Berry hatches new opportunities with Blue Hen Eggs

Blue Hen Eggs

Note: This story was originally featured in the Winter 2015-16 issue of Berry magazine.

The scope of products and opportunities available through Berry’s agriculture-based student-operated enterprises expanded last summer with the addition of Blue Hen Eggs, a free-range egg operation.

The innovative operation is built around 200 Red Star hens (hybrids of Rhode Island Red chickens) living in a mobile coop on the Berry Farms property across Martha Berry Highway from the main campus. The coop is relocated to fresh pasture every week, spreading organic fertilizer over 10 acres and providing all-natural insect control for Berry Farms crops. The mobile setup also gives the hens fresh grass on which to feed, resulting in eggs that are healthier and tastier than their supermarket counterparts, featuring gorgeous orange yolks and a delicious, rich flavor.

Even more important, this leap into the sustainable future of farming provides four students with relevant business experience outside the classroom.

“Blue Hen Eggs is really an opportunity for me to learn business and diversify my education outside my major,” said Charlie Morgan, a senior history major who serves as student general manager of the enterprise.

The new enterprise already has developed a loyal following, marketing its eggs to local restaurants and selling to the public at farmers markets for $4 a dozen.

“We usually sell a good portion of the 90 dozen eggs we produce every week,” Morgan stated. “But the demand is there to do more. We’d love to expand.”