Monday, June 15, 2020

Seasonal Poultry

Pasture Raised Poultry is, quite obviously, raising birds outside on grass. One of the foundational principals of pasture raised poultry is that they need to be moved frequently to fresh grass. I've posted several blogs and videos about how we accomplish this with chickens and turkeys. Please feel free to reference those to learn more about the process (click here for a Turkey Youtube Video). What I want to talk about today is the supply chain, schedule, and logistics. In North Georgia, we can raise poultry on pasture for 3 seasons. It's just too cold and unpredictable during the dead of winter. I try to have our last poultry processed by mid-December. Nearly ready to process birds are ok to have in the field in December since they are fully grown with a full covering of feathers. I would never put young birds out to pasture that late. January and February totally out. March is the time we get baby chicks started in the brooder. The brooder is heated, so even if March is cold, the baby chicks are still comfortable. They stay in the brooder 3-4 weeks and then go out to the pasture shelters. However, It takes 10-11 weeks to raise our pasture chickens to full size. So each year there is no freshly raised chicken until late May - early June. For that reason we try to grow a large last batch that gets processed in December. We can keep those frozen as they sell through the winter. Usually, the supply holds out until the processing starts for the current year. That is... unless there is a pandemic. Our stock of chicken and turkey got wiped out in March. We have been out of what we consider a staple product for a couple of months. I am happy to say that both Chickens and Turkeys are at the processor right now. As soon as I get them home we will post online and let y'all know. I will feel like we finally have our full complement of meat available and I'm looking forward to it.
Thanks for your continued support as we managed this farm through a crazy time. It felt like we went from 50 miles per hour to 150 miles per hour, now settling in somewhere in the middle. If you are new to Carlton Farms and found us during this time, welcome. We hope you stick around for some of the best food in the region. We will spend our time trying to continually earn your business.