You’ve been thinking about coming, putting off the inevitable – now is the time.
On Saturday, June 3rd (2017) starting at 7:00 pm we will walk the garden, fields and barn and then have dessert and cold drinks together. During dessert, Matthew is going to describe the breeding system he has implemented with his Black Australorps, a program that’s based on recommendations from Kenny Troiano, of breeder book fame.
We will go as late as you want to or up to my bedtime. And if you want to spend the night, a friend of mine has two very cute places to stay that are about a mile from here. Call Doug Saylor, 254-744-1724, and mention that you are coming for the Claborn Farm Tour, and he will give you a special rate. (Doug is the father of my son’s wife. He and I have breakfast together most Saturday mornings.)
“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth over doing”, a saying attributed to my grandfather, was running through my head as I started to patch the leaking water system for the fifth time. How did I know it was the fifth time? Because I counted the 4 previous patches in the line. I was using quarter inch drip irrigation line to run the low pressure water to the coop.
The Delawares seem to take pleasure in disrupting my otherwise calm afternoon with a soupy mess on the floor. “Not this time”, I thought, “it’s worth over doing”. I took out all the quarter inch drip line, except for the small piece needed to connect to the waterer. I ran three-quarter-inch Pex from the spigot. Attached to the Pex is a garden hose “Y” with shut-off valves, and from there the now much shorter quarter inch line goes to the waterer. Might be the last time I shovel a stew out of that pen.
We (three of the grandchildren and me) are doing the afternoon chores, or the night chores, since the sun is setting as we finish up, and we still have 2 sheds – 4 flocks – to feed.
“Look Pa-pa that turkey is in the field with the Delawares, and he looks desperate to get out.”
I get out of the modified golf cart that I use for feeding and go move the lonely turkey.
A few minutes later, “Pa-pa, look! All the turkeys are going to sleep on the top pipe of the fence. Do you think he’ll fall off into the Delaware pen?”
To which her big brother replied, “Yes, he woke up on the wrong side of the fence.”
Poultry Consultant – not!
This really happened. I didn’t record the conversation, but here it is best as I remember.
“Hello, Claborn Farms. This is Joe, can I help you?”
A voice with a distinctly difficult to understand accent replied.
Voice: “Yes, I want to start a chicken farm near Waco, can you help me?”
Me: “Possibly, what are you thinking about raising?”
Voice: “My partner and I want to start with 10,000 broilers and build from there.”
Me: “Why do you want to do that? Have you ever been in a room with 10,000 broilers?”
Voice: No, but I…
Me: “If you haven’t, then before you make an investment, you should spend a day working in a CAFO chicken operation. It’s very unhealthy for the birds and for the people who work there.”
Voice: “Can you help me start a broiler farm?”
Me: “Why would you want to do that? Do you think that eating food that was raised in its own excrement is healthy? We raise birds on pasture, grass, sunshine, dirt, bugs, fresh air, rain and the things that were once part of a chicken’s day. When a bird is not allowed to see the sun, or bugs, or grass, but only sees genetically identical copies of itself all standing in the same muck, it can’t help but lose something of its ‘chickenness’. If you want to raise birds on pasture, I can help you get started at a much smaller scale – but it’s a lot of work.”
Voice: “Oh we have a source of very cheap labor – can you help us – we want to start with one house and build from there?”
Me: “Why do you think that I can help you?”
Voice: “Because your website says you are a consultant.”
Me: (Smile) I help people establish self-reproducing flocks of dual purpose birds. If you’d like help with that – I can help.
Voice: So you won’t help us start a broiler house?
See I really do answer the phone, 🙂
Hope to see you on June 3rd.