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Economy of scale

Published 5:10pm Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Definition of ‘Economy of Scale’: Reduction in cost per unit resulting from increased production, realized through operational efficiencies. Economies of scale can be accomplished because as production increases, the cost of producing each additional unit falls.
Sometimes I find it difficult to put thoughts and feelings into words. For that reason, the title to this column has been at the top of a blank page on my computer for over a year now, just like this: Economies of Scale = waste and stuff we don’t want. This week, when Allen and I drove to Green Creek to buy some baby chicks from Dawn Jordan, I finally understood my feelings about ‘economy of scale’ and am able to put them into words. Whether or not it makes sense to anyone but me remains to be seen.
Allen asked Dawn if she had raised turkeys from incubated eggs, and if so, how successful was she? We bought 25 day-old  turkey chicks years ago, and only two of them lived to be six months old, and those two died before Christmas. Some of the chicks drowned because they did not have the sense to seek cover from the rain, but most of them died of ‘unknown causes.’ Dawn’s experience was similar to ours. Since her first year with turkeys, Dawn started getting incubator eggs locally and has had a much better survival rate. Her belief is that local turkeys are adapted to local bacteria, soil and climate; in short, they simply do better than a baby turkey or turkey egg from somewhere in Utah with a different environment. Each incubator egg costs more, but it is five times more likely to live to adulthood than an egg from a hatchery. So, does it really cost more?

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