Pastured Poultry Talk
About This Show
Hosted by Mike Badger, Pastured Poultry Talk inspires producers to build better businesses, solve problems, and integrate new ideas by talking to farmers, entrepreneurs, and community professionals about their journey, their work, their passions, and their chickens.
Most Recent Episode
Buying Ready to Lay Pullets and Understanding the Competitive Advantages and Opportunities for Pastured Egg Flocks
Ready-to-lay pullets, sometimes called point-of-lay, are one of the pastured egg farmers best competitive advantages, but it's not all upside. This episode discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and opportunities for farmers to save money on replacement pullet costs. It also calls out an unmet demand in the pastured layer community for a diversity and quantity of birds. Pastured Poultry Headlines [caption id="attachment_1140" align="alignright" width="300"] Look at the beautiful beak on that ready-to-lay pullet.[/caption] Muscovy Ducks. Mike talks through his Muscovy duck, non-soy feeding trial with Fertrell's new non-soy protein pellet. He's also looking for producers who have experience hatching muscovies to be a guest on the podcast. Fighting Farmer Podcast. If you’re not listening to Spence on the Fighting Farmer, I encourage you to check his podcast out. We moved The Fighting Farmer to its own feed a few months ago; you can find it him on itunes and Google play. Pastured Poultry in Attica New York. If you’re in the neighborhood, I'll be presenting at Herm Weber's annual pastured poultry day on the differentiation of pastured poultry from field to plate. I'm going to also bring Eli Reiff (Poultry Man) with me. The day will also include a farm tour (weather permitting) and open Q&A. To register, contact Herm directly at (585) 591-0795. There is a registration fee and lunch is included. (Dis)Advantages of Ready-to-Lay Pullets Generally speaking, the advantages to buying point-of-lay pullets are: Competitive cost over raising your own by leveraging commercial scale. Ready-to-lay pullets were raised with proper nutrition. Avoid risk of disease, distraction, and predation. There are also some disadvantages: Production system - Commonly available pullets are are not pastured and may be beak trimmed. Mike sells untrimmed beak ready-to-lay pullets. through Badger's Millside Farm. Breed availability - It's typically hard and expensive to find non-commercial hybrids (i.e., the sexlinks) as ready-to-lay pullets. Feed during the growout - Many pastured producers feed non-gmo (not organic) or a certified organic feed, but large suppliers do not. This episodes talks through all these issues, and puts them in context. Realize that if you're a pastured poultry producer, everyone of these advantages and disadvantages represents an opportunity. The advantages are easy, but often if you're left looking for something that doesn't exist, the chances are other farmers are looking for it too. That's your opportunity to provide a service to your community while generating an income for the farm. If you want to raise pastured poultry, there is no law that says you have to sell ready-to-eat products to consumers. Explore the B2B world, or in this case, the farmer-to-farmer marketplace. Economics and Cost Benefits of Ready-to-Lay Pullets A common question that many pullet dealers get is, "how can you sell started pullets for that price?" The answer is self evident, but still not believable. The only thing you need to understand is that you as a direct-marketing farmer need to raise a lot of birds to compete with the large suppliers and their dealer networks. And trust me, nobody along the dealer supply chain is losing money. The win with pullets is that everybody makes a profit and the farmer gets an incredible discount. This episode features some napkin math to prove the cost benefit of pullets against raising your own layers from day 1. We don't need to go very far to realize the deal. The napkin math for raising your own pullets from day old is simple: cost of chick + cost of feed + Labor per bird. The episode dives into these numbers and assigns values to raising your own 17 week old laying hens in flocks of 250 and 600. For comparison, we look at a non-gmo feed and a certified organic feed. Chicken math on a napkin or the back of the envelope is beautiful. Subscribe to Show The best way to continue to listen to Pastured Poultry Talk is to subscribe. You can do it from all the popular places, but I want to encourage you to subscribe by email, too (see the form in the sidebar or scroll down if you're no mobile). The biggest advantage is that each show and it's show notes will be delivered to your inbox. So, if you're searching for calculations or resources or the name of something mentioned on the show, you don't have to remember to look it up when you come in from doing chores.