I’m sharing this post here as it’s probably most likely to connect with more of my readers here than the audiences on any of my other websites. This is much more of a personal post, but if you raise chickens as part of your own homeschooling education and homesteading journey, hopefully you’ll be interested and enjoy.
My wife and I are new to taking care of owning and taking care of chickens. Yup! I’m a chicken tender! We kind of inherited our flock of 15 hens and one rooster from friends who were moving and in-between houses and didn’t have a place for their chickens and coop anymore. We were getting ready to purchase our next home (a multi-generational home we were getting to combine households with my aging parents, but that’s a post for a different time) that had some land so I setup a chicken run and adopted our 16 chickens into the family for the sole purpose of egg production. Maybe at some point I’ll learn how to appropriately kill and process them for the kitchen table as we do eat a lot of chicken.
Well, our chickens were giving us about an average of 10-12 eggs a day or so. They’re already 2-3 years old, so I think that’s probably about normal. Well, as the weather started cooling down we noticed a pretty significant drop in production. Nothing had really changed on our end except for the weather and from my initial research and talking to my other chicken tender friends, this was “normal”. As I just read and will now use, some people even call it “henopause”. This has gone on now for months with production dropping further to what we’re getting now is about 1 egg out of 15 hens every other day.
As I said, my wife has been looking into issues and has discovered some theories about the food we use possibly contributing to the issue and thus, take a look at this series of videos on the subject from keeley.coladas on TikTok that I mentioned earlier. Bit of a warning, there is some language. If you get offended, learn not to let yourself be offended (offense is taken, not given) so much, or just don’t watch them. I’ll try to provide a general summary at the end.
Chicken Feed Rabbit Hole Part 1
Chicken Feed Rabbit Hole Part 2
Chicken Feed Rabbit Hole Part 3
Chicken Feed Rabbit Hole Part 4
As you can tell, this lady has done some pretty good research! As a conservative radio host I admired and greatly miss, Phil Valentine, used to say frequently, she seems to be a professional dot connector! In summary:
- Many BYC’ers noticed their chickens enter “henopause” in early fall and still haven’t recovered
- Many use chicken feed from Tractor Supply Company for DuMOR or Producer’s Pride
- Dumor & Producer’s Pride is produced by Purina (which is owned by Nestle)
- Purina is owned by Land O’ Lakes
- Land O’ Lakes sells eggs under their own brand
- Land O’ Lakes also owns Moark LLC, one of the largest egg producers in America under parent organization Southern California Egg Cooperative, Inc.
- Most eggs appear to be packaged by Cal-Maine Foods (Land O’ Lakes, Eggland’s Best, etc.)
- Land O’ Lakes and Cal-Maine Foods in joint partnership
- Cal-Maine Foods 2022 financial report announces several new capital projects estimated cost of $105M cage-free egg production
- 210,000 pullet house done in May 2022
- 400,000 layer house done in September 2022
- 2nd house of layers to be done January 2023
Now, I’m generally not a conspiracy theorist. But I do support and encourage capitalism (over other economic systems). Companies are in the business of making money. If more people start raising their own chickens and not needing to buy eggs, that’s going to impact some bottom lines. Specifically, more people interested in healthier “cage-free” eggs, thus the announcement and push to increase that production area. I also support the idea of a constitutional republic as a government structure. NOT a pure democracy! I would say our current political leaders support the idea of freedom, as long as they’re in control of it. So, I don’t believe they truly support the idea of citizens being able to support themselves with as minimal government involvement and oversight as possible. Thus, I don’t believe the government is interested in most of its citizens growing their own food, collecting their own water, or raising animals for their meat or byproducts.
You know the last question I have here? I wonder what feed that new 400,000 layer house is using to feed all those chickens? You think it’s the same bag of stuff we’ve been getting off the racks at Tractor Supply Company?