Restock Dates: Please see our Farm Blog where we post our weekly newsletter for the latest updates

Chicken, Chicken, Chicken

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

January 28, 2024

The "most asked" question from customers is - When Will You Have More Chicken?

Well, the weather has been a bit challenging when it comes to raising chickens on pasture. Most recently, we delayed the last batch harvest because at the typical age we harvest they were very small. So, we elected to delay two weeks to give them time to grow to a reasonable market weight.

Then, last week the weather was very cold.

We did harvest them Tuesday as scheduled and the results were very good. In fact, the average dressed weight was 5.89 pounds. They grew more in the last two weeks than in the previous 8 weeks. Which amazes me!

Again, last week was very COLD for at least 5 days in a row. Eric & Elliemei did a phenomenat job taking care of our broilers on pasture. Out of about 400 chickens only ONE was lost. Folks, that is braggin rights. Because of the freezing temperatures they had to fill portable waterers from our slaughter plant and take out to the pasture about 3-times per day... starting early and finishing late. Our tractors were wrapped in plastic to block wind and fresh hay was added daily as bedding. Just imagine how the soil biology will respond to that this spring.

Water for the hens was accomplished the same way. Multiple times per day. The cows water hose was removed and drained each evening then replaced early the next morning. Water valves were well protected from the cold and wind. This includes the four wells on our property.

Now that the worst has pasted it was time to evaluate the damage. So far, the worst has been the nipple lines in the hen & broiler tractors. Two of the eight nipple lines in the hen tractors had parts busted out as well as splits down the PVC pipe. And a couple of the broiler nipple lines were split. Tuesday afternoon was spent replacing these so the chickens could be back on their regular water supply.

And, we learned a lesson about ensuring water lines were properly drained so as not to freeze and bust!!!

Busted-Nipple-Line.jpg


Currently for the month of January 2024 we have filled 224 orders of which 39 are First Time Buyers (about 17%). Twenty people have signed up for our newsletter since last Saturday and 76 people since News Year Day.

Each Wednesday I receive an email from our local stockyard with Monday's sale results. This past Wednesday Mike Keene shared an interesting statistic- January 23, 2023 our per head average was $654.00; January 22, 2024 our per head average was $960.00. The calf market is red hot and the butcher cow/bull market is too.

Folks that is a $306 dollar per head increase year over year or 50% higher. These higher prices are already showing up at some farms- I saw where a farm was charing $6.35 Lb for half beef plus processing. This is crazy, just saying!

Our inventory on NY Strip Steaks ia a bit heavy so I have decided to put them on sale for Feburary (or until supplies last). When you buy 10 packs or more we will discount 10% off when we pack your order. As always, we thank you for your business.

** Product Availability Update **

NOTE: Restocks are made about 6 PM on the dates indicated below!

Chicken - Restocked January 24, 2024. Next restock scheduled for Feb 14th. The batch of chicks that could not be shipped last week - replacements arrived this Wednesday all very healthy and doiing great.

Turkey - Whole turkeys are sold out. Restocked Ground, legs, thighs, and wings Jan 10th

Eggs - Restock each Wednesday. Received 950 new pullet hens Thursday, Nov 9th. Starting to get a few small to medium eggs

Beef - Fully Stocked. Next restock will be February 23, 2024

Pork -Fully Stocked - except for bacon. Expect to restock again by late February

Lamb - Restocked September 13th. Scheduled to process lamb in November, but this has been delayed. Probably Mar 2024

More from the blog

Are Foreign Imports "Local"?

It may surprise you that I do receive AND read several weekly newsletters from other farms that I know and trust. Last week, Paul Brown who owns Nourished By Nature in Bismark, ND (son of Gabe Brown) wrote a really good article on import beef and he agreed to let me share with my customers. So, here goes! If you recall, the last newsletter we sent out referred to the statistic that today, only 2% of the population in the US produces food for the entire country (plus imports) as compared to 17% in 1940. This is unprecedented and it makes me wonder, what happened over the last 80 years? And where will we be in another 80? No wait, how about 10 years??? Will all US food production be outsourced?

Product Updates & More

First, a quick followup from last week's email where I shared my letter to Sec. Watson. This generated a lot of interest and response from our customers - ALL very positive and thankful for us taking the stand we do. Several customers also shared that they were personal friends with Sec. Watson and would contact him regarding our farm. So far, I have not heard from him. Cindy shared the following: Thank you for speaking out about issues that many of us are very upset about and feel like we have no voice. Hopefully, Secretary Watson will actually do something. In my opinion, Farm Bureau is against most Mississippians. They were against the illegal land sales to the Chinese and other foreign countries who want to harm us. I was at the meeting at the Capitol a few months ago and saw it firsthand. They are against any legislation to protect pets, such as dogs and cats, from animal abusers, in addition to the chicken and dairy issues you mentioned above. I am no fan at all of Farm Bureau. They are a detriment to our state. But they have a powerful lobby and lots of friends in influential places . And lots of farmers, big farmers, are fans. I have always been a fan of ag commissioner Gipson and I expect he will run for governor one day. I’m not sure if it’s a political play, but it seems that he is quiet on most of these issues. One exception is the Land deals, because he did chair those groups and hold the hearings.

Letter To Sec. Watson MS Secretary of State

This week I received an email from Sec. Watson regarding his offices' plan and successes in eliminating administrative and MS Code bottlenecks that hold back business growth. He also asked for input on areas that affect our business. Have you ever heard the saying, "Be Careful What You Ask For?" Well, here is my response to Sec. Watson. I'm still waiting to hear back from him - which I truly hope will happen. Sec. Watson, first let me thank you for aggressively tackling these tough issues. Too many politicians today are mere pawns of