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PPT075: Bringing Ready-to-Lay Pullets onto Your Farm

Ready-to-Lay pullets, also called started pullets, are an economical way for pastured poultry producers and family egg flocks replace their laying hen flock. By buying started pullets, you typically pay less for each bird than it would cost you to produce it, and you eliminate up to 17 weeks of risk from disease, depredations, and management. When I hold pullet days through Badger's Millside Farm, I find myself answering many questions about bringing pullets into lay and acclimating them to...


PPT074: Preparing your poultry farm for high winds, water, and hurricanes with Mike Marchand

Michael Marchand joins the show from the coastal plain of southeast Texas to talk about preparing your pastured poultry farm for the wind, water, and disruption of a hurricane. As we record, Hurricane Florence is days away from landfall in the Carolinas, and the projections are for a lot of water and wind. Mike has seen significant flooding events on his farm over the last three years, including Hurricane Harvey. Mike says that two days is a lot of time to focus and prepare as best you can....


PPT073: Exploring the intersection of podcasting, pastured poultry, farming, and business

Many farmers listen to podcasts as they do chores, make hay, deliver product, or pick up supplies. Direct-to-consumer farmers have a lot of windshield time, and it makes sense that podcasts continue to fill more of that time as a way to be entertained and informed. But why aren't more farmers podcasting for their customers? That's the question this episode explores in the context of a trip I made to Podcast Movement, an annual meeting of podcasters from all over the world. We'll use some...


Cracking the performance problems of soy-free poultry feeds with Fertrell

Episode 72 takes on the soy-free poultry feed for your chickens, ducks, and turkeys. Up to this point, if you’ve fed soy-free feeds to your chickens, then you’ve likely experienced slower growth, more expensive feed, and improperly feathered birds, just to name a few problems. Jeff Mattocks from The Fertrell Company joins the show to discuss the problems of soy-free poultry feed, the solution, and then discuss Fertrell’s response. Jeff has developed a new soy-free feed ration using 5...


How to perfectly grill chicken barbecue for family and groups

In Episode 71, learn how to grill chicken barbecue that's flavorful and moist. Email questions to As this episode drops, the United States will be in full-on summer picnic mode with the fourth of July. It’s a perfect place to showcase pasture-raised chicken. In a bad cook’s grill, however, it’s a great opportunity to for a tough, dry, and poor eating experience. Mike talks about some of the biggest challenges to eating chicken: bland chicken and grilling. Mike...


How to calculate the margins of a pasture-raised broiler business

Episode 70. Beginning pastured poultry farmers have a common question: "What are the margins in raising pastured poultry?" In other words, "will it work?" The margins in your pasture-raised broiler business is what's left over after you pay for expenses. The margin is the profit that goes back into the business. Mike Badger answers that listener question in this episode by showing you how to calculate the cost of the raising a broiler. This question has been answered before by Mike and...


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...


Troubleshooting Chicken Health Problems During Processing

[caption id="attachment_1113" align="alignright" width="300"] Plucked chickens ready to be examined along with healthy hearts, liver, and gizzard.[/caption] Episode 68, I help you identify poultry production problems from your gutting table. When your chickens are laying on your table naked and unafraid, they hold no secrets. It's the perfect time to observe them as a way to identify production problems. This episode examines the scratches, bruises, hearts, livers, gizzards, green muscle...


Learn the Art of Scalding Chickens: How Long Should I Scald?

[caption id="attachment_1076" align="alignright" width="300"] Mike Badger shows you how to check for the perfect scald on a chicken during on-farm processing.[/caption] In this episode, Mike Badger goes beyond the talking points and gives yous some practical advice on how to scald chickens, turkeys, ducks, and really, anything you find in your pot of hot water. We'll talk about equipment selection, getting the perfect scald, scald time by bird, the plucker's role, and we'll wrap it up with...


Chad Ward shares accounting tips to make tax time easier for your farm business

In an episode of The Fighting Farmer, Spence mentioned that one of his processing customers is a book keeper and tax preparer. Then Chad Ward popped up and answered a tax question in the Pastured poultry Talk Facebook group. So I decided to catch up with Chad, who is a pastured poultry farmer from Oklahoma who also happens to prepare taxes and keep books at an H&R Block office. Pastured Poultry Headlines Poultry WorldAntibiotic use in US poultry production is 3 times higher than the...


Advantages and cost analysis of on-farm chicken processing

On-farm chicken and turkey processing holds a special place in my heart. It paid the mortgage. It introduced us to great people with great farms. It created speaking opportunities. Perhaps, most importantly, on-farm chicken butchering has been demystified and I think it's one of the keys to unlocking a self sufficient life. In this episode, I share some reasons to process on-farm, talk through why I believe the scalder is the single most important purchase you should make, and provide some...


The Fighting Farmer: community based pastured poultry and analyzing the costs of switching feeds

In this episode of The Fighting Farmer: Connect with Spence: Web | Facebook.


The Fighting Farmer Takes on Fake Organic

Certified organic is a systems based certification; it doesn't actually certify the product through testing. As a producer, the current system bugs me because consumers are paying for something they think is different and often times, the only difference is feed. Even that difference can be questionable and uncertain. The real question for consumers is, "Do you really want something different, or are you ok with being lied to?" In other news, we've got Ready To Lay pullets available in NW...


Does the failed organic livestock and poultry practices regulation matter to pastured poultry?

Customers who want poultry raised differently need to shop harder to ensure they get that difference. In December 2017, the Trump administration nixed the proposed final rule of the organic livestock and poultry practices regulations that were supposed to improve animal welfare. Instead, we're left with more of the same. Mike discusses the impact and politics from a pastured poultry perspective. Resources: Badger's Millside Farm


The Fighting Farmer on Profitable Ducks, Point of Lay Pullets, and Propane Heaters in the Brooder

It's a winter wrap-up at Across the Creek Farm: Across the Creek Farm Contact Spence on Facebook or on the web.


PPT063: Matt Brechwald discusses off farm income and selling what you know

Matt Brechwald publishes the Off Farm Income podcast and farms in Kuna, Idaho. Like many people, Matt had a "good job" with good pay, good benefits, time off, and reliability. And like many people he was not satisfied. Before he knew it, he spent 15 years as a police officer, and his dream of farming was nowhere in sight. That's when he took action that let him build a business on the side, get a farm, start podcast, and get farming. That's a path easier said than done, and in this episode...


FF004: Living the Fairy Tale Farm Life

When people look into a farmer's world, it often looks like a fairy tale life, and in many respects, that's true. In this episode of The Fighting Farmer podcast, we cover some of the things that challenge the wonderful life. Topics in this show: Ozark Natural FoodsAsk APPPA Q&A callAPPPA pastured poultry conference Contact Spence through Facebook.


PPT062: Joel Salatin talks about the marketing and business of craft foods

Joel Salatin joins the show and we use his recent book Your Successful Farm Business (Amazon) as the back drop to the conversation. High points of the discussion: Your Successful Farm BusinessYour Successful Farm Business Resources Polyface Farms Your Successful Farm BusinessYou Can FarmYour Successful Farm Business Sponsors Small Farm Nation Academy with Tim YoungOrder Ready to Lay Pullets in Pennsylvania


FF003: The Fighting Farmer on Christmas, chicken for cooking schools, alternative fish meal sources, and peat moss

Update from the farm: The Christmas ducks are out on pasture in the unseasonably warm fall weather and doing well. A buyer from a cooking school visits the farm. Across the Creek Farm supplies this school already, and the buyer said they needed to source conventional chicken so that the students would have a realistic experience when they go into commercial kitchens. By exclusively training on pasture-raised chicken, the students were working with a quality that far exceeded what they would...


PPT061: Don't be intimidated by marketing; get help | Interview with Tim Young

Tim Young of Small Farm Nation joins the show to discuss business, marketing, and farming. Tim is one of those guys who left a successful corporate career to farm full time. After successfully building that business, he's made yet another transition that more closely reflected his family's life goals. Today, he's a homestead food producer who teaches farmers about business and marketing. Here is a sampling of the tidbits in this show: Small Farm Nation AcademyCanvaOmnivore’s Dilemma Stay...