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Joel Salatin a Snake Oil sales man?  

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

I have been watching "Polyface Farm" with Joel Salatin.  The chicken tractor just does not seem practical... at all.  First of all, very few people actually own this perfect land that Joel is working with.  Second of all, his ideas sound great on paper... but when put into practical work, it wouldn't really work at all.  The "Chicken Tractor" requires you to pull it every 3 days... gas, and labor expese.  The "Chicken Tractor" requires you to "train the chickens" to not roost under the tractor at night.  The "Chicken Tractor" requires a movable electric fence that has to be taken down and set up every three days.  There will be no protection against hawks, eagles, or really even jumping dogs.  This set up is only good for the summer months, requireing you to have two chicken coops, of relatively equal size...  Sorry, but this is all enthusiasm, with no practical sense.

post #2 of 38

I wouldn't say he's a snake oil salesman.  He fully recognizes that his model may not work for you.  It works for him, and he's pretty clear about that I think.  He has some great ideas that can be applied and adapted as necessary.  I've seen a lot of predation in our area with his style of tractors (man pulled on skid) with an electric fence.  Hawks are very serious limitation here, Not insurmountable by making the run narrower.  But dry ground out here has limited the effectiveness of those fences too.

 

Winter quarters not necessary here, or in VA for that matter, if the tractors are draft-free.  And if I recall correctly Salatin only keeps a very few layers over the winter, starting new one early in the year.

 

I think the take away is that nothing works for everyone.

Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/#!/Justinwrites if you're into that sort of thing.
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/#!/Justinwrites if you're into that sort of thing.
post #3 of 38

How do you suppose he is making money then?    Magic?

post #4 of 38
Thread Starter 

I disagree.  I don't think that this system is practical at all.  I think that he sells a lot of books, talks at a lot of conferences, and builds a lot of enthusiasm... but his system would bankrupt any farmer who tried it.  IMO

post #5 of 38

Have you talked to any farmers who have actually tried it?

 

 

Chance favors the prepared mind.
Chance favors the prepared mind.
post #6 of 38

I am not a fan either of the tractor. It doesnt seem practical on a large scale. But there are plenty areas where those would work. One would have to be commited to a regular moving schedule or else a tractor would be pointless.

Jesus turned water into wine. I turned into liquor - Popcorn Sutton

We live out in the middle of nowhere with our family- the next town is 10 miles away. WE currently own a bunch of chicks and chickens, ducks, meat rabbits..

Jesus turned water into wine. I turned into liquor - Popcorn Sutton

We live out in the middle of nowhere with our family- the next town is 10 miles away. WE currently own a bunch of chicks and chickens, ducks, meat rabbits..

post #7 of 38

You don't sell many books, or get invited many places to speak if what you're writing or saying doesn't work.   It obviously works for him.  If you don't like it, or it doesn't work for you, thats different.

post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksFlock View Post

How do you suppose he is making money then?    Magic?



He sells his chicken in high end organic/ health food stores for $13/lb, bacon for $11/lb, etc.  And he speaks all around the country for a fee.

~Amy~ Married to my best friend, raising a couple of kids, homeschooling, living in a 220 year old house & loving country life.

Our flock: A bantam pair (Golden Sebright roo and Silver Sebright hen), 20 standard hens (Blue Andalusian, Barred Rock, Black Copper Marans, Blue Copper Marans, easter eggers and barnyard mixes), 2 Pekin Ducks and a Black Shoulder peachick.

 

~Amy~ Married to my best friend, raising a couple of kids, homeschooling, living in a 220 year old house & loving country life.

Our flock: A bantam pair (Golden Sebright roo and Silver Sebright hen), 20 standard hens (Blue Andalusian, Barred Rock, Black Copper Marans, Blue Copper Marans, easter eggers and barnyard mixes), 2 Pekin Ducks and a Black Shoulder peachick.

 

post #9 of 38

Joel has some good ideas that will work, but his methods are very high labor. Not any different from the fact that I can make $4000+ per acre growing gherkin pickle cucumbers or I can make $300 per acre growing corn, but the cucumbers are 100's times more work per acre.

 

He is not any worse than the Mother Earth News contributors. They live in a fairy tell land. I couldn't believe the naive simple mindedness of the last issue I bought. Can you imagine living in New York or any large city where everyone compost their personal waste and burned wood for heat. Can you even imagine the stench and air pollution.

 

 

post #10 of 38

My niece lives in Ohio and they raise their Organic slower growing meat chickens in tractors they can move by hand either in the yard or in recently baled hay fields. They are only used in the warmer months of course, but they are great for that purpose. I live in west Texas where we will need to add shade cloth. I think you just make adjustments to what will work for you. No one design is going to work for every environment. I gotta say it is a great place to start from.

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