Brothers M. Poultry – Out to Pasture

Brothers M. Mondays – A new post each Monday until the 2018 market season starts on 5/26.

Pasturing is an important part of producing such high quality, good tasking chicken.  We get them onto pasture as early is safe for the chickens to maximize their naturally grown experience. Enjoy the video of the kids moving the chickens from the brooder into the pasture.

Brothers M. Mondays – Tarps

Brothers M. Mondays – A new post each Monday until the 2018 market season starts on 5/26.

Each year the chicken tractor tarps need to be replaced.   These are an important part of the tractor providing shelter from rain and storms as well as shade. Therefore they need to be in good shape each year.

 

Brothers M. Mondays – New Sign painted by our artist

Brothers M. Mondays – A new post each Monday until the 2018 market season starts on 5/26.

We needed new signs for the farmers markets.  Samantha offered her talents to help with the creation.  She likes painting and does a good job, so filling in the tracing lines was a snap for her.

The signs are made of recycled pallet wood.  They feature a rope handle and space in the middle to carry most of our farmers market materials.

We used a home made carbon paper method to transfer the outline to the boards for painting.  Basically cover the back side with pencil graphite then traced real hard.

  

  

Don’t forget our CSA is still open, check it out.

Brothers M. Mondays – Chickens have arrived

Brothers M. Mondays – A new post each Monday until the 2018 market season starts on 5/26.

The chickens have arrived and are safe and sound in the brooders.  The newest partner did just fine handling and preparing for the chicks.

Check out our CSA after you enjoy the video.

The 2018 season is starting. 

May seems far away, but we’ve already finished our planning and scheduling for the year.  Now is time to open up the CSA orders.

Our CSA is now open.

CSA orders are available now until all the slots are full or May 1st, whichever comes first.  We’re happy to announce that our prices are staying the same again this year; no price increases.  However, we have made some minor changes in the scheduling.

We’ll be doing one larger batch of chickens in the spring instead of the two smaller spring & fall batches as we did last year.  This mean only one pickup day for CSA orders.  Based on last year’s pick-up schedules this should work out well and it helps us give you the best prices by keeping our costs down.  If this does impact you, please provide us your feedback.

One spring batch means you have 2 dates to choose from  to pick up your frozen CSA orders, June 2nd or 9th.

You can still choose to pick up your CSA fresh at our homestead, just arrange a time with us in the evening on June 1st or 8th.

Our quality has not changed.  We’re still raising the same tasty pastured Non-GMO chickens we’re known for, so don’t miss out and order yours today.

 

Click HERE to see our CSA.

 

We’re still doing the Farmers Markets.

Big brother’s not sure about sis helping him.

Look for a new face at the farmers market.  Joseph is stepping aside to give Samantha the opportunity to work with Matthew raising and selling chickens.

 

We’ll continue to be at the Seymour and North Vernon during the normal Farmers Markets season.  We try to be in Seymour every week and North Vernon at least twice a month, usually the first and 3rd Saturdays, until the chicken runs out.

Check out our Poultry Pricing page for normal Market hours.

Follow us on Facebook and we’ll let you know ahead of time where we’ll be.

 

We look forward to seeing you all again this year.

 

-Matthew, Samantha, Jason, and Tricia.

2017 Season… It’s here

It’s Here!
We are officially kicking off our 2017 season. We will have frozen chickens available starting May 27; CSAs will have an opportunity to pickup fresh chickens the previous Saturday. Below are some of the highlights. Visit our Pricing Page for more details.

Pricing for 2017
• $4.00/lb for whole frozen chickens.
○ Average weight 4-5 lbs
• CSA packages – Our best offer
○ Ends May 1st or when all our CSA slots are full.
• Bulk purchase discounts
○ 5 chickens = 4%
○ 10 chickens = 6%
○ 15 chickens = 8%
○ 20 chickens = 10%

We’ll primarily be selling through the Farmers Markets
• Seymour Farmers Market – Saturdays, May 27 – until sold out for 2017
•• Westport Farmers Market – TBD for 2017

Why did we do a separate CSA and bulk discount?

It all comes down to what is Community Supported Agriculture(CSA). Last year was the first year for our CSA and we ended up giving our CSA pricing to everyone wanting to place bulk orders. We did this because we didn’t have a bulk discount. It was a compromise, but I knew this year we needed to change it in order to get back to the true CSA spirt.

The spirit of CSA is not about the discount. CSA is about supporting local agriculture because you realize the value of locally grown food, believe in supporting community businesses, or you want to support someone growing high quality food. While the reasons are your own, it really boils down to you supporting a cause. And one I think is a good one, if I didn’t we wouldn’t be doing this.

We value our CSA relationships. Your commitment helps shoulder our burden and tells us that what we do matters. It’s hard to explain how much that means to us, but we’ve tried to express it by returning to our CSA supporters the best value we can.

We’re looking forward to a great year and each of you are the ones who help make it happen. We hope you like and share our posts and if you’re buying chicken to give us the chance to earn your loyalty. Thank you.

Dual-purpose Chickens – 5 – Where’s the ‘beef’?

In fall of 2014 I decided I wanted to raise some dual-purpose chickens.  The main focus was on incubating my own birds to raise as “panfrys”, traditional meat birds frequently used in pan frying.  So how did the “panfrys” do?

IMG_0435

They were good foragers, which IMHO adds to the taste.  I don’t have hard numbers on how much they foraged vs feed,  but they were very light on the feed compared to normal meat birds.

 

The birds were an average of 2lb dressed weight at 13 weeks and 3lb average dressed weight at 16.  That compares to the size of 1950s US Broiler Performance.  Next year I’ll try and get hard numbers on the feed ratio.

 

One limitation is that I averaged 20 chicks per incubation cycle.  Since I don’t do a lot of processing myself and the processing place is 70 miles away, it’s better to have larger quantities.  It’s feasible to raise two cycles together; however, to get a minimum of 3lb dressed weight, the older cycle will be 19 weeks old.  Roosters fights may be a problem at that age.

 

I plan on continuing research into the dual breeds for meat.  Three pounds is an ok size, especially for a tasty bird.  Hatching our own birds cuts out some costs and I’ll work harder next year to get good numbers on the feed ratios to determine what the actual costs per pound are.

-Jason

It’s about that time…

It’s about that time and we will be processing the chickens over the next couple of weeks.  These birds are averaging closer to 6 – 7 lbs this run.  Over achievers!   

IMG_0861

For those who have pre-ordered we will be contacting you shortly to arrange pick-up.

For those of you who have not pre-ordered – it’s not too late.  There is still time to place an order.  Just send us an email, brothersM.poultry@gmail.com, and we’ll get you taken care of.

A special thanks to everyone for helping make Brothers M. Poultry a successful venture.

Chicken Tractor Plans – Part 2

Just to add a little narrative on how I build the chicken tractors.

  1. Start with the 10×12′ frame.  The 10′ end pieces should raised slightly to help pull the tractor over clumps of grass.
  1. Add diagonal corner braces.  Not sure that size matters.
  1. Hoop 2 sections of cattle panels.  They will overlap slightly.
  1. Assemble the door.
  1. Cut the door frame and attach to base and hoop
  2. Put in rear vertical and diagonal supports.  Add something on the end bottom for additional shelter.  This will go to the most windward side, west for me.  Top is just covered by the tarp and can be raised for additional air flow.
  3. Cover the hoop with chicken wire, 3 passes of 4′.  Overlap slightly.
  1. Cover the ends & door with chicken wire.
  1. Surround the perimeter with 2′ hardware cloth (optional).  I do this to prevent predators from reaching in through the chicken wire and grabbing birds sleeping near the edge.
  1. Add 2×4 fencing to ends.  This is added to ensure K-9 type/size predators cannot force through chicken wire.
  2. Attach door and latches
  1. Cover 2/3 with tarp, wrap extra around back.

 

 

Copyright © 2018 by Jason Maples