Flandreau, SD – Dakota Layers is a family-owned and operated egg farm located in Flandreau, South Dakota that opened its doors in 1999. They opened their first hen house in 2001. Flash forward 19 years, and they currently have 9 birdhouses, two manure barns, and a processing plant.
Dakota Layer’s top priority is the welfare of their hens as well as the quality of their eggs. Advancements in hen housing, as well as efficiencies in feed, water, and manure management, have allowed them to significantly reduce their environmental footprint.
General Manager, Jason Ramsdell, explained, “We make sure nothing is wasted. We have water lines feeding into each of the barns, so the chickens have just the right amount of water readily available to them. We also feed them out of a trough, so they don’t have the opportunity to waste any of the feed by scattering it on the ground.”
Each house is equipped with an advanced belt system that is programmed to not only bring food to our hens, but also collects the eggs for processing and carries away the manure to our compost facility. The manure is then dried and placed back onto local farm fields.
Jason went on to explain, “One of the most interesting things many consumers might not pay attention to is how our grandfathers moved hens from a cage-free environment to cages specifically to keep them healthier and to ensure the safety of the eggs,” Jason stated. “Because our hens are in a closed environment, we can keep a closer eye on their health.”
Approximately 100,000 dozen eggs are produced every day from Dakota Layer’s 1.35 million hens. After their eggs enter the processing facility, they are washed, sanitized, candled, graded and onto be packed. Amazingly, a human never touches the eggs until they are placed into their carton!
Dakota Layers provides over 70 jobs in the Flandreau community. Locally, their eggs go from chicken to shelf within 36 hours, making hem one of the freshest in the market!