MINSTER — Wagner’s IGA’s most recent move to support local products brought in the specialties of a 12-year-old boy in Minster.
Kyle Lamm, son of Craig and Jamie Lamm, owns and operates his own egg business, and has for the past almost three years. He takes care of 300 chickens and sells dozens of eggs each week.
When the Lamm family moved to Minster from Fort Recovery, almost five years ago, they had much more space to take on a project like this one.
“I couldn’t have a dog, and I like birds, so I wanted chickens,” Kyle said. “I like chickens as a pet because they’re a pet that poops breakfast.”
So they headed over to Rural King on Chick Days and picked out 40 chickens.
Craig grew up on a farm, so he already knew how to take care of the chickens, but now has taught Kyle. The father and son team have continuously put in work out in their barn to make sure the chickens are as comfortable as possible.
When they first started with the chickens Kyle had to carry water out to the barn everyday. Eventually they got automatic water installed, making it much easier to clean out and take care of.
The chickens have their humidity and temperature monitored everyday. While they live inside of a barn, they are referred to as cage-free because they are free to go in and out of their laying boxes, scratch around on the floor, get water and food as they please, and are free to roam about.
People who are buying farm fresh eggs want brown eggs, except around Easter time, so they stopped getting chickens that produce white eggs, Jamie said.
“The only difference between white and brown eggs is the color of the shell,” Kyle said.
There is a big movement of people wanting to know where their food comes from, Jamie said.
People like farm fresh eggs because the egg can literally pop out of the chicken and be to Wagner’s in 20 minutes, Craig said. Their goal is to never have eggs that are more than seven days old.
One of Kyle’s favorite parts about keeping chickens is picking out new chickens.
“I get experience learning what makes a good bird,” he said.
His mom thinks one of his main motivations is spending time out in the barn away from his five sisters.
“He loves those chickens,” Jamie said. “Kyle has struggled in school, but his teachers are most impressed with how hard we works. He never gives up. I think that is a large result of the chickens, and the responsibility he is learning.”
When Kyle gets home from school each day he checks on his chickens, filling their food and water, and gathering their eggs.
“It’s better to check them at the end of the day because you get all the eggs, because the chickens are finished laying by that time,” Kyle said.
He also checks on the health of all his birds each day and plays with them for a little while.
His sister Abby helps wash the eggs and they package them up in containers and fill up their egg fridge.
On certain days of the week he does other chores relating to taking care of his birds, like cleaning out their nesting boxes, sweeping, shoveling manure, and going with his dad to pick up feed or get scrap material to build new pens.
“Generally everybody is so busy taking their kids to practice for team sports, that they don’t spend much time together,” Jamie said. “If we have to work together as a family it’s also time we’re spending together as a family.”
Kyle’s business gives him an opporuntity to not only learn things from his dad, but spend time with him doing something, versus sitting in front of the t.v., she said.
“With this and with the 4-H projects, yes it’s more work, but you’re surprised at how much time you spend together as a family,” Jamie said.
She said they wanted to wait to put his eggs in the store until Kyle could drive, but after some thought they decided they might as well try. Wally Wagner told Kyle he was the youngest entrepreneur to sell his products in his stores.
Right now most of the money he makes from selling eggs goes right back into buying supplies for the chickens, and buying new chickens, but extra money he makes, like from selling his animals at the fair, go into his college fund.
When Kyle grows up he kinda wants to play for the National Football League, but he said he’ll settle for being a farmer.
You can find Kyle’s Kluckers on Facebook and in Wagner’s IGA in Minster, and hopefully soon in New Bremen and Fort Loramie as well.
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