Quilting, Farming, Variety

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

To Explain Some Things,

regarding yesterday's post about the chickens: It seems I didn't do a very good job explaining that we don't grow the chickens for ourselves, but rather we are in a contract with Tyson Foods; the poultry industry is the main farm operation in our county, with many growers just like us. With the help of these pictures maybe it will be clearer:

Each farm provides their own houses, electricity, fuel, and water, and is responsible for good litter management and taking care of the chickens. We aren't considered Tyson empolyees; we just grow the chickens for them. We have four houses; this one is 400 feet long by 40 feet wide and can hold up to 21,000 chickens. Tyson Foods places baby chickens in the houses and brings feed for them.

On delivery day, the chickens are brought to the farm, from the hatchery, in trucks like these.
They are taken into the houses (as shown in yesterday's post) in boxes containing 100 chicks each.

In about a week the chickens are already beginning to get feathers,

and by seven weeks they can weigh almost seven pounds average.

At this age, Tyson Foods sends out a crew to catch the chickens,

and off they go to the processing plant and then to market. We get about two-three weeks to get the houses ready for another batch, and the whole thing starts over. Usually we will grow six batches a year, somewhere around 420,000 chickens, just from our farm alone. But it takes a lot to feed the world now. No longer can people just raise a few chickens in their backyard and provide food for this vast population.

I hope this has helped; now when you have delicious, golden fried chickn, think of me.

Smiles, Charlotte


  1. It is fascinating Charlotte. What a large scale operation!!
    I have been sharing these posts with my husband. He'll be so interested.

  2. it is a lot of work Charlotte! It is great that there are a lot of people like you and Noel that are farmers.

  3. Quite the operation ya'll have there. I've toured some 'round here before.

    People often never give it a second thought where their food comes from.

    The Ponderosa is strictly a beef/crops operation.

    God bless ya and thank you for doin' what ya do! :o)

    BTW: Love chicken!!!

  4. awesome. thanks for the clarification. do you ever get them to the point where you sell the eggs? that's probably not until they are about 5 months old huh?

  5. You did a wonderful job explaining the process. Your last sentence with the words, " provide food for this vast population," says so much. It is hard to imagine that many children today have no idea where the food they eat comes from.

  6. Hubby caught chickens for the chicken plant before it was Tyson. (forgot what). I never thought about how tiny they are as babies. Chicken houses = lots of work, huh?

  7. Thanks so much for your wonderful narrative and great pictures.
    I admire the work and time you all put into raising the chicken.
    I'm still spinning on 68,000 chickens. I'll bet the noise of the sweet tweeters is deafening.
    I feel better knowing that you are one of the farmers that care for the chickens.
    Truly I will think of you whenever I eat chicken now.

  8. Thanks for sharing
    I know in my area there are a
    lot of large chicken houses
    like this.
    Wonder if they do something
    Have a good day.

  9. Wow - I learned a lot from your post today.
    (When I REALLY think about it, sometimes I think I could be a vegetarian....but I do love my grilled chicken...)
    Have a good day - those chicks are so cute. I'll have to put that out of my mind now... or I WILL be a vegetarian.

  10. What a job! Now every time I buy Tyson, I will think of you and the hard work it takes!

  11. I think this is a fascinating process, Charlotte~ and one that needs to be shared so that everyone will know that responsible, hard-working people like you and your hubby are the ones supplying our food. :)
    (I'd still like to snuggle every chick, though... *haha*)

  12. Oh my goodness! So many chickens. The little ones are so cute. You all have quite a farm.

  13. I will think of you : ) It sounds so interesting too-you did a good job of explaing it!