Yes, this is a promotion to get your Thanksgiving Chickens while you can, but more importantly it is an expression of gratitude to our supporters. It has been an amazing year and we couldn’t have done it without you!
In 2021 we raised just over 130 pastured chickens, and this summer we raised just over 1,000, with only 100 left in the freezer! We’ve learned many lessons and made many new friends, we’d love to share both with you briefly.
Run the figures, then figure it out We did our best to be responsible when we decided to 10x our chicken operation this year. We calculated costs, made a schedule of brooding/pasturing/processing, talked about it as partners and even brainstormed how to sell them. However, in the end, even best laid plans require Muck Boots, Apple Cider Vinegar and our best guess of how to assemble 2,500 lbs of steel into a portable chicken shelter.
Retrospectives We didn’t plan for enough chicken wire, feed, pine shavings, propane tanks, straw for cold nights and chill tanks, but we took each day in stride to tackle the issue at hand. Once the immediate issue was handled we’d retreat to our reliable and low maintenance cows, and move them for the day. That time to sit in a pasture, watch them graze and reflect, was critical in giving space for us to think about how to improve for the next day, next batch, next processing or next year.
Efficient and Holistic Holistic Management encourages us to not just fix or improve the immediate, but to look at the 2nd, 3rd and even 4th order consequences or our decisions. For example, when fertilizer is applied to a pasture (or lawn), are we thinking about the runoff of that Nitrogen into our streams that creates algae blooms in Utah Lake? With our chicken operation, we didn't anticipate how much time it would take to ensure a quality of life for the chickens while also benefitting the land. I can see how industrial chicken operations have become what they have because they prioritized economic efficiency with less (potentially no) consideration of the health of the birds or the land.
To be part of the agricultural community and the regenerative movement has blessed us to meet a lot of amazing people and organizations. We’d be remiss if we didn’t call you out and tell you that we truly couldn’t have done all we’ve done without you.
KPCW Local News Hour with Leslie Thatcher
KRCL RadioACTive with Lara Jones and Al the Punk Rock Farmer
Ms. Andrea at Park City Day School
Ms. McKenna at Park City High School
Oakley Farmer’s Market (Organized by Dave Diehl)
Many are not specifically listed but you know who you are. You said hi every week at a Farmer’s Market and told us about the latest way you cooked a bird. You showed up on processing day and worked til the job was done. You lent us a trailer, a pasture, your time, your advice and especially when it comes to family, you gave us support…and patience :)
We wish this time of year to be healing for you through rest, connections and healthy meat! Cheers, Mitch and the Pards