We hope everyone is enjoying the winter, and the recent snow falls.
Most of us know and understand the food chains. All creatures big and small need to eat. Some hibernate through the winter, some collect in the fall and store their food for the winter, some hunt year round and we humans typically just run to the grocery store to enjoy fresh produce from around the world any time of year.
Depending on the time of year, what is accessible for food changes. With the cold, the ground freezes, making burrowing difficult for small creatures. The leaves have fallen which also makes it difficult for some animals to find food.
At our farm we always try to care for our animals year round the best that we can. The laying hens get lots of veggie scraps year round, access to outside and room to roam. Every now and again raising animals can be difficult. Sometimes they can become ill, and sometimes we have to deal with the unexpected
I (Carey) am currently in British Columbia visiting my sister and Jeff is taking care of the responsibilities at the farm. Each morning he heads out to do the chores and check on things around the farm and with the laying hens. Between the snow and the wind sometimes fencing can be damaged. We currently to go out to the barn numerous times a day to ensure the hens have enough water as some days it can freeze quickly. We also head out regularly to collect eggs. On the cold days we collect eggs almost hourly to make sure they do not freeze. While being here, Jeff sent me an unsettling text message.
Jeff went out to the barn to find the hens had encountered an intruder and approximately half of the hens didn’t make it. Something had gotten into their safe home. We were not sure what it was at first. It was something that killed for sport, not just for food. The intruder may have seen a weak point in the fence since the last snow fall that could have made the attack easier. We think it was a fox.
Over night we lost approximately 105 hens. Jeff had to deal with the loss and the cleanup on his own. Jeff discovered that there was a hole in the fence, paw prints and feathers. With the hens having access to outside, the fox could have gotten into that area and then was able to walk right into the barn. We have had birds with this same setup for 5 years and never once had an issue with this.
We are disappointed of this attack on our hens and we always try to ensure they have the safety we can provide with the freedom as well.
Due to these circumstances our egg supply will be much less than anticipated and we will be supplying those with standing orders first. Those customers that receive eggs weekly from us will continue to get eggs set aside. After that, if there are extras they will get put out for veggie boxes. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but due to what has happened beyond our control our egg production is at an all time low. We are trying to get some more birds as soon as possible, but until we get through the adjustment period of the new to us birds we will not have extra eggs.
Farming is faced with many challenges, and ups and down. We take each challenge one day at a time and aim to do the best that we can in preventing issues before they come up.
Lets look at the sunnyside up