How Do We Monitor and Plan for Bird Deliveries?

Before MacFarlane Pheasants can monitor our bird deliveries, we make the sales! Many of our customers are repeat customers. Their orders come in early because they don’t want to miss out on getting their birds for the season. Every spring we send out quotes to anyone that has ordered the year before and we typically get a response right away. We also get new orders from people we meet through the North American Game Bird Association (NAGA), our website, and word of mouth. We deliver all over North America, to places like Alberta, Canada, Quebec, Canada, Florida, Washington, Oregon, and as far as California.

The process used for monitoring bird deliveries is typical for a large business. We use Excel, QuickBooks and a chronological schedule to monitor how many birds each customer has ordered. When people take birds, the number is tracked on each of these 3 methods and all the numbers must match. Using more than one method assures accuracy!

We have a delivery form that is given to the process crew so they know how many birds go on each load. The process crew then gives the office the crate numbers that explain how many crates and how many birds are in each crate. Once again, all the numbers must match before the delivery drivers take off. To read more about deliveries you might want to check out previous blog posts. It is quite a production and customer service provided by our drivers and representatives is exceptional.

Call us at 608-757-7881 with any questions you have about securing a shipment or learning more about MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.

how-do-we-monitor-and-plan-for-bird-deliveries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do We Monitor and Plan for Bird Deliveries?

Clean Water is the Life Blood of Living Things

Water is needed for all of the organic processes necessary for life. It regulates body temperature, digestion, and elimination of waste. Game birds consume at least twice as much water as feed and it is a big responsibility at MacFarlane Pheasants to keep our water clean and flowing. It is also an easy and cost effective avenue to administer nutrients, acidifiers, and vaccines that our thousands of birds need to ensure good health.

However, keeping the water clean is complicated by the additives we use. The additives can promote bacterial growth inside the waterlines where it can go unnoticed. If the additive helps the birds, chances are there is something in the waterline that also gets a boost. We have a line cleaning system to eliminate the risk of contaminants, biofilm, scale and other bacterium build-up. Pseudomonas, E coli, and salmonella are conditions that can develop without proper water line cleaning.

The water line cleaning schedule and supplemental care must be performed regularly and with careful attention to detail. One issue with water line cleaning is that the process has to work without harming the water line, medicators, and pressure equipment used in the system. The system we have in place is safe for our equipment.

Water Line Cleaning Process 

  • Remove birds from area where water lines are being cleaned.( We clean the lines every time a hatch is moved from one room to another.)
  • Pump 3% solution CID 2000 (strong hydrogen peroxide/peroxy acetic acid solution) in the lines, including small bell waterer hoses, for 12 hours straight.
  • Fully flush lines and run a trader dye to make sure all lines get the solution and to guarantee that the solution is completely flushed from the lines.
  • Move new set of birds in.

Supplemental Care (especially after running vitamins or probiotics) 

  • Run up to 1 oz. of CID 2000, mixed in 1 gallon of water through our proportioner or medicator at a rate of 1:128 (Lines used with younger birds are usually started with 1/2 oz.) Lines are then tested with H202 test strips.
  • Remember that when testing waterers, nothing may show up on test strips. At that point the maximum of 1 oz. is run through the medicator. Testing at this point is essential, as the target residual in the lines is 25-50 ppm. A higher concentration can harm the birds by slowing their drinking.
  • Run Chlorinators on wells to aid in controlling bacteria, especially in outdoor pen facilities.
  • Test water regularly because if the chlorine level is too high, it will affect how much birds drink.
  • Chlorine is filtered out of the water going into brooder barns.

We check to see if our lines are plugged or water pressure is abnormally low to find out if water line cleanliness is negatively affecting our chicks. Birds need water, it is their life blood! So when we do our regular checks of our birds and they don’t seem right, one of the variables we look at is whether there is something in the water lines that can’t be seen. The only way to know is to have your water tested. However, it is inexpensive to run a maximum of 1 oz. CID 2000 solution when not running nutrients, to be sure your water is clean. Please contact b.davis@pheasant.com if you have question about water line cleaning.

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Clean Water is the Life Blood of Living Things

What is the Largest Pheasant Breed Offered at MacFarlane Pheasants?

The Extra-Large Ringneck Pheasant is the largest pheasant breed we offer on our farm. This breed is primarily Mongolian blood and is a real challenge for bird dogs to get into flight! These big birds tend to be ground runners. When they do get off the ground they are slower flyers. The cocks weigh in between 3.5-4 pounds and hens weigh between 2.5-3 pounds, at maturity. They are about 1 pound larger than the standard Ringneck, which is our biggest seller. The Extra-Large Ringneck appeals to hunt clubs and growers for two main reasons.

  • Great for youth hunters because they are easier to hit
  • Super for growers and clubs who are looking for a bird for meat production

We encourage our buyers to get their orders in early if the Extra-Large Ringneck is their bird of choice!

Check out our recent blog posts to review descriptions of our most popular birds during the current season and give us a call at 608-757-7881, when you are ready to order.

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What is the Largest Pheasant Breed Offered at MacFarlane Pheasants?

Who Benefits from Our Feed Truck?

The feed truck pictured here, has been in use for about a year now at MacFarlane Pheasants. In the past we had feed delivered from a third-party vendor. The feed truck purchase has definitely improved our ability to take charge of our feeding schedule and costs.

Our truck holds 15-18 tons of feed in its 6 compartments. We analyzed the cost benefit of owning our own truck and found the yearly savings for feed to be at about 35%. Owning our own truck means we have complete control of where our truck goes and what goes into it. This eliminates many bio-security issues and our birds always benefit from added safety features.

Now that we have our own truck, we take it to the feed mill and pull under a chute that fills the truck from above. The truck sits on a scale and is weighed, after being filled, in order for the feed mill to bill us for the contracted feed. We immediately enter this information into our own reconciliation spreadsheet.

Once we get the truck home we use it to feed our outside birds by filling their feeders directly in the pens. We feed our inside birds by filling the feed bins that are then brought inside. This is a daily job so our feed truck is in constant use!

Everyone on the farm benefits from the feed truck. Obviously, it is a lot easier to drive our truck around the property to feed the birds. It is also a much more efficient use of employee time. Because feed is our 2nd highest annual cost and labor is our number one cost, we all benefit from the efficient use of a feed truck!

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Who Benefits from Our Feed Truck?

All About Feed and Record Keeping at MacFarlane Pheasant Farm

We go through about 6000 tons of feed per year to feed our birds. Those tons of feed translate into the 2nd largest constant expense on the farm. The importance of record keeping can’t be overstated. Feed reconciliation is kept on a spreadsheet where every feed delivery is recorded with the invoice price and the date payments are made. The spreadsheet  information allows us to assess the data and find out all the information we need to know about feed in order to make wise decisions about our feed purchases.

 Reconciliation Spreadsheet Information:

  • Monthly feed usage
  • Yearly feed usage
  • Monthly feed cost
  • Average feed cost for the month or year
  • Informs us how much feed we should contract
  • Informs us when to contract for feed
  • Helps to determine cash flow we will have available after planning for feed costs

Feed Planning Process

  • Internal feed orders are given to Chris Theisen
  • Chris orders the feed from Kent Nutrition
  • We pick up the feed with our own feed truck
  • The invoice for feed is recorded on the reconciliation form and then submitted for payment
  • Bill MacFarlane reviews the invoice and approves it for payment
  • Once payment is made, the invoice is marked paid and then filed
  • Lastly, the reconciliation form is updated

Record keeping is very important to the success of a business. If you would like to learn more about our process, feel free to contact chris@pheasant.com.

Keep watching our blog for information about our feed truck and how we use it to keep our birds fed, healthy, and happy. We began using our own feed truck about a year ago and we are looking forward to telling you about it. In the meantime, why not download our guide to what it takes to successfully manage and run a game bird farm?

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All About Feed and Record Keeping at MacFarlane Pheasant Farm

Popular Game Birds in 2016-2017

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The Chinese Ringneck is our best seller at MacFarlane Pheasants. We expect to sell over 450,000 of these birds in 2016-2017. They are the most popular breed in the United States. Since they were brought here from China in 1881, they have continued to flourish and can be found in over 40 States. Hunters love them for their excellent flying ability and beautiful coloring.

 

 

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The Chukar Redleg Partridge is originally from Eurasian habitats, so they don’t do the best in snowy cold climates. They like stony desert-like habitats with bushy terrain and a water source. Hunters like them because they have get-up-and-go when flushed, adding excitement to the hunt. Interestingly, they run uphill and flush downhill, giving hunters many chances! Plenty of hunt clubs have the ideal habitat for these birds and we will provide 50,000 of these birds to hunt clubs, during this season.

 

 

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The French Red-Legged Partridge has been around for centuries. MacFarlane Pheasants raises them from eggs we import from France. They are easy to raise, hardy, can withstand extreme temperatures and are flighty and wild. It is the speed and wildness of these birds that attracts hunters to clubs where they are offered. We will send out about 42,000 of these birds, this year.

 

 

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The Hungarian Partridges are hardy and like to travel in groups. They are noisy birds, so hunters with a good ear can locate them more easily. Since they have lots of brown markings they blend well with their surroundings. They are one of the game birds that pair up and mate for life; so if you were looking to propagate some birds on a small farm they might be your choice. We expect to ship 40,000 of these birds, this season.

 

 

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The K-Thunder was a bird developed by a partnership between Thundering Wings Pheasant Farm in Kansas and MacFarlane Pheasants. It is a high flying, smaller bird that gives hunters a run for their money! It is very popular with European customers. We expect to ship 32,500 birds this year.

 

 

popular-game-birds-in-16-17-melanistic-mutant

 

The Melanistic Mutant is a pure pheasant breed. They are a favorite for release because they have an outstanding ability to survive and reproduce in the wild. Their gorgeous iridescent, greenish-black plumage and their larger size add to their appeal. We expect to ship 10,000 of these birds during the current season.

 

 

 

Popular Game Birds in 2016-2017

Hunt Clubs Offer Awesome Variety During the 2016-2017 Season!

MacFarlane Pheasants is delivering pheasants all over North America to Hunt Clubs, who are preparing for another exciting year. They are offering a variety of birds to support the varying interests of hunters and many have found those birds at our farm. Here are the numbers of birds sold so far this fall:

  • 147,262 Ringneck Pheasants
  • 19,400 Hungarian Partridges
  • 12,527 Chukars
  • 18,340 French Redlegs 

But the season is far from over! Here are the number of birds we expect to sell by the end of the season:

  • 32,500 K-Thunders
  • 450,000 Ringnecks
  • 50,000 Chukars
  • 40,000 Hungarian Partridges
  • 42,000 French Redleg Partridges
  • 10,000 Melanistic Mutants

That is a total of 624,500 birds that are predicted to leave MacFarlane Pheasants during this season. So, not only will Hunt Clubs have lots of birds available, they will have an awesome variety. Make your plans early to be a part of this exciting year. If you want to know where to find a list of hunt clubs in North America, you can find that information on our website. Watch for our next post to find out more about the fabulous birds pictured here!

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Hunt Clubs Offer Awesome Variety During the 2016-2017 Season!

Who Wants to Shop on a Pheasant Farm?

If you want to find a large variety of cooked and uncooked pheasant, a variety of exotic meats, or just a gift for someone special, you want to shop at MacFarlane’s Pheasant Farm! The store has been part of the farm since 1986 and the products offered have always appealed to folks within driving distance of the farm and area visitors who want to take a unique gift back to their hometown.

Sarah Baker works in the office at MacFarlane Pheasants and it is her job to keep the inventory stocked for our visitors. She said, “In addition to our pheasant products, our guests can buy rice, jams, mustards, and everything from gifts for avid hunters to earrings!” If you have a new idea for a product you would like to see offered, be sure to say hello to Sarah and share your thoughts.

Our address is: 2821 South US HWY 51, Janesville, WI 53546

Directions: From I 39 take exit 177 to HWY 11 west and turn right onto HWY 51 to arrive at MacFarlane Pheasants.

Our hours:  Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Phone number: 800-345-6348 or 608-757-7881

who-wants-to-shop-on-a-pheasant-farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Wants to Shop on a Pheasant Farm?

White Pheasants Are Raised Year-Round at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.

We will raise 220,000 white pheasants on our farm this year which is a substantial increase in these birds, from just a few years ago.  The white pheasant is occasionally born as a mutation in the Ringneck breed. What we found out many years ago is that when white pheasants are selectively bred, they produce more white pheasants. These birds are bigger than the typical Ringneck and very tasty. We use white pheasants for 100% of the meat we sell because of their taste and size. Their average size is 2.5-3 pounds when dressed!

The white pheasants we raise are provided very special treatment.

  • They are kept in their own facility and breeders are selected from the best of the best producers.
  • The selection process has improved continuously over the years so that our white birds have a very high breast yield.
  • They are raised and bred indoors and we are hatching them year-round.

Feel free to contact us at 608-314-3448 if you have questions. We are always happy to talk about our pheasants and answer your questions.

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White Pheasants Are Raised Year-Round at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.

Pheasant Deliveries and our Newest Driver!

Paul Dwyer recently changed positions at MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc.  Until 2 weeks ago he was the Coordinator of Mature Pheasant Sales. Paul loved talking to customers about their pheasant deliveries. Then, when we needed drivers, Paul stepped up to the challenge. He joined 13 other drivers delivering pheasants all over North America. He was very excited about meeting the customers and seeing their facilities, and he is a real asset in this position because he is familiar with our customers and understands their needs. So for 15 of the last 16 days Paul has been on the road!

Over the past couple of weeks Paul has delivered mature pheasants to South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin. This week he is headed out to both Pennsylvania and South Dakota! This delivery schedule is typical during this time of year and will run through November. During the winter months, deliveries are still made to the southern states. Being a driver involves more than just being on the road, though, and there are many steps prior to the birds leaving the farm.

  • Invoices are developed for customers.
  • Purchases are put into excel worksheets,
  • Crate numbers and vet papers are put together.
  • Pheasant catching and crate packing are done.
  • Loads are planned and combined to be able to give the best price possible.
  • Trucks are loaded in the order they are to be unloaded, which takes a great deal of planning.
  • Delivery plans for drivers and customers are made explicitly clear.

Here are some examples of the quantity of birds that can be in one delivery. We have shipped as many as 4000 Ringneck roosters into Canada, in one load, and as many as 6500 hens out east. We have shipped 7500 Partridges out west at one time. Drivers are carrying our large loads of birds hundreds and hundreds of miles so we pay very close attention to the loading of trucks, preparation for delivery and unloading of the birds.

Paul understands the importance of getting these large loads of healthy birds delivered and unloaded for the customers in a timely manner. He is responsible for unloading the birds and getting crates back into the trucks for the return ride home. This gives him plenty of time to get to know our customers and he told us how much he enjoys this experience. He also mentioned getting a kick out of the puzzled look on other drivers’ faces when he goes by with a huge truckload of pheasants. “They look real puzzled,” he said.

Biosecurity is an important part of the job for delivery drivers. Paul is required to wear a full body suit while at another facility. He wears boots that are never worn on our own farm and booties over them. Disinfectant spray is used on the inside of the truck after the delivery is made and the body suit worn is placed in an enclosed bag. Paul then heads out to shower and change before heading back to MacFarlane Pheasants. Trucks, Crates and drivers are completely disinfected before returning to the farm.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Paul. We hope you continue to enjoy this important aspect of our business!

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Pheasant Deliveries and our Newest Driver!