Wanamingo's 'egg man' still delivers
By Sandy Hadler
Date Modified: 04/05/2012 2:00 PM
WANAMINGO, Minn. — Lloyd Cordes has built a reputation as Wanamingo's "egg man."
Cordes and his wife, Avis, have lived in Wanamingo for 20 years. But his chickens are housed in the country, 4 miles south of town on the farm where he and Avis lived and milked cows for many years. The farm now belongs to their son, John.
Cordes found himself in the egg business after his son, Adam, started raising chickens when he was in high school. When school activities started taking up Adam's time, Lloyd took over. And thus began an enjoyable and rewarding hobby.
His 25 chickens are housed in a building with elevated boxes where they lay their eggs. Cordes drives to the farm every day to feed them shelled corn and laying mash.
"They like that a lot," he said. "It's just like dessert when I throw it to them."
The chickens are quite friendly and gather around his feet as he tosses them feed. Right now, they are laying eight to nine dozen eggs a week, but that number will grow as the days grow longer. The birds were producing only two dozen eggs a short time ago when there was less light, which decreases egg production.
The chickens, which he purchased last spring from the Wanamingo Elevator, are an assortment of breeds and usually lay their eggs in the morning, Cordes said. He charges $1.25 a dozen for the brown-shelled eggs.
Most of his customers phone in their orders, but Cordes sells eggs directly to the residents at Heritage Hill Senior Living apartments in Wanamingo, where he stocks the refrigerator with eggs each week. A few weeks ago, a note in an envelope in the refrigerator said, "Please put in $1.25 for a dozen eggs. Call 824-2433 when out of eggs. We'll try to keep up, but the 'old hens' are on strike."
Jerry Butler, who regularly eats dinner at Heritage Hill, stopped by the kitchen and was disappointed to discover the eggs were gone. Within minutes of receiving a call telling him that more eggs were needed, Cordes delivered three dozen fresh eggs to Heritage Hill, something he does about once a week.
When asked how long he plans to continue his hobby, Cordes said, "I have to decide pretty soon if I'm going to keep on."
He'll have to purchase new hens if he does.
"I'll see how it goes this summer," he said. "It's something to look forward to."