Starting your own egg farm business can be a lucrative and enjoyable venture particularly if you have a love for raising animals. You can make the experience even more worthwhile by taking steps to keep your egg farm environmentally friendly. This will come down to raising your chickens with care and with concern for their environment. Even if you’re inexperienced in agriculture, you can get started with a few eco-friendly tips.
Start With Environmentally Friendly Bedding
To ensure you get the highest quality eggs, your eco-friendly egg farm should include free-range chickens. Even though you won’t be keeping your chickens in cages, you will still need to provide them with comfortable bedding. This will be where they lay their eggs as well as being a place for them to sleep comfortably. The two best options for bedding for your chickens are organic straw from a nearby farm or leftover sawdust from an area lumber mill.
Either option is great for your environment and will help you keep the soil on your land rich in nutrients. Another free option is to rake up leaves from yards in your neighborhoods and use the leaves for bedding. Try a couple of options to see which type of bedding your chickens prefer.
Create a Sustainable Source of Feed
How you get feed for your chickens is also a significant concern in terms of keeping your egg farm business more eco-friendly. Buying chicken feed is harmful to the environment in terms of the plastic packaging used to sell the feed and the fuel spent on transporting the feed.
You can address both of these issues easily if you grow food on your own land that can be used as chicken feed. By growing a small garden, you can eliminate the need for a tractor, further reducing your use of fuel. Some foods that can be grown easily and used as feed include sunflower seeds, alfalfa, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini.
Look For Recyclable Supplies
You will still need to come up with your own packaging for transporting eggs from your farm to the markets or stores where they will be sold. You can look for a supply company that provides egg cartons and flats for sale to find options that will suit your needs. You might consider cartons made from recycled materials to ensure single-use containers are still a better choice for the environment.
Alternatively, plastic trays will help protect eggs during transport and can be used repeatedly over a long period of time. You may choose to incorporate both types of containers to help you transport your eggs and serve your customers more efficiently.
Use Composting For Eco-Friendly Fertilizer
Everything on your egg farm can be reused or recycled to help create a more sustainable farm. This includes the waste produced by your chickens and the old bedding that needs to be replaced. By adding a composting unit to your egg farm, the waste your farm produces can be made into a nutrient-rich fertilizer. This will save you from having to buy your own fertilizer or soil additives for the garden that produces feed for your chickens. In this way, you can create a cycle that will keep your egg farm running without the need for additional resources.
Think Green When Making Toys and Treats
Much like any animal or human, chickens like to play and they enjoy getting delicious treats. You can keep your chickens happy with a few toys and treats made from things in your own kitchen. For example, string some thread through a head of lettuce or cabbage so it can be hung in the pen.
The chickens will enjoy pecking at it for a snack or just to watch the head move. You can similarly hang a milk jug filled with birdseed in the pen. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the jug to allow the chickens to peck at it and get seeds to eat. Frozen veggies make great treats in the summer. Be sure to save pumpkin and squash seeds since chickens also love to snack on those types of seeds.
As you get started, you may only want to add a small flock of chickens until you have some experience in caring for them. As your egg crop grows and you start earning a profit, you can expand your egg farm. In doing so, simply use the same eco-friendly practices in creating more space for your new chickens.