Year 2050 Where Have All the White egg Layers Gone

Updated: Sep 2, 2019


Golden Pencilled Hamburgs

When I started this operation back in 1988 the goal always was and always will be to not focus on profit but preservation and education.When Linda and I got married in 1993 we continued on the same path. We have always stuck to that goal even though it has never been easy to feed and care for poultry breeds for many years when absolutely no one ever wants the chicks. You have to feed and care for the adults 365 days a year and raise a suitable number of offspring to make sure the flock continues with the proper genetics and it is not cheap. In 1991 I remember selling eating eggs at the farmers market in Clinton, Iowa and had to carefully sort the eggs into colors. Some would only buy white eggs, others only brown, some liked green and I did have a few who wanted assorted colors. The trend at the time was still the age old myth that some still held onto that white eggs were better tasting, brown eggs were strong. Many of those myths got started perhaps legitimately at one point, but egg shell color has nothing to do with egg taste. Egg flavor all depends upon the hens diet.


In the early 1990's it really didn't matter too much what color egg the heritage breeds I had laid, the result was demand for heritage poultry was minimal. Hybrid layers were at their peak. Even then the white egg layers were at the bottom of the popularity heap. The rise in interest in heritage type poultry that began in the late 1990's lead to an increase of interest in many breeds but mostly the trend was the darker brown the egg the more popular the breed. As Marans, Welsummers and other dark brown egg layers took off, Minorcas and Hamburgs and other white egg layers fell farther and farther out of the " in crowd".


Now we can go several years on some of the white egg layers we sell with no interest. It is a shame as many have some desirable traits. Our hope with the website will be to continue to add more and more information to help people make better decisions on breed choices and not just look at one aspect of a breed. I will be the first to admit I am fascinated by dark brown eggs, olive eggs, blue eggs etc. However, I do like looking at the egg basket full of a diversity of colors and shapes that the many breeds we have produce. My biggest fear is like the headline says, will there be any heritage type white egg layers left in 2050?. I can fully understand any hatchery that is a true business can only hang onto a flock for so long when there are no sales. We have no intention on reducing our white egg layers but then again our focus is on preservation. You can check the news and updates for this week and we are having a summer special on white egg layers to hopefully spur some interest.

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Sand Hill Preservation Center

Heirloom Seeds & Poultry

1878 230th Street

Calamus, IA 52729

563-246-2299

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