Nearly 20 years ago, the Hale family started with 100 chickens in the first year, and now they're projected to raise, process, and direct-market 70,000 broilers. In this producer profile, Grady Phelan talks with third generation farmer David Hale about the growth of Windy Meadows Farm.
What's the key to David's success? There are many, but at the center of the success is a clear division of labor that allows one person to focus on a specific area, such as production, hatching, processing, and marketing. The Hales make it a family affair, but it's a cooperative model that could be adopted by any group of producers, regardless of surname.
Grady and Mike pickup where we left off in episode 7, chatting about a wide range of poultry topics. We start the show off talking about access to feed. "Cheap feed is usually not worth it," says Grady. What does Grady use instead of corn in his ration?
The idea of purchasing feed in bulk leads us to talk about producer cooperation, or the lack thereof. Are you guilty of trying to do it all? Try collaboration and aggregration.
To wrap up the episode, we talk about the business of pastured poultry. Did you know it's not a get rich scheme?
In this episode, Grady and Mike catch up and talk about the weather and pen construction. We ponder high death losses. What's acceptabe and why do you accept it? Grady recommends we pay attention to the chicken and learn about them. Do it thousands of times.
Then we talk about the egg shortage brought to light by none other than the venerable Whattaburger. The egg shortage we talk about is caused by Avian Influenza, which is different than the egg shortage most pastured producers know--the shortage where more and more customers come to consume delicuous pastured-raised eggs.
How else is the bird flu going to affect pastured? We talk prices, production, turkey, and more.
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Henlight co-founders Edward Silva and Bryan Pon join Patured Poultry Talk. Henlight is a solar-powered supplemental lighting system designed specifically for pastured poultry producers. We talk about why hens need supplemental light and whether or not it's humane.
Grady steals Mike's question and asks Henlight about the poultry specific wavelengths and the LEDs used by the lighting system. The conversation ends with more eggs.