Robert Plamondon's Poultry Newsletter, August, 2011
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And if you know anyone else who will enjoy this newsletter, please forward a copy to them!
News From the Farm
We're powering through August with more eggs than we know what to do with, which doesn't usually happen! Our secret this year has been to brood pullet chicks every two months or so, so there are always hens just starting to lay. August is normally a month where productivity sags noticeably as some of the old hens start to molt, and the increasing scarcity of fresh eggs can is usually impacting farmers' market customers by now, with production declining until the end of the year and then slowly picking up again. I'm not sure how the other egg vendors are doing, but we're doing great!
Fresh, Fresher, Freshest
We were surprised to learn that we seem to be the only local egg producer using a 30-day "sell-by" date. If we pack eggs on August 18, the sell-by date is September 17. Everyone else uses a 45-day sell-by date. October 2? That seems like a long time! The older the eggs, the thinner the whites and the weaker the yolks.
Our chicken is the freshest available, too. Karen butchers the day before the Farmer's Market, so you won't get anything fresher than that! If we don't sell out at the market, it goes straight into the freezer. People are paying premium prices for our stuff, and having the coldest, freshest chicken and eggs at the market is the least we can do.
It's been a month since my son Karl (17) came home from the hospital, and he's doing very well, settling into the routine more easily and cheerfully than we had any right to expect, and his blood sugar levels are nicely under control. Thanks to all of you who sent your best wishes!
September 1 is the traditional time to start using lights to encourage hens to lay, and it's mid-August already, and I haven't given the issue a moment's thought! To get a head start on the issues, read the Lighting for Hens article I wrote in this newsletter way back in 2003, and I'll give you an update next month.
Save Money on Chicken Feed
Are you as tired as everyone else of paying record high prices for feed? What can you do about it? Whatever you do, don't under-feed your chickens! They'll stop growing and laying, and, anyway, it's not nice!
Here are some ways to get results:
Buy My Books for Less!
Get Deep Discounts Online
Want to get my books for less? Online bookstores have started offering three of my titles at deep discounts, with prices lower than I've ever seen! The best deals at the moment are from Buy.com:
These prices mean that if you buy Feeding Poultry, you save more than the price of either of the other two books!
Other online bookstores are discounting the same titles, including Barnes & Noble.
Read "Back-to-the-Land Adventures" for Less
I've dropped the retail price of my three "back-to-the-land adventure" books to $9.95 for your affordable reading pleasure: Ten Acres Enough by Edmund Morris, Gold in the Grass by Margaret Leatherbarrow, and We Wanted a Farm by M. G Kains (author of Five Acres and Independence). Karen and I really enjoyed these books when we were getting started in our "back to the land" effort, and we're sure you'll enjoy them, too!
Norton Creek Press Best-Seller List
These are my top-selling books from July:
All of these are fine books (I publish books I believe in). If you're like most readers of this newsletter, you want to buy Fresh-Air Poultry Houses and Success With Baby Chicks first. These cover the basics of healthy, odor-free, high-quality chicken housing and zero-mortality chick brooding, respectively, and get rave reviews from customers, who often buy extra copies for friends!
I started Norton Creek Press in 2003 to bring the "lost secrets of the poultry masters" into print -- techniques from the Golden Age of poultrykeeping, which ran from roughly 1900 to 1950. I've been adding an eclectic mix of non-poultry books as well. These include everything from my science fiction novel, One Survivor, to the true story of a Victorian gentlewoman's trip up the Nile in the 1870s, A Thousand Miles up the Nile. See my complete list of titles at the bottom of this newsletter.
August To-Do List
August is a pretty easy month, so far as chickens are concerned. This is just as well, because it's harvest season. Cornish-Cross broilers need to be babied through the heat, otherwise it's about the same as always. If your chickens are on grass range, you may see a decline in product quality as the grass browns off. Chickens can't digest grass that isn't bright green and won't bother eating much of it.
The days are starting to get noticeably shorter. September 1 is the traditional time to turn on the henhouse lights, so this month is a good time to see if the lighting system is still operational. (I don't use lights anymore myself.)
September and October are good times to brood baby chicks, so call up your favorite hatcheries and see what's available. Usually only commercial breeds are available in the fall, and sometimes even these sell out. So get your order in early!
More to-do items:
List inspired by a similar one in Jull's Successful Poultry Management, McGraw-Hill, 1943.
Read My Blog
Recent Blog Posts
A lot of material that doesn't end up in this newsletter is published in my blog, which I update from time to time. You can read my blog at http://www.plamondon.com/blog, or subscribe to it via RSS in the usual way.
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Adventures in Social Media
And if that's not enough, you can use social media to stay in touch:
This newsletter is sent out occasionally by Robert Plamondon
to anyone who asks for it. Robert runs Norton Creek Press.
Poultry Houses by Prince T. Woods, M.D.
With Baby Chicks by Robert Plamondon
Dollar Hen by Milo M. Hastings
Poultry by Gustave F. Heuser
of the Fowl by Frederick B. Hutt
Acres Enough by Edmund Morris
in the Grass by Margaret Leatherbarrow
Wanted a Farm by M. G Kains
Dungeons Deep: A Fantasy Gamers' Handbook by Robert Plamondon
Survivor by Robert Plamondon.
Tom Slade Series by Percy Keese Fitzhugh. (Two volumes in
print; more on the way.)
Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards.
Norton Creek Press Who do you know who would enjoy this newsletter and benefit from its information? Neighbors? Fellow poultrykeepers? Friends?
Family? Don't leave them in the dark,
email them a copy so they can subscribe, too!
Copyright by Robert Plamondon.
Permission is granted for copying if it's attributed to me, and if
it includes a link back to the original page on www.plamondon.com.
Fresh-Air Poultry Houses by Prince T. Woods, M.D.
Success With Baby Chicks by Robert Plamondon
The Dollar Hen by Milo M. Hastings
Feeding Poultry by Gustave F. Heuser
Genetics of the Fowl by Frederick B. Hutt
Ten Acres Enough by Edmund Morris
Gold in the Grass by Margaret Leatherbarrow
We Wanted a Farm by M. G Kains
Through Dungeons Deep: A Fantasy Gamers' Handbook by Robert Plamondon
One Survivor by Robert Plamondon.
The Tom Slade Series by Percy Keese Fitzhugh. (Two volumes in print; more on the way.)
A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards.
Norton Creek Press
Who do you know who would enjoy this newsletter and benefit from its information? Neighbors? Fellow poultrykeepers? Friends? Family? Don't leave them in the dark, email them a copy so they can subscribe, too!
Copyright by Robert Plamondon. Permission is granted for copying if it's attributed to me, and if it includes a link back to the original page on www.plamondon.com.
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