Farmer Focus: Egg business escalates more quickly than expected

With the Holidays near and the cold upon us my egg business has gone from steady to very busy.

Just a month ago, things were moving as normal: same orders each week, moderate growth, then without notice, my orders tripled, and sales distributors are calling daily looking for more supply.

Is this a good problem or a bad problem?

See also: Read more from the livestock farmer focus writers

This could be a bad problem as for someone who is in the processing business it is my responsibility to generate sales and make sure stores and customers are happy.

This only happens if my product is on the shelf. While the sales are great, I could have been better prepared.

I am currently on a group of fairly young pullets who are just peaking into their lay cycle.

Every day there is an increased stress level as I evaluate daily production and make note of the performance of my young flock.

With this being my first holiday season in the egg processing season I am getting an overwhelming hard lesson to have above-expected production prior to the cold setting in.

On the dairy we have also been busy. A few weeks back, my husband and I went to a conference to learn about some technology products from a company called Dairy Herd Improvement, DHI.

We already use their barn records software and have for more than 30 years.

While at the conference I made the decision I would switch my ear tags to ones with radio frequency identification.

I am not necessarily going to make any further change than that at this time, but want to begin getting an RFID into each animal as I know it will play a key role in the future.

My husband, however, has jumped into their feed programs. We will be installing the scales program next week.

The program will weigh all feeds, purchases and harvest crops, and we can enter them into the system as a feed inventory.

This then links with the second part of the program, EX Feed, that accounts for all feeds as they are measured out into the feed truck.