg laying flock will be kept on fresh green pasture.  We will have a trailer that contains a henhouse with nesting boxes, fresh water supply, and feeders.  The trailer, or chicken tractor as they are called, will be encircled by solar-powered electric poultry netting to keep the birds in and the predators out.  The poultry netting is multi-colored and this coloring confuses the chickens and keeps them from flying over it.  Eventually, when we get into lamb and beef, we will rotate through small sections of pasture, starting with cows first, followed by the sheep, followed by the chickens.  The sheep will eat things the cows do not eat and they are the end-stage hosts for cow parasites.  The chickens will scratch up all of the poop, exposing and eating fly larvae, not to mention adding their own nitrogen-rich poop to the soil.  Chickens are the end-stage hosts for sheep parasites too.  This rotational grazing will create a healthy and diverse pasture without the need for chemical fertilizers and weed killers.

Another benefit to pastured eggs (free range) is that they are healthier for you…

  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 2x more omega-3
  • 3x more vitamin E
  • 7x more beta carotene

Below is a picture of two eggs.  The light colored yolk is from a certified organic egg purchased at Walmart.  The dark-colored yolk is from a true free-range chicken.  The difference is striking…

eggs

Don’t be confused by free-range labels.  In the United States, USDA free-range regulations currently apply only to poultry and indicate that the animal has been allowed access to the outside.  The USDA regulations do not specify the quality or size of the outside range nor the duration of time an animal must have access to the outside.  That’s why you need to buy local eggs.

[I’d rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world. ~ George Washington]

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