Our breeders are laying great. Our egg collection crew gathered 14,366 eggs on Thursday (3/18). Our egg production percentages are about 1 week ahead of last year – i.e. the percentage of lay on the 18th was about where we were at percentage wise on 3/25 of last year. You never know for sure why birds come into production faster or slower – our lighting program for this year is the same schedule we used in 2009. One factor that is different this year is that we had snow cover during the period we were light stimulating our birds (and we did not have snow cover a year ago). That snow cover resulted in higher lumens (light intensity) in the pens – and that factor may account for the earlier production.
The market for mature birds is going good too. I don’t even want to write about how it was a year ago – I’ll just say that this year is so much better. We are getting calls daily for adult pheasants – and any extra birds that may have been available in the market are all being purchased.
The fact that the adult pheasants are being sold is good for our chick business in two distinct ways. First of all, people are less likely to keep extra pheasants for breeders – when those birds can be sold at a profitable price point. Secondly, with producers seeing that they are able to sell all their production – we see that reflected in increased sales of day old chicks to producers who are increasing production in 2010.
So tying the above paragraphs together – we have more eggs and we are seeing more chick orders. Right now our “carry” (the number of eggs we do not set on set day – i.e. the number of eggs that we “carry” to be set next week) is very low – because even though we are collecting more eggs that our model called for, we have more orders for chicks that we expected.
So, for today, our production and our sales are matching up and when that happens it feels good.
Watch this Egg Washing video for more information.