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Stolen Egg -Chicken Recovery Fund

$27,552 of $27,900 goal

Raised by 219 people in 8 months
Sometime in April/May of this year, the thieves came and stole most of our good producing layer chickens (500-600).  This happened quickly, yet so insidiously, we are still in half shock and half denial.

"How could we not have seen this?"  Apparently, we were not the only farm that was targeted, but "free range" chickens with no closed gates and padlocks were obviously easy targets for an experienced group of thieves to come in the middle of the night, and grab them 50-100 at a time.  By the time we realized that our egg production was down drastically (systematically in increments of 50-100 eggs), the damage was done.  In all 20 years of raising chickens, this has never happened.  We are used to losing some to eagles or coyotes, but this one, done by humans, was stealthy and lethal.  We talked to one other farmer, whose 200 broilers got stolen right out of his field.  He thinks they come in a group with large garbage cans in a truck, grab them  in a matter of minutes (they are defenseless at night on the perch) and are killed quickly and sold at an underground soup chicken market.  He thinks he even saw a post of his chickens on Craig's list!  The police have a suspect (yes even the name), but so far he is still at large for lack of evidence.  With so many other problems in the area, I  doubt our egg thief is high on their list.

Of course they stole the young ones that just started to lay eggs, which took us 6 months of feed to get to that stage.  My book keeper estimates the loss of revenue through October is anywhere from $35,000 to $45,000 without including what it took to raise them.

This hit us in the busiest hay season, working from dawn to dark, we really didn't have time to re-act, or even feel angry; we just felt defeated and heart broken  Now at the end of August, we are finally slowing down enough to analyze the damage and re-group our chicken program.  The loss was big, and we seriously thought about quitting eggs all together.  Then we thought about all of our customers who came faithfully to buy our eggs and stand in line to do so.  Right. We can't quit.

So here is our plan:  We are moving 2 of our houses closer to our store, building/repairing parameter fences, installing motion sensor lights, putting pad locks on the gates, and looking into installing a security camera system.  We have purchased 500 chicks to replace the stolen ones, which will hopefully begin laying in late October, early November.

It's difficult to come up with funds to rebuild the flock and put in security system when we are already experiencing a large loss of revenue.  So, encouraged by many customers' suggestions, we are asking for some financial assistance to come up with the funds needed to rebuild our flock.  We have never done this, so we really don't know what to expect, but we will be grateful with whatever the amount you can help us with.

Thank you.


Est. Replacement Cost (does not include the actual revenue loss)
Chicks (500)                                                       $ 1,400
Feed (until laying-6 months)                    $18,000
Security system                                               $ 1,500
Labor (feeding only)                                      $ 6,000

Total cost until production                     $27,900

32593192_1535740521943031_r.jpegNow an Empty chicken house

32593192_1535740509637372_r.jpeg1 of 2 houses moving closer to the house

32593192_1535740492967577_r.jpegClose to houses (dogs).  Now repairing fences, put in fence post for new padlocks, leveling the ground.

32593192_1535740471381533_r.jpegWhat do we need to keep you girls safe??

32593192_1535742373997348_r.jpeg
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Finally an update on our Chicken situation. it’s been busy with Flood and Freeze and we have not had time to report to you folks. Because of all of you, we have a flock growing and hopefully we will soon have them laying their eggs. Every day, we look in the coup to see if we can find that “First Egg”!
Looking back, we couldn’t have sustained the revenue loss of $35,000 + from stolen chicken AND start a new flock like we did. It has been a difficult year for the farm. However, we have been truly blessed to witness all your support and encouragement in a such a generous way. What an incredible community we have! So, thank You.

Just in case you are curious, I have a summary of funds collected and the expense details we spent as of today.
Funds Collected:
Go Fund Me $26,187.00
Cash Donation (Markets) $ 1,607.30
Credit Cards (Markets) $ 504.00
University Farmer’s Mkt assoc. $ 3,000.00
Ballard Farmer’s Mkt assoc. $ 200.00
Maria Hines (Tilth) $ 300.00
Total $31,798.30

• Jenkin’s Hatchery read about our demise and donated to us 200 Chicks for free .
• Go Fund Me Staff nominated us for their Gives Back Program and donated $250

The below is what we have spent as of 12/05/18 .

Purchase chicks $ 2,280.00
Feed & Supplements $ 6,250.87
Labor $10,163.19
Security Equipment/Installation $ 4,639.18
Fence/Coup Rebuild Materials $ 2,940.99
Repair/Maintenance $ 422.69
Go Fund Me Fees $ 858.21
Total $27,155.13


The remainder of $4,643 will go toward to continue feeding and caring for the layers.

We will keep our GoFundMe site open until I can send you the picture of the “1 stst EGG” and the finished hen houses! (Obviously I can’t send you the security camera pictures….) can’t wait for the picture of our customers holding our first pullet eggs at the market!!!

Humblest thanks to all,
George, Eiko & Nicole
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We have been finding little bits of time between the final hay cutting of the year, and beef harvest season. The Chicks are getting bigger, and George estimates we will start getting pullet eggs late November to early December. The pictures below are Nicole a few days ago showing the size of the chickens, a new gated driveway we have made in an upper field (so they are closer to living areas of the farm) and George putting in motion sensor lights facing toward the roads this morning.
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An update on the egg-chicken situation:

First, we want to say thank you, from the bottom of our hearts to all those who have contributed. We are humbled and grateful for the overwhelming response from our community!
The chicks are about a month and a half old now, and half of them have already been moved out of the chick nursery (brooders) and into a modified version of what their final house will be. They will always have the coop they call home, but as they continue to grow we will expand the field size and add in things like nest boxes. They currently have heat lamps in them still, which will eventually get taken out as they get big enough. The other half of the chicks will follow suit in a house of their own next week.
We have also purchased an A1 trail cam, once we have made sure this equipment works for our situation, we will be buying a few more to place in strategic places on the farm. We didn’t take pictures of them or the sight for security reasons!
Again, we cannot thank everyone enough for all the donations and kind words, we have a renewed sense of hope for this coming year and this special batch of chickens.
We will keep you posted on the progress.


Sincerely,

Eiko and the Skagit River Ranch crew.
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$27,552 of $27,900 goal

Raised by 219 people in 8 months
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