Free-range eggs offer an opportunity for the next generation

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Tough crop prices, limited land expansion opportunities and a promising young generation encouraged Tim and Angie Brumme to seek out new options to diversify their Big Little Farms, LLC tucked in the beautiful rolling hills near Killbuck in Holmes County.“We farm 800 acres of row crops and hay. We have cattle and sheep and we rely on a lot of rental ground. We decided we wanted to do something on our own ground for more stability,” Tim said. “We have two daughters and are looking for the next generation. There are a lot of broilers around and some hogs and neither was a good fit for us. We were looking at options in February of 2015 when we saw an ad from Kalmbach looking for growers for cage-free, free-range eggs. The costs are not much higher per building, but they are higher per bird. We could see some opportunity with this, though, as McDonald’sThe pastures must meet very specific requirements for the laying facility.and Panera and one restaurant chain after another announced they were going cage-free. We toured some farms and decided to get started.”Tim and Angie, their daughters Kylee, 12, and Kassidy, 10, and Tim’s parents, Bruce and Lynn — with plenty of prayers — made the commitment to get into the free-range egg business on a contractual basis with Kalmbach Feeds. They put built two layer buildings on the farm.“I think this is a great opportunity for family farms to move forward and for us I think this is good for the next generation,” Angie said. “Our prayer was for God to shut the door on this if we weren’t supposed to do it, but things kept working out. I never thought I’d borrow this much money in my life. We got a 15-year loan and if we put every dime back in it the payoff is eight or nine years. Kalmbach arranges for the birds. They have been a great family to work with. Kalmbach is very family oriented. They have their own contract pullet growers. We have the birds for 14 months and then they go to an auction. We own the building and do the labor. They own the birds and supply the feed and market the eggs.”While they were in the process of handling the financing for the project, news about the avian influenza outbreak in Iowa rippled through the poultry production community and gave the Brummes a good scare, but they proceeded, undaunted. The construction process was also more time consuming than planned.“Kalmbach gave us a suggested list of approved builders and we picked from that. The barn is basically a horseshoe with two 52-foot by 536-foot laying barns connected by a 50-foot by 50-foot building with an office, cooler and packing area,” Tim said. “The bins for feed storage are on the inside.”To be free-range, there are very specific requirements for the pasture area.“We had to put an organic pasture mix in with clover, meadow fescue, festulolium and orchardgrass and we needed two square feet of pasture per bird,” Tim said. “For the pastures, the fence is like Ft. Knox. It is not so much to keep the chickens in but to keep the rodents out. The two-inch by four-inch wire fence is 48 inches high and we have steel buried four inches in the ground and at least 24 inches above ground. Then we need a foot-wide stone barrier on each side of the fence with no vegetation. There are also around 300 mousetraps around this facility. Mice carry E. coli and that can lead to E. coli and salmonella in the eggs. All of the access is away from the pasture area to keep traffic away from the birds. We let them out after morning laying and they come in about dark. They don’t go out in rain or extreme heat if the pastures are really muddy.”The chicken accouterments are even more elaborate inside the facility.“The nesting boxes are down the center the whole length of the barn with access from both sides. They are double-sided and each box is four feet wide and a couple feet deep. The bottom is sloped and there is a hole just big enough for the egg to get through. The sloped bottom has this plastic grass, so it is very plush. There is a roof over the box so they have a darker, private area to lay eggs and from there the eggs go down to a belt,” Tim said. “The nest boxes are in the middle then there are 16 feet on either side with raised slats with feed and water. The floor slopes down and the manure falls through. The outside 10 feet is a scratch area. We have more than the required 1.2 square feet per bird. There are perches on the top of the nesting boxes and on the edges of the raised slats. There are hanging perches so the chickens can even jump up and swing.”The finishing touches on the first barn on the farm were completed just before the chickens arrived.“Barn 1 was done Jan. 27 and we got the birds for that barn on Jan. 29,” Tim said. Barn 2 was done March 8 and we got those birds March 11.”While the building process itself was a huge change for the farm, the learning curve with the arrival of the birds was an even bigger change. The Brummes had to initially train the birds.“You are training the birds where the nest box is and where they need to eat and drink,” Angie said. “The birds seek out the shadow places and when you are walking they want to move to the shaded places in the nesting boxes. If you are walking through their space every half hour they learn to go into their nest boxes to lay. They also get used to you being in there and that helps with production. At night, we have to help train them where their food and water is — you have to go through and pick up every bird on the floor when the lights go out. The first couple of nights we were picking up several thousand birds. It was a lot of squats.”Between the two barns, there are 46,000 chickens with each barn producing more than 21,000 eggs a day. The morning is the most crucial time to be in the barn and turn the belt that runs below the nesting boxes.“We get the birds at 16 weeks. They start laying at 18 or 19 weeks. They peak out at 28 weeks or so andOn-farm biosecurity is an extremely important part of maintaining a healthy flock.then you are hoping that it holds on for as long as possible. You hope for 52 weeks. At 40 weeks in Barn 1 and 34 weeks in Barn 2 they were at 94% and 95% laying. Barn 1 is cage-free, organic and free-range. They have organic feed, pasture access and cage-free housing in Barn 1. Barn 2 is cage -free, free-range and conventional feed. We have to be able to certify the pasture organically and we were able to do that for Barn 1. We may do that for Barn 2 in the future. The organic feed costs more and we have extra paperwork and expense with the organic facility. We also have to have a water filtration system and we have to use organic approved treatment, so we have more expense for the organic but so far it seems more lucrative,” Tim said. “It takes 35 minutes to run the belt one full loop at full speed. We max out at 9,000 eggs on the belt. If you get more than that you start to break stuff. We walk the barns three times a day for three reasons: picking up floor eggs, which if you did a good job training those are not common; to check that the equipment functioning properly — feeders, waterers, lights and ventilation; and looking for sick or injured birds.”The eggs go from the belt to a conveyor to the packing machine that puts them in flats of 30 eggs. They are paid a set price per dozen eggs.“We stack the flats on pallets by hand. We look for any cracked eggs or feathers or anything. The whole process takes about four hours every morning and you have to be there. The afternoon is more flexible. We then run each barn once in the afternoon,” Tim said. “We get it all in the cooler and fill out the paperwork. There is a lot of cleaning every day for broken eggs and feathers. A lot of bleach gets used.”“And cleaning egg off the floor is not fun,” Angie added.The level of biosecurity required for the facilities was also a change on the farm.“For biosecurity you enter the first room to get out of the weather and there is a foot bath to bleach your shoes before the second room. In the second room you strip down to underwear and there is a shower if we need to shower in. The third room has barn clothes to change into and there you can enter the packing room,” Tim said. “The only access to the birds is through the packing room. Then to enter a specific barn you change into boots specific to each barn and you bleach your shoes. We wear hairnets, gloves and dust masks specific to each barn. If you have been around other poultry, hogs or house birds, you can’t go into the barn for 72 hours.”The only experience with chickens the Brummes had prior to this very significant addition to their farm was a small flock of backyard layers. They have really learned quite a bit in a very short time about chicken behaviors.“We have all of this space but chickens are funny and they are always huddled up,” Angie said. “Some birds never want to go outside. Some just stand by the door and eat bugs. Some go out in the morning, some go out in the afternoon. They each do their own thing how they want to do it. Some stand by the door with their backsides facing out in the breeze.”The biggest challenge to date has been the chickens’ extreme aversion to bright lights.“The biggest surprise is flashes of light and the affect it has on the birds. They go crazy when they see a flash of light,” Tim said. “I was seeding the pastures and there was a reflection off of the tractor into the barn. They piled up in one corner and we lost 105 birds in 10 minutes. Now we only take equipment in our pastures on a cloudy day or at dusk. Light will even flash off your watch and bother them.”Another challenge is the birds’ proclivity for establishing a pecking order that is to the detriment of smaller birds in the open, cage-free system.“You start with birds of a very uniform size. That helps a whole bunch. We use lighting intensity to help control things too. We keep the lights at 60% or so — fully intensified 100% LED lights intensifies the pecking. If you do see a bird getting picked on you need to remove it. If there is a smaller bird, that is when it will happen,” Tim said. “We are working on a rehab pen. We are separating off part of the water and food lines to let any smaller birds have access to feed and water without getting picked on. Then when they get bigger we can reintroduce them with the rest.”Manure management is another important consideration for the farm.“We plan to use most of the manure on the crop ground. The manure is pretty dry,” Tim said. “We had to get a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan for the manure. We have enough acreage to spread it ourselves and we have a waiting list of people who want to buy it if we need to sell it. We need 750 or so acres with our crop mix and we are right at 800 acres. We soil tested everything and are working with the Soil and Water Conservation District. The birds leave in 14 months and then we have two weeks to clean barns between flocks — 350 tons of manure to remove from the barn and bleach everything down. That will be a busy two weeks.”The new venture for the Brummes has been quite a bit of work, but ultimately has been a good fit for the farm, and its future.“The chickens are happy to see you. They interact with you,” Tim said. “It fits into our schedule time wise, but getting to church on Sundays is sometimes a challenge. It has rearranged everything. It is like having a newborn, but I like the way the birds are housed and the interaction with the birds. It all kind of fit for us. My daughters are 10 and 12 and I don’t necessarily want them in a hog barn, but this is something they can help with at their ages. They do the nightly walk every day. The girls like to find colorful chickens in the barn and find their favorites. We spend about four hours in the morning out here and then two hours in the afternoon. It is seven days a week and every day there are three generations of our family working here on the farm.”last_img read more

Short-handed Bolts rally to thwart Fuel Masters

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul “We had to deal with a lot of adversities in this game and we really needed to get a win, especially after coming off a loss,” added the multi-titled coach, who didn’t mind playing his remaining players extended minutes with an 18-day break coming their way.Garvo Lanete fired 14 points in the third period and finished with 27, effectively plugging the holes created by the absence of Baser Amer and Mike Tolomia as the Bolts completed a rally from as big as 15 points down to rise to 5-1.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingAmer, a prime candidate for the Most Improved Player of the year award who has stepped up to become the team’s best point guard, and Tolomia, whom Black described as his second best point guard, are both in Kuala Lumpur playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the Southeast Asian Games.Aside from his two guards, Black also missed his best defender in Cliff Hodge, which meant that the Bolts were “not strong defensively,” allowing Phoenix to nearly get away with a victory. LATEST STORIES Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Brown, though, missed the potential game-tying basket as time expired.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Game: Active PH Volcanoes ready to eruptcenter_img Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim The next Meralco game will be on Sept. 6 against sister team TNT KaTropa, and that game would mean a seat in the playoffs should the Bolts escape with a win.“Good thing is that all three of them will be back for our next game,” Black said as Allen Durham chipped in his share with 33 points 16 rebounds and seven assists. Chris Newsome and Reynel Hugnatan also finished in twin digits with a combined 33.Phoenix paraded a new import in Brandon Brown and almost hammered out a victory.But the Fuel Masters, who broke in Jeff Chan after acquiring the left-handed gunslinger from Rain or Shine just over a week ago, couldn’t hold on to a 77-62 lead late in the third quarter and went down for the fourth straight game after a 2-0 start.Brown, playing in lieu of the injured Eugene Phelps, finished with 38 points, while Chan wound up with 27 in his biggest offensive game of the season.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ PBA IMAGESShort on personnel but long in determination, Meralco rebounded from its first loss in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday night by pulling off what coach Norman Black feels is as the Bolts’ most satisfying win yet.“It was just an incredible effort from my guys tonight,” Black said after the Bolts—with three aces out of the roster—carved out a come-from-behind 107-104 win over Phoenix Petroleum to creep closer to a playoff berth at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Joshua Pacio: A champion’s job is to prepare for anything

first_imgView comments Suzuki, however, suffered an injury that forced him to withdraw from the fight and be replaced by his compatriot Yosuke Saruta.Pacio said he didn’t have any problems with taking on a different foe considering Suzuki pulled out from the bout early with still three weeks of preparation left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“It happened three weeks ago so I was able to change my mindset and shift my focus on Saruta,” Pacio told Filipino scribes Friday.Although it would’ve been ideal for Pacio to have his shot at redemption against Suzuki, who beat him by first-round submission in August 2017, the Team Lakay standout stressed it’s imperative for a champion to stake his title against any challenger. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Terrence Romeo rues injury in underwhelming San Miguel debut “For me as a champion, my job is to defend the title against anyone. We need to be prepared for anything that may come even if there’s last-minute changes or whatever.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening MOST READ JAKARTA, Indonesia—Joshua Pacio was initially slated to defend his strawweight title in a rematch with Hayato Suzuki of Japan.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LATEST STORIES SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionlast_img read more

‘Produce Local and Export Global’ – Metry Seaga

first_img Mr. Seaga said that manufacturing is showing positive signs with good growth numbers each quarter. Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA) President, Metry Seaga, has charged manufacturers and exporters to “produce local and export global”.He was speaking at the JMEA awards gala held on Saturday (October 6) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.Mr. Seaga said that manufacturing is showing positive signs with good growth numbers each quarter.“I personally am very bullish on our little island and what it can do on the international stage in the business of music, the arts, sports, manufacturing and exports… . There is a whole world out there, a big lucrative market. Let us resolve to continue to be a part of the solution to make Jamaica a superstar for all to look at and envy,” he noted.Mr. Seaga told the gathering that manufacturers and exporters are contributing positively to the development of Jamaica through job creation; training unskilled persons; supporting professionals such as nurses, police and teachers; cleaning up the environment and other corporate social activities.During the awards ceremony, the Seprod Group of Companies walked away with the major awards for the evening – the Governor General’s Award for Exporter of the Year 2017, the Governor General’s Award for Manufacturer of the Year, and the Prime Minister’s Award for Large Champion Exporter.Other winners were Bureau of Standards Jamaica, which received the Pauline Gray Award for Best Support Service; Red Stripe, the Energy Efficiency Award and the Corporate Social Responsibility Award; Crafton Holdings Limited, the Nicola Gordon Rowe Buy Jamaican Award; ARC Limited, the Quality and Standards Award; J Wray & Nephew Limited, the Robert Lightbourne Award for Productivity and Competitiveness; Your True Shade Cosmetics, the Ambassador Peter King Award for New Exporter of the Year; Crafton Holdings, the Ray Hadeed Award for Best Micro, Small and Medium-sized Manufacturing Enterprise; and Newport Fersan, the Charles Henderson Award for Breakthrough Product of the Year.Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams; and Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, were among the specially invited guests at the event.Mrs. Williams handed over the Prime Minister’s Award for Large Champion Exporter on behalf of the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness. Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA) President, Metry Seaga, has charged manufacturers and exporters to “produce local and export global”. Story Highlights He was speaking at the JMEA awards gala held on Saturday (October 6) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. last_img read more

Psy Supports Special Projects Of The United Nations Secretary General Trust Fund

first_imgOnce again, Psy proves to be a world-class gentleman.On May 10, the multi-platinum international powerhouse pop star made a contribution to the Special Projects of the United Nations Secretary General Trust Fund. The money will be used to advance the objectives of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki -moon’s efforts to eradicate extreme poverty, and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by the end of 2015. It will also be used to promote the UN’s “Every Woman Every Child” health initiative.While visiting the U.N. headquarters in October 2012, PSY first met U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki -moon. Both hailing from Korea, they bonded over a shared global consciousness, and the performer even taught the politician his signature “Gangnam Style” dance. The Secretary General’s efforts inspired the superstar, who wanted to support the initiatives as much as he could. Now, he’s contributed a sum to this particular Trust aiding Ki-moon’s efforts.It’s a historical move on PSY’s part, devoting his good graces to a crucial cause.last_img read more

RBIs Reference Rate for Dollar Today

first_imgThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 49.3313 rupees and the euro 64.8391 rupees.The corresponding rates of dollar and euro for the previous day (February 13, 2012) were 49.3180 rupees and 65.3520 rupees respectively.Based on the reference rate for the US dollar and middle rates of the cross-currency quotes, the exchange rates of British pound as against the rupee is 77.4107 as against 77.8435 on the previous day (February 13, 2012) and that of Japanese yen is 63.25 as against 63.56 the previous day.last_img read more

Bid adieu to your winter blues

first_imgWinter ushers in all things warm, cozy and festive but the season also demands extra skin care. Experts share precise solutions to ride out the ill-effects of the impending winter. * Keep yourself hydrated: The cold doesn’t only dry out your skin, it attacks from within. Drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated and healthy as it wards off all the toxins out of the system.* Exfoliate your skin regularly: Use a scrub made of curd and sugar to gently exfoliate your body and remove the layer of dead cells formed on it. Curd is known as a wonderful exfoliator for the skin due to the presence of lactic acid Sugar, on the other hand, is a natural source of glycolic acid that penetrates the skin and breaks down the ‘glue’ that bonds skin cells. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf* Moisturise over damp skin: The key to glowing skin is moisturising from head to toe. Extra care and conditioning can help your skin brave the chill.* Use a good sunscreen: During winters, one common mistake that everyone makes is missing out on a sunscreen. The winters do not stop the UVA and UVB rays of the sun from harming your skin.* Ideal method for hair removal: Waxing and use of creams are a complete no-no. On the contrary, shaving when done right is favoured and faster. Waxing is said to strip off essential oils and natural lipids that are crucial for keeping your skin smooth. It makes skin more susceptible to dryness and peeling.last_img read more