1st, I would like to say I have read almost every review on here about Poultry Hollow before visiting.
I am appalled at some of the down right unfounded and vicious things people have said about this farm.
This is a family run hatchery, who has been in business many years..
There was another elderly man who showed up right after I did and I asked him his opinion on the farm, his exact words were "I come here every year for 15 years now for my Thanksgiving Turkey and monthly for the chicken. You wont find a better tasting bird."
Also, after inspecting the birds and deciding for myself I would be buying from them after all, I decided to interrogate Judy on her side of the story to get a better perspective. So I thank her for tolerating my probing.
I personally believe the proof is in the pudding, and I go by facts not opinions. So, I went into Poultry Hollow with the intent of possibly buying a bird and giving a fair review. I spent almost 2hrs there on 11/15/12.
I am going to highlight the complaints I have read and I will give you my personal take on them.
Poultry hollow is at the end of a scarey long road with trailers along the way:
Really?? The drive is beautiful, and their land could not be in a better location to raise poultry. As for the trailers along the way... Welcome to TN.
Poultry Hollow smells:
Do any of you run a hatchery or own the amount of birds they do?
Yes, I also have a farm, barn, chickens and a slew of other animals so I am accustomed to the smells.. However, Chicken poop is known for being VERY VERY VERY bad smelling. So why would anyone in their right mind think a poultry farm would smell sweet. Most hatcheries will not even let you set foot where they keep the breeding animals.
All of their enclosures are outdoors (aside from the brooders/chicks) and well ventilated, which keeps the birds healthy. That is all that matters to me.
To be honest Poultry Hollow smelled exactly how I expected it to smell, a poultry farm...
Poultry Hollow is dirty and birds are cramped:
The first thing I saw when I pulled up unannounced was Judy and her Grandson cleaning the cages. The farm land itself is exquisite, there is a slew of free range VERY happy birds and other adorable, most importantly HEALTHY farm animals. Mostly the Turkey, Quail, Geese, Peafowl and some Bantam chickens were free range. They have a beautiful running creek with fresh water, I wish I lived there!!
The purebred birds in cages that I saw all had fresh water, they were NOT cramped. Take a look at commercial poultry farming, where birds are crammed in by the thousands in dark dank cages... Poultry Hollow birds are in outdoor pens and well cared for. Again, this is a poultry farm, not a hobby farm. In my opinion the birds were not crammed, not even close.
Some of the enclosures had muddy grounds from the rain but the birds all seemed healthy. I saw two pens with birds who has some feathers missing, but I know from experience that particular feather loss is from hens during mating or from other hens.
The buildings and pens are NOT professional looking (at all), but they are safe and healthy for the birds, which is what matters.
I did see a dead Turkey so I went to check out the body and it was quite obvious another animal killed the bird. That would be my only negative remark, I realize animals die.. Especially poultry, but the bodies should be disposed of out of sight :)
Poultry Hollow has poor business skills and their website is lacking:
Ok, so I agree they are very country and lack the "Customer is always right" mentality and their website is decent compared to some of the other hatcheries listed. With that being said, they are very nice as long as you are not attacking them unfounded.
I asked Judy why they do not post photo's of their own birds and winning birds that she is very proud of and she told me her son runs the website for her. Needless to say the man works and helps his single, elderly mother by running that site for her and she is thankful for the work that he put into it.
As for the "customer is always right" mentality, I will just say its a country respect thing. I have noticed since moving from Chicago that TN probably has the worst customer service skills.. Sure, the people are sweet and friendly but they think nothing of telling you where to go if you do not like the service.
No way any inspector would give Poultry Hollow a NPIP approval and/or is inspected properly:
I saw BOTH the NPIP and Health inspection certificates myself on their office wall.. Both inspections were done on different dates in Aug of 2012. The health inspection was a rating of 98 ...
ALL of poultry hollow's birds that they sell for consumption are sent off to be slaughtered in Georgia at a USDA poultry processing plant.
So, I guess all you naysayer's know better than the inspectors and myself.
The good reviews on Poultry Hollow are made by Poultry Hollow themselves:
I highly doubt this... feel free to look me up on FB www.facebook.com/jillnabors or check out my website at http://www.shangrilatms.com .. I am not Poultry Hollow nor have I ever met them before yesterday. I have been reading their reviews for almost a year now and I have found you either love them or hate them.
I got a chick that became sick and died:
Who hasn't? I avoid young birds for this reason, they are VERY sensitive.
I picked out a beautiful blue slate hen yesterday and Judy told me she could not sell me that bird because it had a leg injury, I did not even notice the slight limp until she pointed it out. So, that tells me Judy would not sell a bird she knows is not in perfect health. What more do you want from her??
Has anyone had their flocks die because they contracted a disease from Poultry Hollow birds?
Not that I have found.
Has anyone gotten sick from eating a Poultry Hollow bird?
Not that I have found.
There you have it, please try to understand that just because YOU do not personally like them based on how YOU think they should run things does not make them a bad Hatchery. Judy loves her birds, clearly, and some of you need to try really hard to see things from her perspective.
Edited by Shangrila Farm - 11/16/12 at 8:12am