Growing Pains

Growing Pains

May 2024 vol. 4

As many of you have noticed, we’ve run out of whole chickens and breasts. Well, we didn’t quite run out—I’ve set some aside for our Buyer’s Club Members (one of the many perks of joining the club)..

Managing inventory is a challenge for every business, but unlike most businesses that can simply order more raw materials, in farming, we have to grow them. This takes time—cattle, for instance, take 2-3 years to mature. Keeping up with growing demand is a real challenge for us. Increasing production also means ramping up our infrastructure and renegotiating with suppliers and processing partners. I can’t grow more chicken if I can’t get more chicks, and once they’re grown, I have to ensure my processor can handle the extra volume.

Here at the farm, increasing production requires upgrading all our supporting infrastructure:
Do I have enough chicken crates to take them to the processor?
Is the trailer big enough to haul the extra crates?
Do I have enough coolers to bring them home?
Do I have the freezer space to store it?
Do I have enough brooder capacity?
Do I have enough chicken tractors to grow them in?
I’m the type of guy who likes to have redundancy, so for the past few years, I’ve been building and buying extra equipment in case I needed it. The time has arrived! We’re working on increasing our chicken production by 100 birds per batch—a 33% increase! Long-time readers may recall that we increased batch size at the end of 2022 as well. That change was driven by the need to drive to Hillsboro for processing, prompting us to do fewer, larger batches to improve efficiency. Now we’re scaling up to meet your growing demand. Thank you!

To accommodate this growth, I’ve spent the week building a new chicken tractor. These are the homes the broilers live in while they’re out on pasture. They protect the birds from predators and provide shade, while enabling me to move them daily to fresh grass. Honestly, this is my favorite part of farming—getting to build stuff. I enjoy tweaking designs and making improvements. Fixing and building is what I was born to do, which is exactly why farming is my dream job.

We will be fully restocked by the end of next week, so we hope you can bear with us a bit longer. Hopefully, this expansion will keep us ahead of the demand curve for another year. To ensure you always get a steady supply of our wonderful pasture-raised meats, consider joining the team and signing up for our Buyer’s Clubs. Each month, you’ll receive one of our fabulous boxes, which also helps us manage production and pay the bills.

See you at the market!

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