by Rachel Gilker, editor and contributor, On Pasture

Cover of If you have a good sized flock, or if you are thinking of expanding to 1,000 or more layers, Mark Cannella and Sam Smith have got your back. They put it all here in this handy dandy publication with facts and strategies to make layers profitable, using their own experiences, and interviews with six farms in and near Vermont. Some of the information is place-specific, it’s true, but many of the ideas transfer to other locations.

The publication includes suggestions for production from what birds to choose and how to feed them, including a diverting section on food waste as a feed source. There are also how-to’s for market analysis, so you don’t end up with dozens of eggs and no one to buy them. To top it off, Mark and Sam give you the financial analyses to starting up a 1,000 or 3,000 layer enterprise, so you know how much you should be charging for the eggs you’re going to sell.

But wait – there’s more! There are plenty of regulations involved in selling that many eggs, and Mark and Sam lay it out for you, as clearly as anything involving USDA regulations can be. Annette Higby, a lawyer in Vermont with particular knowledge of agricultural issues, steps in with a piece for egg aggregators, and for egg sellers around the northeast. (Yes, this doesn’t work for all On Pasture readers, but it’s an idea for what you might look for or get organized near you!)

For all the egg-heads out there, this is a publication worthy of perusing whether or not you’re thinking of adding 1,000 or 3,000 layers to your farm.

Scaling-up Egg Production: Management, Markets, Regulation, and Finances
Mark Cannella and Sam Smith
University of Vermont Extension, Vermont Agency of Agriculture Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, and Intervale Center
Download Publication PDF 1.4 MB

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