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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Now displaying: August, 2015
Aug 28, 2015

Mike ( and Grady ( respond to a listener question about stocking density inside a daily move broiler shelter. But does a simple question have a simple answer?

And how do you know if your expensive feed is paying dividends? Mike relays a story about two separate chicken flocks. One fed a carefully formulated ration and another fed a home-grown feed with a "found-online" ration. One of the single biggest investments in your flock will be feed, so it makes financial sense to cut that cost; however, do you know the impacts various quality feeds have on your flock?

If we follow Grady's advice about collecting data, we'll be able to intelligently justify and quantify the results of our feed choices.

Got a question? Send it to

Aug 21, 2015

Cody Hopkins of Grassroots Farmer Cooperative and Falling Sky Farm joins Mike Badger and Grady Phelan to talk about the power of farming friends.  In it's second year of operation, the cooperative expects to market 70,000 broilers, 2,000 broilers, 400 hogs, and 60 head of beef.

Cody and his wife Andrea are first generation farmers who started in 2007 on rented land. They went from renting 40 to 250 acres. In 2010, they were full time farmers and encountered all the problems first generation farmers do including buying land, growing quickly, and cash flow.

A really important benefit was that they had an informal network of livestock farmers in Arkansas that enabled bulk feed purchases, collaboration, and support.  It pushed them to be better farmers.

"It made more sense to work together than to see each other as competition," says Cody.

That informal network of beginning farmers teamed up with Heifer International to build a sustainable, robust value chain that would help farmers around the state of Arkansas. And the informal network was formalized into the Grass Roots Cooperative in 2014.

Heifer has helped with strategic relationships, creative funding sources, market development and more.

Listen to the full episode to hear Cody's thoughts on competition, quality control, marketing, production, financing, apprentice farm memberships, difficult cooperative members, and much more.

Have a question? Send it to, and Grady and Mike will answer it on a future episode. Please don't forget to pop into iTunes and give us a review.

Aug 15, 2015

 After several solo shows, Mike and Grady come together to kick around some listener questions and issues. We dig deep into the following:

  •  A listener asks if 8 week old Cornish Cross cockerels are touigh. We kick that answer around and use the occasion to talk about the differences between raising straight run, all pullets, and all cockerels.
  • Another question asked us to expand on the role of feeding free choice wheat for broilers and turkeys.
  • As a followup to episode 14 with Susan Beal, we cover the common sense packaging suggestions for freezing raw parts being used for pet food.

Got a question? Send it to And if you like the show, give us a review on iTunes.

Aug 7, 2015

Find out what you can do with those extra parts.Dr. Beal sees the leftover parts as a opportunity for pastured poultry producers. In her small animal practice, over 80 percent of her clients fed some sort of fresh and raw diets.

Grady and Susan cover the following topics:

  • Rundown of raw diets for cats and dogs. Dr. Beal outlines a three pile rule to feeding.
  • Ideas for finding customers who want make the investment in high quality, raw pastured poultry protein.
  • It's a market for more than leftover parts. What about the chicken scratch and dent?
  • Ground, pieces, or whole? Susan talks through the options and describes a garbage disposal grinder.
  • Busting the chicken bone myth.
  • Safe handling considerations for feeding raw poultry.
  • Dealing with the regulations of "pet food."
  • If it's good enough for humans, is it pet food?


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