Monday, February 22, 2021

Poultry Planning Time

Actually, it's past time to be planning our poultry calendar. But, the last few weeks have been a little crazy, so here we are. Cattle, Pork, and Lamb have a much slower grow-out than chickens, making the operations around them more laid-back. Chickens on the other hand come and go at a much faster rate. We need to have the chicks arriving at an interval that allows us to brood them properly. They will spend about 3 weeks in the brooder with a heat lamp. From the brooder, they go to the pasture shelters where they will be protected from harsh weather and predators while still allowed access to fresh pasture daily. In this phase, we move the floorless shelters every day. The pasture shelters are where they spend most of their time, eating non-GMO feed, grass, and bugs. The coordination that happens this time of year is crucial. We have to make sure we never have more chicks than the brooder can accommodate. We also have to make sure the grow-out phase in the pasture shelters doesn't overlap more batches of chickens than we have shelters. Finally, we must sync our schedule with that of our processor to be sure he can accommodate the birds when they need to be harvested. The broilers are enough of a challenge, but then we throw Turkeys and another batch of laying hens into the mix. It can literally make your head hurt. That's why the calendar is covered with so many colors. haha. But hey, it's not a bad thing to be doing on a rainy February day.