Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sold out of eggs this week, till friday

alas, sometimes things dont go according to plan on a farm. This week is one of those weeks. I have spent the better part of the morning answering emails and phone calls asking "where are the eggs??  I cant find them in the store to order this week".

Unfortunately, they do not appear in the store because we are currently totally sold out. There "should" be a few dozen available on friday to order for saturday delivery. I will send out an email announcement when we post the new stock in the store on friday.

what happened? Two things:
1. increased demand - we have had a influx of new customers the last month, increasing demand for all products faster than we were prepared to increase supply.

2. decreased supply of eggs - yep.. something went wrong. Egg production fell to about half over last weekend and is just recovering now.

What happened is disturbingly simple and frustrating. Last week sometime the chickens in the main coop knocked loose the electrical wire going to their automatic chicken door. As you recall, we have automatic light and doors on the main coop. The lights turn on early morning before sunrise to extend the daylight hours, increasing hormones, and producing eggs through the winter. Then the door opens at sunrise to le the birds forage and roam for the day.

Well, the knocked loose the wire on the door, not out, so it wasnt noticed by any humans. The door was then stuck open. So... the chickens wake up with the lights before dawn, see the door open, head outside. Then it's "oh my its dark.. time to sleep" and they stop dead in their tracks awaiting the sun. By sunrise they have missed the extra artificial daylight and .. well.. stop laying.  Unfortunately the most active birds that are most likely to do this are also the best layers.  production drops.

We found the problem and fixed it, but it takes a week or so of proper lighting to get back into production.

Watch for the email on friday to announce eggs available in the store.

One thing this highlights is the difference between weekly orders and subscriptions. Since we always fill subscriptions first, those customers that have subscriptions are getting eggs as normal. The extra orders are what is in jeapordy.  So, if you wish to ensure eggs, try adding an egg subscription instead of weekly orders.  Of course we limit subscriptions to the quantity that we can comfortable guarantee (short of extreme catastrophes).

By next weeek I hope the crisis will be over and back to normal. Plus, out next flock has just started laying,  which will help much.

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