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The Insight into Our Feed Programs

By Ron Eichner

Greetings, folks! April heralds the advent of spring, kicking off with April 1st, famously known as April Fools’ Day, so brace yourselves for some playful pranks. If you've been keeping up with my "Facts From the Farm" series from February and March, you'll recall our deep dive into the world of the "incredible, edible egg." Now, let's wrap up this month with a discussion on the dual aims of enhancing poultry feed nutrition and the ensuing benefits for all involved.

Diverging from the conventional practices of poultry farming and feed provision, our farm takes pride in its exclusive partnership with Kalmbach Feed from East Sandusky, Ohio, to formulate our poultry feed programs.

For three generations, spanning from my grandfather's era through my father's tenure and now my own, our mission has centered around enriching the already nutritious edible egg. Unlike the majority of eggs churned out by large-scale corporate farms that are often deemed ordinary or generic due to their feed regimes, our approach prioritizes protein, vitamins, and minerals sourced predominantly from plant-based proteins rather than the more common animal-based sources.

The additional nutritional fortification of our poultry feed serves a dual purpose: it fosters the well-being of our hens while concurrently enhancing the health quotient of their eggs, much to the delight of our customers. This symbiotic relationship is further augmented by the free-range environment our hens enjoy, contributing to their overall happiness, which invariably reflects in the quality of the eggs they produce.

Our high-energy eggs boast an impressive nutritional profile, featuring over six times the vitamin D and ten times the vitamin E content compared to ordinary eggs. Moreover, they contain 25% less saturated fats, 38% more lutein, double the omega 3s and 6s, along with ample servings of vitamins B12, B2, B5, and the indispensable K2.

Antioxidants, inherent in our eggs, not only act as natural preservatives but also bolster their vitamin content, ensuring prolonged freshness and taste. As I often jest, just as nobody possesses the secret recipe to Heinz ketchup, the exclusive nutritional values of our laying feed remain unparalleled.

While most corporate farms either produce their feed in-house or source it from local feed mills, our feed acquisition process involves multiple steps. We place an order with Mt. Nebo Agway for seven tons of laying feed, which then sets off a chain reaction involving the area Kalmbach feed representative, Kalmbach Feed Mill, and finally, Osterling Feed Store, culminating in the delivery of our exclusive feed to our farm.

Admittedly, this approach incurs greater costs. However, our commitment to producing high-energy eggs that stand apart in quality compensates for any financial considerations. The mutual benefits accruing to our laying hens and customers underscore the significance of our meticulous efforts in ensuring the best end-of-the-egg story.

As the old adage goes, "April showers bring May flowers." Yet, the premature onset of summer-like temperatures often tempts local gardeners to jump the gun and purchase flowers and vegetable plants weeks too early. This impulsive behavior, akin to "stupid on steroids," as I like to call it, overlooks the detrimental impact of cold April showers on soil temperature, hindering root and plant growth.

So, my advice on dealing with cold, damp soils is akin to trying to relax with your feet in a bucket of ice water while watching your favorite TV shows—inevitably chilly!

If you find yourself with some spare time, I invite you to make Eichner’s Whole Farm and Greenhouses your year-round destination. Explore our delightful young lambs, and coming soon in May, our Dexter calves and Kunekune piglets. And don't forget to treat yourself to some of our high-energy eggs, slab bacon, Canadian bacon, and a variety of homemade lean pork sausages at our farm market located at 285 Richard Road in Wexford. Bring along a friend, become a part of our farm family, and uncover "the rest of the story."


Warm regards,

Ron Eichner


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