Unknown Territory

A beautiful field of wheat just outside my office window

It’s been over 70 degrees here for a week and the flowers and trees are blooming and the grass is green. It would be common to still have snow here in Wisconsin in late March.

Our breeding hens are responding to the weather and our egg production will reach peak soon. The warm weather has caused me to think we are behind in our chores. The pens need to be mowed and rotovated (and yet we still have 6,000 mature birds left to deliver). The weather has sort of tricked me into thinking we need to get more done, and then I remind myself that it’s only late March and we actually are ahead in what we have done.

Our customers have ordered more pheasant chicks, and we’re not sure if people are raising more pheasants, or if they just have ordered earlier because of the warm weather. We increased the number of hens we kept as breeders to 33,000 and it certainly appears like we will be able to sell all the chicks we can produce.

One concern we have is what will occur if we get a return to colder weather in April. We generally wait until the first week of April to move our two barns of early inside breeding hens to the outside pens. Both barns have been moved out already. The pens are already greening up, what will happen if it freezes in April?

The warm weather has caused a few of the preserves that we supply to slow down, as the hunters just aren’t coming out with the heat, and the perception there aren’t any birds available anymore. We are ahead in sales for birds for this fall, and not sure whether people have just ordered earlier or what it all means.

I am cautious but it looks like the gamebird business is on the upswing. Time will tell.

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