Meet Our Growers - Manuel & Andrea
Meet the Faces Behind the Eggs
Meet Manuel and Andrea Pike, one of our contract farming families. Their farm, called C & J Farm, is in Chatham County and has three hen houses that produce cage free eggs. C & J is named after Manuel’s eldest daughters.
These three flocks are the first flocks the couple has grown with Braswell Family Farms and we are so happy to have them on board! Manuel and Andrea decided to begin raising hens for Braswell after they heard from their friends, the Bolicks. about how much they enjoyed working with us. Good news travels fast!
An average day at C & J begins at 4:45 a.m. The couple turns on the lights in the houses at 5 a.m. and walk each one, ensuring all the hens are healthy and thriving since the night before. After they do their morning check-ups, Manuel and Andrea feed the hens. This time of year, they feed their flocks about five times a day. The frequency and amount of times a bird is fed depends on the time of year and the hens’ age. Manuel and Andrea “run” eggs about three to five times a day, depending on the size of the house. The last run of the day is at 3:30 or 4 because the hens usually lay more eggs in the mornings.
When Manuel and Andrea are not walking their hen houses or collecting eggs, they keep themselves busy elsewhere. In addition to their three hen houses, C & J Farms also has a cow pasture of pet beef cattle. Manuel and Andrea bale hay, move cattle and do yard work in their free time. Manuel explains that his hobby is work, he loves to stay busy.
As for Andrea, while she loves working with her hens, she also enjoys making t-shirts, cups, and cutting boards with monograms or different graphics on them. The shirts that she and Manuel are wearing in the photo below are a product of her talents!
Even though Manuel and Andrea have only been with us a year, they commented that they don’t feel overwhelmed or overworked when they raise a flock for us. Andrea says that everyone she has worked with has been professional, nice, and sweet.
As for their eggs, Manuel likes his soft scrambled with cheese, while Andrea enjoys hers well scrambled. But if they’re going for something sweet, they’ll take Andrea’s homemade sweet potato pie.
Thank you, Manuel and Andrea, for all your hard work and diligence!