Iowa Cage-Free adds value to local crops

Chickens are very much social beings, so it’s important that the birds get along with each other. Dekalb Whites are the breed selected that are best adaptable to the cage-free system of poultry production. Photo courtesy of Iowa Cage-Free LLP.

Iowa Cage-Free LLP, started production in 2009 with construction of the first hen barns beginning in 2008.
Growth has been slow and steady. “We slow walked our way into it because it is a different way of producing eggs,” Craig Rowles said.
“We started with one barn in 2009 and slowly grew until 2012. We’ve spent years understanding the production aspects and the genetics, because there are differences among breeds in adapting to the cage-free environment,” Rowles said.
Now, the company is gearing up for further expansion, which could triple the number of eggs laid per year.
There are currently 1.1 million birds at the Wright County site. Considering that each chicken eats approximately one bushel of corn per year, the birds currently on site will consume 1,100,000 bushels of corn per year.
The company's goal is to eventually have 3.8 million birds at its barns located 4.5 miles south of Renwick in extreme western Wright County. All of the eggs produced at the plant are for the broken egg market, as ingredients for products like mayonnaise and cake mixes.
Read more about the operation and see several advertisements from local businesses supporting corn producers in this week's special section of The Humboldt Independent.

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