This article about the egg laying business of Wesley Heim of Dawson,
Nebraska was printed in the Dawson Herald Newspaper of October 21,
1943. Wesley and Viva are the grandparents of current board member
Sue Seaton. Every Penn Dutch farm family raised chickens for meat
and eggs in the early day. Newspapers had weekly articles educating
the area residents about new strains of poultry for meat and eggs.
Wesley Heim family lived on the eighty-acre farm north of the Dawson
Corner. All of the grain raised on the farm went into the chicken
business. The chicken houses that held the wire cages of thousands
of layers are still on the property. The Herald article reads:
The keeping of accurate accounts and records of poultry costs
and receipts has proven of exceptional benefit to Mr. and Mrs. Wesley
On their farm just north of Dawson they have kept a large flock
of white leghorns the past few years. Several years ago they started
in a small way and since both were interested in poultry, they have
gradually increased their flock until now they have more than a
From the very first Mrs. Heim took over the bookkeeping end of
the business, keeping an accurate record of expenditures and receipts.
Thus they were able to determine what it cost them to produce each
dozen eggs. For the past few years they have found a specialized
market for their eggs with a large chain store system. The eggs
are picked up at the farm at regular intervals and trucked to Omaha.
Because of their high quality and freshness the Heim's receive a
nice premium above market price. The Safeway Grocery Stores in their
regular periodical had a fine write up of the Heim family and their
poultry with numerous pictures taken by a company representative.
Each year they add several hundred white leghorn chicks to their
flock but carry over all the older hens, which show a profitable
lay. This year's pullets are now laying more than 50% and the eggs
are ranging in size from 22 to 24 ounces.
Since the increase in demand for poultry products in the last year
or two, the Heim's have been tempted to greatly increase the size
of their flock instead of farming their land, but have finally decided
that it is better and more profitable to confine their operations
to the number of birds that members of the family can take care
of, rather than depend on being able to employ help. All members
of the family, Mr. and Mrs. Heim and Gene and Phyllis help in caring
for the poultry.
Their system of poultry management is being very highly praised
by poultry specialists and they furnish information to many flock
owners and to agricultural colleges. The University of Nebraska
says, " the records that you keep, have no doubt, been of value
to you in emphasizing those management principles which have proved