By Katie Combs
The farm is located 20 miles north of Las Vegas on the I-15. The Republic Services Apex Landfill had undeveloped land that they rented to us to begin our new farm away from urban encroachment. It is owned and operated by the Combs Family.
Las Vegas Livestock was started in 2015, but we did not buy our first chicks until April 2017. The hens started laying eggs in October, and I have been selling them ever since. In October we received a Producers Certification from the Nevada Department of Agriculture which allows us to sell our eggs in Nevada.
Our eggs are very fresh. Sometimes the eggs that you buy in a grocery store can be over a month old. Fresh eggs are a lot better because the egg white stays very firm and are not runny. That makes them very flavorful. Also, our chickens are fed food scraps from the hotels, so I like to say they are Sustainably Fed. Because they have a diverse diet, the egg yolks have a deep orange color and rich flavor. Also, our eggs are free range. I spent a lot of time this summer building a large chicken coup. Each hen has 5 feet of space for her to roam around.
The nutritional content of our eggs is no different than an egg bought at the grocery story, however the difference is in the taste. The rich taste they have is because of the freshness of the egg and the diverse diet they have. The eggs are $4/dozen.
My father and uncle started their own pig farm because they saw the challenges my grandfather had trying to raise pigs in an urban environment. Starting a farm outside of Las Vegas gave us an opportunity to modernize and start new projects like the chickens. I knew that we needed to have chickens out at Apex to make it feel like a family farm. Also raising chickens gives Las Vegas Livestock an opportunity to have a presence in the community. I can sell eggs locally fairly easily through the NDA. So, through eggs I hope that Las Vegas Livestock can be a household name for the local sustainable farm.
My family has always been pig farmers. My grandfather, Robert Combs, moved to Las Vegas over 50 years ago and has always fed his pig food scraps. I grew up on that farm, and I have always believed in his Waste Not, Want Not motto. I am excited to get to be more involved in the business as an adult and contribute to recycling in the Las Vegas Valley. My cousin Sarah and I have been taking on this chicken project ourselves. We have done everything from building the coup where the chickens live to meeting restaurant owners to designing our egg labels. It has been a fun experience.