Like many first time flock owners, our primary motivation for starting a flock of our own was the desire for fresh, delicious eggs from a trusted source – ourselves. It didn’t take long to realize that there were many other benefits to keeping a flock of chickens, benefits that are essential to the well being of our backyard ecosystem.
In an article written for McMurray hatchery, author and chicken expert Patricia Foreman lists why chickens are considered by many as an “essential part of urban agriculture that helps folks achieve some degree of self-sufficiency”.
Foreman encourages flock owners to think ‘outside the coop’ and argues for the many benefits of pasture raised birds. She goes on to list and explain more than half-a-dozen different, but inter-related “chicken skill sets’, things like pest and weed control, bio-mass waste management and fertilizer creation and distribution.
This closed loop system of inputs and outputs is so efficient and beneficial, with little to no waste whatsoever, that Mother Nature herself must have designed it.
One standard chicken eats about 8 pounds of food “waste” a month. A few hundred households keeping micro-flocks of laying hens can divert tons of yard and food biomass “waste” from trash collection saving municipalities millions … ~ City Chicks
So above and beyond the amazing fact that chicken eggs are a healthy source of protein (which they can produce over and over again), there are many other less celebrated benefits that those birds bring to the table (ahem). All of which makes it clear that the true value of your flock can’t simply be calculated by the price of the eggs they produce.
And even with the long list of practical skills enumerated, there are other simpler reasons to keep those birds near and dear, it’s because we like them. They are often beautiful creatures, and entertaining to watch as well as listen to. When all is said and done, they simply make great pets.
For more information about living sustainably – with or without chickens – take a look at some of these resources:
The American Pastured Poultry Producers’ Association (APPPA)
City Chicks:Keeping Micro-flocks of Chickens as Garden Helpers
Welcome to February! Before you know it spring will be here and your flock will return to full egg-laying production. With that in mind, the team at Eggzy wanted to share some ideas for flock owners who want to grow their subscriber base. Some of the ideas listed here are suggestions made by other Eggzy users, while others are ideas based on usage patterns from site traffic and trends.
For our part, we will continue to seek promotional opportunities with national outlets, online and offline, in print and other forms of media. National coverage helps to drive interests across all Eggzy markets and it also brings new users looking for local eggs.
Now, for our top 10 suggestions to help flock owners who want to build an audience for their Eggzy egg stands:
Do a zip code search for your flock in the egg stands section of Eggzy. How does it look on the results page, does it stand out from other flocks? Do you have an avatar or just the generic gray outline?
Keep your egg stand current; post eggs regularly to indicate availability.
Write customer-friendly information about your flock in the flock description field. Let visitors know how your flock is kept, such as what they are fed (organic hails a premium price) and how they are housed, pastured raised or not.
Remember Eggzy’s tag line is ‘Know Your Food” – honesty and transparency helps to make connections and build trust with your subscribers.
Presentation is key, include photos of your flock and your eggs on your egg stand; people want to see the birds that make the eggs and the actual eggs themselves, so show your product! (See Dew Drop Farm and Poultry egg stand)
Link to your egg stand from your other online forums. Use Eggzy badges on your Facebook page, blogs and other websites to send people directly to your egg stand.
Use your egg stand QR code on egg labels or printed materials so that folks can easily scan and save flock info while on the go.
Whether you share, sell or barter, let people know when you have extra eggs . Send emails to subscribers or do what you can do to get the word out when eggs are available.
Promote your flock information locally; Eggzy is a national network of local flock owners. Use services such as Craigslist to promote your flock in your city/town/market. Individual flock owners can post egg stand information for free.
WHAT ELSE? As always, we want to hear from you, so please email us or post a comment with other good ideas we might have missed.
No, not those kinds of chicks, we’re talking about the cute feathery kind …
If you have a Flickr account, add your photos to our Eggzy group pool to see your flock on Eggzy’s homepage. All photos in the Eggzy photo group take turn showing up on the Eggzy.net homepage, which means everyone coming to the site can see your amazingly beautiful and awesome flock. Really.
And while you’re at it, how about adding those same flock photos to your egg stand? Doing this is relatively easy and painless to do and adding photos of your birds to your egg stand helps others identify with your flock – here’s a link to our help page that tells you how.