Local News

Chatham County Egg Farmer Passionate About His Work

Posted August 3, 2001

— Though it might seem otherwise at times, eggs in fact do not come from the grocery store. They come from a farm and a lot of really busy hens.

William Thomas and his family handle eggs. A lot of eggs.

"Well, we produce fertile hatching eggs that are hatched, and the chicks go to the broiler farm. "We get about 120,000 a week right now," said Thomas.

That adds up to 4 to 5 million a year. They roll onto a moving belt after being laid and though you might think otherwise, not that many get broken.

"To be honest we probably don't break more than 25 a week," said Thomas.

With thousands of hens and roosters all looking for love, and all the eggs they produce, there is not a lot of room for loafing.

"You don't walk away and leave it, it's seven days a week 24 hours a day. They depend on us for everything just like children, infant children," said Thomas.

"I just get up every day about 4 a.m., and go to bed at nine or ten whenever we are finished and that is pretty much my day seven days a week, but I think it's a good life and it has its rewards," said Thomas.

By the way, in case you did not know, roosters are not required to help produce the eggs, only to produce the chicks.

When with an authority of any field, it is a good idea to ask questions, and so Thomas was asked the classic chicken question: which came first? The chicken? Or the egg?

"Well the hen has to come first. The good Lord created everything, and he created the hen and she laid the eggs, and so I'll go with the hen," said Thomas. And so he has.

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