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Pastured Poultry Talk

Hosted by Mike Badger, Pastured Poultry Talk aims to inspire pastured poultry producers to build better businesses, solve problems, and integrate new ideas.
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Pastured Poultry Talk
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Oct 31, 2016
cultivatingcustomersSimon Huntley, founder of Small Farms Central and author of Cultivating Customers: A Farmers Guide to Online Marketing joins the podcast to talk about online marketing. Buy Cultivating Customers (and support this podcast with the commission Amazon pays). Discover these marketing gems and more:
"It may be tempting to think everyone is your customer because everyone eats." "Everything goes back to your website." "People spend a lot of time on Facebook. They got 1.5 billion active users." "Text message marketing can be really effective."
Learn more about Simon Huntley at Small Farm Central.
Sep 7, 2016
In early December 2016, I will join the Global Poultry Initiative on a mission trip to Cameroon as an instructor in the five day Institute of Sustainable Poultry. Jim joins the show for his second appearance (third podcast) to discuss what GPI is and how it equips indigenous farmers using sustainable poultry. Listen to Jim discuss heritage poultry and breeding in episodes 13 and 14. GPI has a vision to "educate, equip, and empower indigenous people with character, knowledge, and skills to breed, grow, and market poultry that are sustainable, productive, and profitable." Learn more about GPI. Donate: If God is calling you to support this trip, either by helping the instructors (including me) offset the cost of this trip or by funding a farmer, please consider making your generous donation online through Equip International. At the time of publication, the fund a farmer option is not online yet; you may inquire directly to Mike at (mcbadger@gmail.com).    
Sep 1, 2016
I'm reloading the podcast, and more information will come out about that. For now, take advantage of these training opportunities: Raising Pastured Poultry for Food and Profit Workshop in Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, California, Oregon, Idaho, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  September 12 - 23, 2016. Large Scale Pastured Poultry Workshop in Asheville, NC. November 10-11, 2016. Sustainable Poultry Network National Conference in Asheville, NC. November 12-13, 2016.
Jun 14, 2016
A quick hitting technical episode on the nutritional qualities of using black soldier fly larvae as poultry feed. In this show, we talk about the differences between dry matter and as-fed nutritional values. With respect to poultry, we cover the soldier fly values of protein, lysine, ash, phosphorus, and calcium. Resources Ask APPPA Q&A on the third Tuesday of each month at 8pm Eastern. Dial  (712) 432-1212 and enter Access Code 709-102-625 to join. Show Sponsors [caption id="attachment_293" align="alignleft" width="174"]bmf-logo-paypal-invoice Featuring poultry processing equipment and charcoal chicken grills.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignright" width="220"]Fertrell logo Makers of high-quality feed supplements for poultry, cattle, goats, sheep, swine and horses.[/caption]
Jun 9, 2016
We continue the mini-series with poultry nutritionist Jeff Mattocks of The Fertrell Company. This will be part 2 of our 3 part technical road series that we recorded on our way to Arkansas. That explains the road hum that I couldn't get out, but everything is clear. In this episode, we talk about molting;
  • The natural purpose of molting.
  • How pastured poultry producers use molting to achieve a productive second and third lay cycle.
  • The right time and the humane way to molt a hen.
  • Why force a molt instead of doing it naturally.
  • Bringing the hens out of molt with proper lighting techniques.
  • Reasons for unexpected molt.
Resources Ask APPPA Q&A on the third Tuesday of each month at 8pm Eastern. Dial  (712) 432-1212 and enter Access Code 709-102-625 to join. Show Sponsors [caption id="attachment_293" align="alignleft" width="174"]bmf-logo-paypal-invoice Featuring poultry processing equipment and charcoal chicken grills.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignright" width="220"]Fertrell logo Makers of high-quality feed supplements for poultry, cattle, goats, sheep, swine and horses.[/caption]
May 31, 2016

Think all chicken feather picking and "cannibalism" is attributed to poor feed? Think again.

Poultry nutritionist Jeff Mattocks of The Fertrell Company walks us through four main reasons that poultry peck their flock mates. And feed is only one of the issues.

So jump in the truck and join us we talk about feather pecking while driving down the road.

Apr 29, 2016
Fertrell Logo I'm joined by Jeff Mattocks and several APPPA Producer Plus members for a Q&A session on mixing feed on-farm as an alternative to purchasing feed from a mill. It's a common desire to mix feed on-farm, but it's a process that prompts many questions. APPPA-Logo-600-pxJeff is a poultry nutritionist with The Fertrell Company  and author of the must have book Pastured Poultry Feeding and Management. He has a deep understanding of poultry nutritional requirements, the characteristics of feedstuffs, and pastured poultry. Jeff is a unique poultry nutritionist in that he not only understands the nutrition, he understands the nuances of pastured production. This is the area where theory meets reality, and Jeff is a valuable community resource when it comes to navigating the collision of the classroom and the grass. In this episode, we cover a lot of ground:
  • Typical bushel weights.
  • Appropriate feed particle size.
  • Correct mixing times.
  • Is fresh feed better?
  • How does pasture mix affect nutrition?
  • Buying and storing grains. How do you find a reliable supply?
  • Buying transitional and organic buffer strips.
  • Beware of the weed seed.
  • Common PTO requirements to running a grinder/mixer.
  • Are all fishmeals created equal?
  • A brief discussion about the interplay of amino acids.
Enjoy. Talk about this episode at our new Facebook Group. Need scalders, pluckers, and other poultry processing equipment? Check out PPT sponsor, Badger's Millside Farm.
Apr 25, 2016
[caption id="attachment_295" align="alignright" width="300"]Inside of hoop house at Whitehurst Farms. Inside of hoop house at Whitehurst Farms.[/caption] Talk about this episode on Facebook. Mike Marchand of Whitehurst Farms joins the show to talk about his rapidly growing career as a pastured poultry farmer in the Houston, Texas area. He sold his successful non-farming business and starting raising poultry in 2014. Today, he manages a laying flock of 1700 pastured hens in addition to broilers, turkeys, and pigs. Mike shares two important takeaways from his first business that he applies to his farm. And he also candidly suggests that "you better get some friends." Mike details the growth of his laying operation, including housing, breeds, challenges of ready to lay pullets, and disease management. He outlines how he suffered a large drop-off in egg production and how he leveraged his relationships to make it through the production drops. To learn more about Whitehurst Farms, visit their Facebook page or visit them online. Show Sponsor bmf-logo-paypal-invoiceThis episode of Pastured Poultry Talk is brought to you by Badger's Millside Farm. When you need quality, American made, affordable poultry processing equipment for your on-farm slaughter, consult with Pastured Poultry Talk host Mike Badger. He's a Poultry  Man and Featherman dealer.
Apr 9, 2016
Spence dawns his meat cape of awesomeness for another episode. This time I talk to him about bootstrapping. Some highlights:
  • What are some of the challenges in Bootstrapping a Pastured poultry farm?
  • What would do if you were smart?
  • Are you playing with house money?
  • Don't be afraid to work for a porkchop.
  • What's the biggest obstacle to overcome when starting your own pastured poultry business?
  • Should you have too much chicken or not enough?
  • Plan to be adaptive.
  • Should both spouses work on the farm?
  • Spence shares the number of birds that he can comfortably take care of himself.
  • You need to have realistic expectations. Don't try to create a multi-generational farm overnight.
  • Are you a romantic farmer?
  • Both Mike and Spence provide a perspective size and new markets.
  • Should you listen to what people want?
Send your questions to pasturedpoultrytalk@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you. Buy American made poultry processing supplies at my farm business, millsidefarm.com
Apr 4, 2016

watson-turkeys cut-up It's never too early or late to think about turkeys. In this episode, Mike starts off talking to Spence about current farm events, which steers the conversation to turkey breeding. Mike has been setting up his Beltsvile Small White breeding program. And no discussion about turkeys is complete without a chat about blackhead. Spence authored a great paper with NCAT on blackhead. About mid-way through, Spence ducks out and Mike finishes the episodes by sharing a couple of slides from his Year Round Turkey Production presentation at the 2016 PASA Farming for the Future Conference where he talks about grinding and cutting up turkey for the year round markets. Reminder: Now is the time to be planning your processing equipment purchases. I am a dealer specializing in small scale poultry processing equipment. Visit millsidefarm.com for more information.
Apr 1, 2016
  watson-turkeys cut-up It's never too early or late to think about turkeys. In this episode, Mike starts off talking to Spence about current farm events, which steers the conversation to turkey breeding. Mike has been setting up his Beltsvile Small White breeding program. And no discussion about turkeys is complete without a chat about blackhead. Spence authored a great paper with NCAT on blackhead. About mid-way through, Spence ducks out and Mike finishes the episodes by sharing a couple of slides from his Year Round Turkey Production presentation at the 2016 PASA Farming for the Future Conference where he talks about grinding and cutting up turkey for the year round markets. Reminder: Now is the time to be planning your processing equipment purchases. I am a dealer specializing in small scale poultry processing equipment. Visit millsidefarm.com for more information.
Apr 1, 2016
watson-turkeys cut-up It's never too early or late to think about turkeys. In this episode, Mike starts off talking to Spence about current farm events, which steers the conversation to turkey breeding. Mike has been setting up his Beltsvile Small White breeding program. And no discussion about turkeys is complete without a chat about blackhead. Spence authored a great paper with NCAT on blackhead. About mid-way through, Spence ducks out and Mike finishes the episodes by sharing a couple of slides from his Year Round Turkey Production presentation at the 2016 PASA Farming for the Future Conference where he talks about grinding and cutting up turkey for the year round markets. Reminder: Now is the time to be planning your processing equipment purchases. I am a dealer specializing in small scale poultry processing equipment. Visit millsidefarm.com for more information.
Apr 1, 2016
watson-turkeys cut-up It's never too early or late to think about turkeys. In this episode, Mike starts off talking to Spence about current farm events, which steers the conversation to turkey breeding. Mike has been setting up his Beltsvile Small White breeding program. And no discussion about turkeys is complete without a chat about blackhead. Spence authored a great paper with NCAT on blackhead. About mid-way through, Spence ducks out and Mike finishes the episodes by sharing a couple of slides from his Year Round Turkey Production presentation at the 2016 PASA Farming for the Future Conference where he talks about grinding and cutting up turkey for the year round markets. Reminder: Now is the time to be planning your processing equipment purchases. I am a dealer specializing in small scale poultry processing equipment. Visit millsidefarm.com for more information.
Apr 1, 2016
watson-turkeys cut-up It's never too early or late to think about turkeys. In this episode, Mike starts off talking to Spence about current farm events, which steers the conversation to turkey breeding. Mike has been setting up his Beltsvile Small White breeding program. And no discussion about turkeys is complete without a chat about blackhead. Spence authored a great paper with NCAT on blackhead. About mid-way through, Spence ducks out and Mike finishes the episodes by sharing a couple of slides from his Year Round Turkey Production presentation at the 2016 PASA Farming for the Future Conference where he talks about grinding and cutting up turkey for the year round markets. Reminder: Now is the time to be planning your processing equipment purchases. I am a dealer specializing in small scale poultry processing equipment. Visit millsidefarm.com for more information.
Mar 21, 2016
As a continuation of episode 35, Spence is back for a guest host spot to talk about pasture management. 
We talk about managing broilers and layers on pasture. Spence is in the midst of transitioning his layers from an egg mobile to a daily move prairie schooner for precision manure management and predator protection. We go from pastures to silvopastures in progress to hillside pastures.
Poultry can build soil really fast or destroy it really fast, which leads to a discussion about phosphorous. Spence tosses out a stackable enterprise to deal with excess phosphorous. How to reap the manure investment from your pasture?
The conversation ends with fixed housing and some of the associated problems.
Save the date for a May pastured poultry workshop in Arkansas.
Mar 15, 2016
[gallery columns="4" size="medium" ids="249,253,252,251"] North Carolina producer John McAuley (Healthy Hen Farms) joins the show to talk about his pastured broiler operation, marketing frozen chicken, and some lessons learned in the brooder.  John focuses on pasture-raised broilers and turkeys and expects to raise approximately 8,000 birds in 2016. John started his pastured poultry career in the mid 1990's as Polyface's second apprentice. He wanted to share some of his perspective on selling frozen chicken (an episode 30 topic). We also check in on his operation in general. Here's some of what we cover:
  • Lessons of building on leased land.
  • Why John ended the wholesale egg business.  Why he says, pick one thing and do that one thing well.
  • John shares his modifications to the Salatin style daily move pen in terms of size, ventilation, and construction.
  • Healthy Hen Farms sells 100% of its chicken frozen as a way to compensate with the logistical nightmare of selling fresh, whole birds. Going all frozen has completely changed Healthy Hen Farm's business. He's able to make deliveries all year round while collapsing the production season.
  • Currently processing 120-130 birds per hour.
  • John talks about his new brooder design and why the QC Supply game bird drinkers is one of the best things about the brooder.
Find John Online: John mentioned these products in the podcast that you might be interested in:
Mar 4, 2016
Terrell Spencer joins Mike as a guest host. Fresh off an APPPA related trip to the Mother Earth News Fair in Belton, Texas, the two share their impressions about the show. Highlights of the episode:
  • Is Texas poised as the next pastured poultry hot spot? There are several processing options accessible to the DFW and Austin markets: Windy Meadows Family Farm and Cobb Creek are state inspected. Dewberry Hills Farm is USDA inspected.
  • At the fair, Spence talked about selling beyond farmers market; he overviews a key point or two about the differences between selling to restaurant and retail outlets.
  • We learn one of the keys to a good farming presentation. Beware of what might or might not be behind the scenes.
  • At APPPA's dinner reception, Joel Salatin outlined a few weaknesses that he sees in the pastured poultry community right now. Spence and Mike kick those topics around and offer our perspectives on eggs, housing, processing, and pasture management.
Stay tuned. Spence will be back on a future episode.
Feb 8, 2016
new livestock farmerRebbeca Thistlethwaite and her co-author and husband Jim Dunlop wrote the book The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meats and the author of Farms of the Future. Between them, they have a diverse livestock, orchard, and vegetable farming history. Their pastured poultry production includes layers (flocks as large as 5,000), broilers (up to 10,000 a year), a few hundred turkeys. We cover:
  • The challenges of marketing underground broilers.
  • The marketing reality of Broad Breasted and heritage turkeys.
  • How writing the book helped Rebecca and Jim decide the future of their commercial farming ventures.
  • What is an ethical meat?
  • The three questions you can ask yourself to be more like a hedgehog.
  • Principled marketing and the 80/20 rule to the lifetime value of a customer.
  • Should your customer pay increasingly higher prices for your inefficiencies?
Links to Resources: *Amazon affiliate link
Feb 1, 2016
uc-davis-egg-mobileMembers of the UC Davis pastured poultry research farm join the podcast to tell us about their project. Mike is joined by Dr. Richard Blatchford and Carine Elkhoraibi. The project describes itself as "a new education, research and innovation hub for pastured poultry producers (layers and broilers), master gardeners, backyard flock keepers, academia, students, food buyers, food safety and animal welfare auditors." In this episode, the UC Davis teams introduces the project and its goals. At the time of the recording, the farm's first batch of 150 layers were approaching laying age. We talked about brooding, egg mobile design, predators, research, Avian Influenza, Proposition 2 and more. Resources
Jan 25, 2016

In this episode, we provide you with some show updates and explain our infrequency and most importantly, tell you how we're moving forward. Mike has upgraded his podcast studio--what do you think about the sound?

We also share one of the hottest pastured poultry events happening in the February in conjunction with the Mother Earth News Fair in Belton, TX. Including a dinner reception with Joel Salatin that's sponsored by Yanmar. Details at http://www.apppa.org/content/21994

Stay up to date with show announcements and new episode releases by going to http://forms.aweber.com/form/20/1447494020.htm. We'll never sell or share your email address with third party marketers.

Direct all questions about the show to pasturedpoultry@gmail.com

Jan 4, 2016

Mike interviews Mark Kastel of Cornucopia Institute to discuss the Institute's report "Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture." The gold standard in organic egg production, according to Mark, is smaller, pasture-raised flocks, and these are the farms that earn the coveted 5-egg rating in the accompanying egg scorecard. 

At about 14 minutes, Mark starts drawing a distinction between pasture-raised and enhanced outdoor access. Enhanced outdoor access (a 4 egg rating), he says, is what mainstream organic consumers think they're getting, but the prevailing marketplace reality is not even close.

This short interview will give you insights into the organic egg production, but the full report is recommended reading as it demonstrates a understanding of pasture-raised in the context of the issues facing farmers.

Resources:

Organic Egg Scorecard

Cornucopia's Scrambled Egg Report

Dec 5, 2015

In a post-Thanksgiving turkey love feast, Mike (www.millsidefarm.com) and Grady (www.gradyphelan.com) discuss cooking techniques including splatchcock and chicken ballotine preparations.  Cooking and eating your product makes for great marketing stories. We transition to winter marketing, and we tackle the frozen chicken stigma, especially when dealing with chefs. 

Send your questions to pasturedpoultrytalk@gmail.com and don't forget to share this podcast with your friends.

Cobb Creek Farm in Hillsboro, TX, is looking for an intern. Contact Grady, if you're interested. 

 

Nov 21, 2015

What makes a guy quit his New York City job on the Howard Stern show, sell everything he owns to bicycle across the US, and then start his mid-life farming career. That's the summary of John Suscovich's self-described quarter-life crisis. John is the Farm Manager at Camp Roads Farm in Connecticut and host of the Growing Farms Podcast.

In this episode, Mike and John talk through John's transition to farming. Over the course of four years, he has gone from a trial batch of 40 broilers in year one to raising as many as 2,400 meat birds and up to 350 laying hens. John primarily markets through a chicken CSA, and we spend a fair amount of time talking about marketing birds.

John can be found at:

Nov 14, 2015

In episode 12 of Pastured Poultry Talk, Grady (gradyphelan.com) and Mike (millsidefarm.com) used a profit of $5 per bird to calculate the paypack on equipment purchases, particularly pasture shelters. In this episode, we walk you through the "how to price your pastured poultry" to determine what you need to charge in order to realize a $5 profit margin (or any profit margin, for that matter).

So, grab your pencil and calculator and join  us. In this episode, Grady is quick on the calculator and crunches numbers as soon as they hit his ears, or so it seems.

Grady and Mike, despite having different production scales and methods, have similar costs in many areas. Find out where they differ and how that difference influences the production cost, which influences the profitable selling price.

Nov 7, 2015

This is a second part to Mike Badger's Poultry Politics workshop at the October Sustainable Poultry Network Conference in Wilmot, Ohio. Eric Pawlowski, Sustainable Agriculture Educator, at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association makes a cameo appearance is this part of the talk, as well. We're discussing the value of animal welfare certifications, including certified organic. This is an edited version of the talk.

Please send your comments and questions to pasturedpoultrytalk@gmail.com. You can reach Mike at millsidefarm.com and Grady at gradyphelan.com.

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