The Locust Grove resident and proud owner of 200 chickens brings his brown eggs to the two farmers markets in McDonough each week, supplying a steady stream of happy, satisfied customers.
“I remember as a kid that yard eggs are better,” he said. And as an adult, he’s come to find that truth remains. “You can’t beat the taste. They taste two to three times better than at the store.”
The key to excellent eggs? Raising chickens naturally. Haney said the industrial chicken is kept cooped up and off the ground and given only chicken feed.
Haney’s chickens are free range. They are given about 50 pounds of vegetarian chicken feed a day, but are left to catch crickets and worms, as well. The only time their feet leave the ground is when they hop into their coop to lay their daily egg. And the chickens quench their thirst on water provided by Haney’s well, which he said is much healthier sans chlorine and packing more minerals.
“They are happy chickens,” Haney said of his brood. “This is the way chickens were meant to be — on the ground.”
Raising his chickens and selling their eggs is Haney’s hobby, which has been one year in the making. He started off with 50 chickens, building up to his current 200. But this is no easygoing hobby.
Haney said he collects roughly 150 eggs each day from his chickens. He washes them, crates them and stores them in outdoor refrigerators. A mini refrigerator is placed outside his drive, which keeps about 20 dozen eggs at a time for drive-by customers. Those wanting to pick up eggs can swing by his house at 1663 Leguin Mill Road in Locust Grove and drop off the money for the eggs, which sell at $3 for a dozen.
Haney’s method is an honor system, and he said he has never had trouble from his customers shorting him or stealing eggs.
The way Haney puts it, every 10 days yields 1,500 eggs, all of which he has no trouble selling.
“I can hardly keep up with the demand,” he said. “They come back and say ‘Your eggs are awesome.’”
He said he hopes to up his chicken count to 300.
And while the hobby keeps Haney busy, and he certainly has a passion for it, above all, he loves his chickens.
“They’re pretty intelligent,” he said. “I find they are pretty smart and docile. They think I’m the mama.”