Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fresh Local Eggs From Farmers in Your Community



Local HensWHAT IS THE LOCAL HENS BRAND?
Local Hens is a free marketing tool to connect local egg producers to consumers. The Local Hens website offers egg producers the opportunity to create a free farm profile that is searchable to consumers nationwide by typing in a zip code. This allows egg consumers looking for locally grown eggs to find farms in their area.


LOCAL HENS FOR THE PRODUCER
Local Hens
Local Hens Cartons
Many customers are becoming more knowledgeable and dedicated to providing fresh, locally sourced food for their families, but it can still be difficult for producers and consumers to connect. Without large scale production and marketing teams, small farms often rely on generic packaging and roadside signs or word of mouth to reach their consumers.  Local Hens offers small scale producers professional grade packaging, signs and website profiles to farmers.  The Local Hens line of premium egg cartons, promotional materials and the Local Hen Farm Directory are the perfect marketing solution for any small farmer.

Start with a Local Hens Farm Directory page. Create your free profile and start promoting your business online. Your profile will include maps and directions to your farm or market, pictures, a description of your farm and any sales or goods you offer, and any other links to social media or other sites you own.  Local Hens also features one farm a week on their Featured Farmer page which is promoted through Local Hens and the Egg Carton Store social media pages. This free resource is available to you to help you gain customers and exposure in the community!

Local Hens
Sample Yard Sign
Use the Local Hens promotional materials to your advantage. The Local Hens brand provides premium egg cartons, farm stand advertising, and in-store merchandising options available for purchase to build your brand. There are many customizable options available to you also; create a stamp with your farm name and information or perhaps an egg stamp or sticker label will add value and a personalized touch to your cartons. This brand will let consumers know who you are and where to find you.

LOCAL HENS FOR THE CONSUMER
Local Hens
Click Here to Find a Farm Near You 
You might find Local Hens eggs in a supermarket or organic food store, a farmers market or roadside stand – maybe a neighbor just hands you a carton. The Local Hens brand helps small local egg producers bring their goods to market. With the Local Hens Farm Directory, consumers are directly linked to egg producers nearby.  By searching by farm name, city/state or zip code, you are able to locate local farms in your area. Look through the options and see if any of those farms fit your needs. Contact any farm directly to see about any products you are interested in.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Low Egg Production



Why Hens Stop Laying and How to Get Them Started Again.
by guest blogger Natalie Swanson 

It is not uncommon for a hens egg production slow and even stop, leaving flock owners with little to no eggs. The solution to this problem you ask? Lucky for you, I have the answer.

Here are the three most common reasons why hens slow or stop laying eggs.

 

#1. Shorter days and less daylight hours
 At the end of summer and fall, the shorter days and less daylight hours can greatly affect a hens laying production. The decrease in daylight hours can slow and even stop egg production. The most accepted method used by commercial and local small farmers alike, is to use artificial light year round to give the hens a long day no matter the season.


 
#2. Poor Nutrition
 Just like people need a well-balanced diet for our bodies to work well, hens need a well-balanced diet to maintain positive egg production! Maintaining a hens nutritional requirements can be met by providing enough calcium and salt in their diet. Ground limestone or oyster shells in addition to a supplemental amount of dietary salt can help boost egg production. Providing hens with feed that have these elements can help prevent decreased egg production. Poultry water protectors such as Carefree Enzymes Water Protector are a great way to make sure your birds are receiving clean water. Water protectors provide added digestive enzymes so hens are able to better absorb food. Water protectors also stop cross-bacterialization preventing one bird from contaminating the water, infecting other birds. Being sure that hens are not exposed to fleas, mites and lice can also help to decrease stress and increase production. Using products such as Poultry Protector from Carefree Enzymes can help to keep these pests under control.

#3. Broodiness
Broodiness is when a hen attempts to incubate and hatch her eggs. When hens are attempting to hatch their eggs, they will stop production. This is most commonly caused by stimulation from the long daylight hours in the spring and summer, as well as when the hen is allowed to accumulate eggs. The best way to prevent to broodiness is by gathering eggs every day and being sure they do not accumulate in the nests. This is also a good practice to ensure the quality of the eggs for human consumption. 

Although age is most always first to be blamed for slowing or ceasing in egg production, before you decide your hen is to old, try using some of the methods laid out above! Happy laying!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Green and Blue and Brown, Oh My!



by Guest Blogger Rachel Howard

Chicken eggs come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Have you wondered why chicken eggs come in such a wide variety of colors? We all know that for the most part you can determine if a hen will lay white or brown eggs by the color of their earlobes. There are some exceptions to this rule but for the most part chickens with red or brown earlobes will lay brown eggs, while chickens with white earlobes will lay white eggs. A fact that is kind of amusing, because who figured out chickens have earlobes in the first place? But that's a blog for another day! So why do some egg colors vary so much as to become green or blue? Is there something wrong with your chicken, or is it just pure science?

Egg color is a lot like skin color in humans. The amount of pigment in the egg, determines the color the egg will be. All eggs start out white while inside the chicken; they then change when they are traveling through a hen’s oviduct. If the egg is not laid white, it means that during the formation process the egg received different types of pigments that permeated the shell. It’s interesting that the different types of pigment are applied at different times of the laying process. With brown eggs the pigment is late in the egg formation and the inside of the shell is white, but with blue eggs the pigment is applied early in the egg formation and the inside as well as outside of the shell is blue. 

White eggs have no pigment added to them from the time they begin the cycle, to when they are shipped off in The Egg Carton Store’s amazing egg cartons. A brown egg has the pigment protoporphyrin added during the formation of the egg. However, what about green eggs? Green eggs are laid by hens that possess both blue and brown egg genes, so green egg layers add two pigments before singing their egg-laying song!  It starts out with the brown egg pigment and then the blue egg pigment, oocyanin, gets added to the egg, resulting in an olive green color outer shell which is blue on the inside.

Now all this talk about egg color probably has your heart racing, but don’t worry! The eggs nutritional value and taste does not change depending on the egg color. So if you have a green egg, cook up some green ham to go along with it and enjoy your breakfast!

So what are the best egg layers for colorful eggs, and how can you show off your natural Easter Eggs? These top five chickens will give you a colorful basket in no time.
Easter Eggers (shown at right) These chickens are known for laying a variety of different egg colors. They lay a range from blue, green, and rose to a brown, olive, or cream.
Olive Eggers These birds lay exactly what their name says, a beautiful olive egg color that are perfect to display.
Araucanas A blue egg layer that will be sure to delight your customers.
Ameraucanas A more common version of the Araucanas that lay blue eggs that will be sure to start a conversation.
Penedesenca A bird that came from Spain, laying beautiful reddish-brown eggs that will wow the crowd.
   
 
Be sure to show of your colorful bunch with The Egg Carton Store’s new Clear Plastic Cartons!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Small Business Success (Part 3)

By Guest Blogger Blake Swanson

The last leg of our small business blog series takes us to the final question from my introduction blog. Under the 3 main questions small business owners ask themselves, one of the most important is “How can I be unique?” Uniqueness is very important in the small business market because small businesses exist to fill niches and find success in areas where other businesses don’t. Often times when I go to the store and see a new product on the shelves I get frustrated and think “Why didn’t I think of that?” Sometimes the best new ideas are the simplest as well.


Fortunately, as a small farm owner this last part is much easier because small farm owners often take pride and passion and put it into their work. This means that often times people innovate and come up with new ideas to improve efficiency and make their product better because that’s what they enjoy to do. As times and technology continue to change, make sure you take advantage and share it.

Just this last week I picked up a new printer for our office at The Egg Carton Store. I was intrigued by how my printer can wirelessly tell the manufacturer when it’s low on ink and it can mail a new cartridge right to the door! Technology can do some very cool things in any market so be sure to take advantage of it. Unfortunately on the farm it little bit different of a story because from the last I’ve heard you can’t yet mail eggs to customers… Although that does sound pretty neat.

Beyond making a unique and creative farm name and slogan, a unique product is where the magic happens. Fortunately there are things such as custom cartons, custom farm stamps, and custom eggstamps that all fill the same purpose of making a farm and their eggs unique. Custom cartons can harness countless ideas to display your eggs in a cool new way varying from bright farm colors to your unique farm name and slogan. The much cheaper alternative lies in egg stamps as well as custom farm name stamps can help advertise and get customers thinking about your farm and your eggs. Basically anything you can do to project your own unique farm in the best way possible.

Although I've tried to avoid sounding repetitive through this series, it is necessary that I echo that in this modern era of the internet and social media - make a social media page! There are so many easy ways to do it and share your farm experiences such as through here on blogger, on instagram, or facebook. The coolest part is you can follow, share, and connect with other farm groups and most importantly the farm fresh enthusiasts. 


Us over at The Egg Carton Store welcome conversations on our facebook page where we like to hear what the community has to say. There are just way too many potential customers who would love to fall in love with your farm and become loyal customers to your company, so don’t pass it up. I know I wrote about it under marketing but it makes a business unique as well to see your happy chickens going about their day. It also allows more distant customers to get a glimpse into the works of your farm business



With a little bit of brainstorming, you can bring out the whole lot of hard work you put into your farm and personal small business. It’s been fun writing what I know about the works of business in the small business marketplace as well as on my experience working with farms here at The Egg Cartons Store. Stay tuned for more future blogs!