Viability of Salatin's Book Today?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by babalubird, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I plan to buy several of Salatin's books, "You Want to Farm" and "Pastured Poultry Profits," mainly because they got such raving reviews on Amazon.com.

    However, one review on the second book was that he did not cover modern-day marketing, most notably, use of the internet. And I did notice most of the raving reviews were about 6-7 years old.

    Do any of you use his book(s) as your Bible? Is his formula and results still do-able today?

    We are TOTAL beginners, but do already have 16 acres we plan to move to.

    Your honest input appreciated. We want to make money, not lose it. In fact, we are too close to retirement to risk losing it.

    Thanks.

    Connie
     
  2. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have the book and bought it 9 years ago and that's what got me started. It's a great start and he makes a lot of great points.

    It was my chicken "bible" until I learned the ropes and developed my own standards as you will too. You will come to find out what works for him in Virginia may not work for you in your state. I learned this quickly. As your right, there is little attention given to the fact of marketing. He strictly believes in word of mouth, which to a point, I do too.

    But you need more of a direct marketing set up in most areas. You should have a website.... not a real big problem but in today's market it helps a lot. Send out flyers and tell everyone about what your doing to whose interested.

    To answer your question.......The book holds it value in gold as far as I'm concerned. Like stated before you will find some of his techniques to work.... and some not so well.... But regaurdless you will get a ton of information and won't be disappointed!

    I'd say buy it if your going to pasture raise your chickens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    My take on it:

    1) The books are relevant.

    2) By his standards, I've already spent too much money on my far, livestock and equipment to ever possibly turn a profit. There are just some standards we like to live by since we have guests to the farm.

    3) He overestimates the feed savings going from traditional to pastured production. We pasture our chickens for ethical reasons, not economic ones.

    4) In our state, selling the bird live then offering ot 'process for free' is not lawful. You'll end up in the hoosegow. Even if you do work for no compensation, you must have a poultry processor permit.

    His book "Everything I want to do is Illegal" talks a lot about this. In my experience, though, it's best to be within the system instead of expending all your efforts trying to skirt around the edges of your laws.
     
  4. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all so much.

    I can't wait to get started, but must first sell this house before we can move. I'm just using this time as a learning stage.

    I will buy the two books then. Is this "Everything I want to Do Is Illegal" worth the money also?

    Connie
     
  5. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's funny because I think some of the points that you pointed out are what has made him famous.

    1) His standards aren't expensive? For less than $100 I can have a pen that last about 5 years with very little repair. My pens are not identical to his but this is what makes it fun... design your own that fits your needs.

    2) You don't save money on feed Greyfields when using his methods? That's a problem with pasture not his methods. I've saved up to 40% with turkey's and as much as 30% with chickens. The key to "saving" on feed cost is to move the pen as much as possible. The more grass they get the more the feed goes down. Grass is low in overall calories so they need a lot to make an impact on total feed intake. Moving the pen once won't make much of an impact. With 100 broilers and a 8x16 pen they get moved at least 4 times a day when they are over 4 weeks of age.

    3) It's legal in any state to sell a bird live. And in any state it is also legal to butcher a friends chicken on whoevers property. There is no laws stating that. Just make sure you have the correct paperwork or "reciept" stating the birds were sold live and you processed it for them for free.

    The books are good if you plan to sell a lot of birds, more than 1,000 a year than it starts to get important to pay attention to detail but if your like most farmers in the country you don't need to sell your birds live as your excempt. For some states it's as high as 20,000 birds per year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Definitely read Pastured Poultry Profits. He has a lot of hard earned experience doing this, but as others have said, it may or may not apply to you or your area. Just take everything with a grain of salt and realize that your mileage may vary.
     
  7. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mac, I see you are in Texas like us.

    Do you know what the requirements for Texas are to apply Salatin's methods in this state? Are we allowed to slaughter up to what number? Or are we not allowed to slaughter without the tricky wording, selling live and only slaughtering as a favor?

    Thanks.

    Connie
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd say 30% food savings is probably closer to 10-15%. I would have to raise simultaneous crops to say anything more precise.

    But analyzing the ammount of feed we go through on broilers, and comparing this to their known FCR's, it would be cheaper for me to do a confined operation. We prop the tractors up and let them out into 40'x40' runs which we move weekly (poultry electronetting). They get plenty of forage; but it in no way is a 30% reduction in feeding.

    I pasture them simply becasue I like them to have a life. I also don't feel comfortable using tractors. It's too confining. It's like you take these horrible Cornish X's, throw them on some grass, and suddenly you're doing something ethical over broiler barns? Yes, it's better by comparison, but the tractors do not allow chickens adequate room to display chicken behavior and be birds. It doesn't sit right with me; and it's something which is keenly criticized by outsiders looking in. I don't know if you get Practical Poultry from the UK, but you regularly see this as a point of debate. I guess I tend to fall on their side of thinking on it.
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    And a big difference in how much savings you can possibly get from pasturing will be on where you live... Cooler weather will cause them to eat more and can slow their growth, meaning a lower FCR if you are raising broilers pastured vs a temp controlled barn. Of course, the change will depend on where you live, as the day highs in WA are like 40-50F in the spring, and 60-70 in the summer while in VA, day highs are probably a lot warmer.
     
  10. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just like was said by others, what works in some places, may not work in others. We have 20 acres here in California. If your backyard in Texas is anything like ours, you might as well put up a flashing neon sign saying "FREE CHICKIN' DINNER" as every furry and winged predator within 10 miles will come to help themseves to the tastey morsels on your open range. Many around here have tried , including us, and failed miserably as we have tons of PREDATORS including loose DOGS. No one for miles around even has a live feathered backyard foul. OR... build yourself a Fort Knox with an armed 24 hour guard. We buy meat bird chicks, first they are housed inside our house for 2 weeks then in our steel horse barn and are processed within 6-8 weeks of age. There are several commercial farms ( about 50 miles away) that raise turkeys... all under roof, with the buildings well fenced in and devoid of vegetation all around. When our freezer gets empty, we have to settle for store baught, Mc Nugget, or hope to be invited by friends or relatives far away for a home grown version of dinner. Good luck with your project.
     

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