Egg Industry - January 2020 - 16

16 ❙ EggIndustry
EGG COMPANY PRODUCES ON SMALL FARMS

The nine-acre solar field was built in 2016 to supply electricity for the company's egg grading facility,
distribution facility, coolers and offices. Deven King
Mennonites and Amish, do not utilize all modern
conveniences. Some groups accept the use of electricity
in farm buildings, but not in homes. Others don't use
electricity at all. More recent innovations, like cellphones, have not been adopted.
"Timely communication can be a challenge because
they don't have cellphones and no phones in their houses,
but many do have voicemail that they can check from
community phones. If we really need to talk to someone
in a hurry, we often have to drive out to their farm and
find them," Miller said.
Modern ventilation and pullet growing are among
some of the more difficult challenges for Amish producers
who don't use electricity.
"We have several Mennonite farms that are free range
or cage free. They just haven't gotten into the organics as
much, but they can have electricity and modern ventilation," Miller said.
The barns that these producers are working with are
50 feet wide by any length that is needed for the number
of birds. Floor barns include a scratch area, a slated area
with feed and water lines, and nests down the center.
"We give the birds 1.2 to 1.5 square feet per bird

indoor space, minimum of 2 square feet per bird outside,
up to 108 for pasture-raised," Miller said.
Although they are not required to, many of the operations use Georgia Poultry Equipment feeders.

Production successes and challenges
Miller noted that they have growers that continuously
meet or exceed the management guide numbers. He
said some members of the industry have fears that birds
will not produce as well and may be more susceptible to
diseases when they're allowed outdoor access.
"I have not seen a difference in production between an
organic flock where the birds go outside, compared to a cagefree flock where the birds do not go outside," Miller said.
He believes production success has more to do with the
management of the birds and pullet growing than it does
with the birds going outside.
There isn't much difference between health challenges
experienced by free-range and organic hens. The living
conditions are identical; the only difference is the feed.
Pasture-raised birds have more space but, again, health
challenges are minimal. Management is critical in maintaining the health of birds with outdoor access.
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Egg Industry - January 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Egg Industry - January 2020

Egg Industry - January 2020
In ovo sex sorting system contest enters next phase
New methods for sanitizing and pasteurizing shell eggs
Iowa organic egg company produces on small farms
Egg associations key for sector's sustainable growth
Egg Industry - January 2020 - CT1
Egg Industry - January 2020 - CT2
Egg Industry - January 2020 - Egg Industry - January 2020
Egg Industry - January 2020 - Cover2
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 3
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 4
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 5
Egg Industry - January 2020 - In ovo sex sorting system contest enters next phase
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 7
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 8
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 9
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 10
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 11
Egg Industry - January 2020 - New methods for sanitizing and pasteurizing shell eggs
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 13
Egg Industry - January 2020 - Iowa organic egg company produces on small farms
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 15
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 16
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 17
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 18
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 19
Egg Industry - January 2020 - Egg associations key for sector's sustainable growth
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 21
Egg Industry - January 2020 - 22
Egg Industry - January 2020 - Cover3
Egg Industry - January 2020 - Cover4
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