Tag Archives: Poultry

Milestones

My wife has her alarm set to play NPR (National Public Radio) in the mornings.  A couple days ago, I caught the tail end of an interview with a poultry farmer.  I only heard a little but I was curious to hear what I had missed.  I pulled up the NPR website and found that they had done poultry articles two days in a row.  I try to refrain from political and policy comments in this forum and instead let you all reach your own conclusions. Here are the links to the two articles:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/19/276981085/is-tyson-foods-chicken-empire-a-meat-racket

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/20/279040721/the-system-that-supplies-our-chickens-pits-farmer-against-farmer

I have had a little trouble with links lately.  If they don’t work, please let me know.

I think that the comment section below each article is worth reading also.  Both the articles and the comments show that there are still a lot of people that do not understand where their food comes from.  There are comments that are more in the ‘you shouldn’t be eating meat anyhow’ line.  It gets back to perception is reality.  It is up to all of us involved in production agriculture to be agvocates, to spread the word about the good things we do and efforts to make our business greener and more sustainable every day.  I was once told that feeding the world is a noble pursuit.  I believe it.  I hope you do.  If you do, convince someone else.

The blog has passed a milestone.  Today marked the 2500th view of the blog.  These views have come from 54 different countries.  Through the blog, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people, growers, producers and farmers from across the United States and Europe.  I am very thankful to each of you who have reached out to contact me.  Thank you all very much.

Please feel free to email me or leave a comment.  Thanks again,

Dave

mccreery@uark.edu

Careers Class on the Farm

Students with Mike, suiting up to go in the broiler house.  The hair nets really make the outfit.
Students with Mike, suiting up to go in the broiler house. The hair nets really make the outfit.
Chris explaining the joys of field service.
Chris explaining the joys of field service.
Nathan and at least one future Nutritionist.  Maybe.
Nathan and at least one future Nutritionist. Maybe.
Careers students discussing biosecurity and flock health with Kurt Dobson.
Careers students discussing biosecurity and flock health with Kurt Dobson.
James with a fascinated crowd.
James with a fascinated crowd.
Jason reliving his days at U of A.  His advice? Take school seriously.
Jason reliving his days at U of A. His advice? Take school seriously.

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One of the classes we offer in the Poultry Science Department is ‘Intro to Poultry Careers’. In this class, the students travel around North West Arkansas and visit many of the local poultry companies and allied industries.  The class gives students an idea of some of the careers to which their degree could lead.  So far this year, they have visited the Cobb-Vantress corporate office in Siloam Springs and the Tyson Foods corporate office and Discovery Center in Springdale, Arkansas.  Yesterday, the class came to the farm and met with the folks from Simmons Foods.  We are a contract grower for Simmons Foods.  They brought eight of their live production team out to the farm to meet with our students.  They discussed their education, career path and current position and responsibilities.  It was very informal and the students were able to ask a lot of questions.Simmons brought:

James Cook – Director of Broiler Growout and Live Haul

Frank Myers – Director of Breeders, Hatcheries and Feed Milling

Dr. Nathan Collins – Nutritionist

Dr. Kurt Dobson – Veterinarian

Rusty Sikes – Broiler Manager

Mike McConnell – Breeder Manager

Jason Nordin – Company Farms Manager

Chris Simco – Field Service Tech

These guys were a huge hit with the kids.  Great job and thank you very much.

Flock 127 – Week 1 Report

Well, there’s good, there’s bad and we will see about the ugly later on.

The Good:  Chick weights at seven days were above target.  We started this flock with two houses on small side at .085 lbs/chick (38.6g).  The other two houses started at .098 and .100 (44.5 and 45.4g).  We usually average between 42 – 45 grams.  Our target weight for seven day old chicks it four times the placement weight.  We needed to average at least .368 pounds to make our target.  Seven day weights averaged .40 lbs.  Weight-wise we have had a really good start.

Day 7 Lab - Chick weights in house 1
Day 7 Lab – Chick weights in house 1

The Bad: We had a spike in mortality in one house on day 2 and has finally got back to normal today.  The chicks showed signs of an E. coli infection.  We used iopirin (iodine and aspirin) through the water to try and beat.  Iodine acts as a natural expectorant and an alternative to antibiotics.  We also used an electrolyte and vitamin B12 mix.  It appears to have run its course and things should get back to normal now.  The overall result is that we are at 1.66% mortality which is over our target of 1%.

The Fun:  The Poultry Production class was out for their lab yesterday.  There assignment included:

Weigh 100 chicks to determine the average weight

Adjust water flow rate to 21 ml/min

Day 7 Lab - setting water flow rate
Day 7 Lab – setting water flow rate

Adjust water line height

Day 7 Lab -releveling the water lines
Day 7 Lab -releveling the water lines

Pick up 1/3 of the supplemental feeders and fill (by hand) the other 2/3

Day 7 Lab - we are beginning to pick up the supplemental feeders.  We will do this over a 3 day period.
Day 7 Lab – we are beginning to pick up the supplemental feeders. We will do this over a 3 day period.

Turn out chicks from half house to full house

They will each write a lab report which is due next Thursday for the next lab.  I posted pictures on the picture page.

Next up for the class is Principles of Ventilation.  Can be a little tricky to get the hand of.

That’s about it for the farm this week.  The Razorbacks have Mississippi State at home tomorrow.  Woo Pig.

Feel free to write with thoughts or questions.  Have a good weekend.

Dave

mccreery@uark.edu

Placing Chicks

This video was filmed at our farm a couple flocks ago. You can tell it is really early spring. The grass is green, but nothing else. The video was filmed, produced and everything else by our own Miss Carolyn and she did an excellent job. The video stars Chance Williams, a grad student in Poultry Nutrition and Dr. Susan Watkins, a Poultry Science professor at the Univeristy of Arkansas. If you have never placed chicks, it is 90 degrees in there. The people are hot but the chicks are happy. That is what really matters. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bvXR0NaJoY

I am glad to see you farmers in Ireland got a break in the weather. Y’all have a great weekend. US over Panama in the Gold Cup, 4-1.

Dave
mccreery@uark.edu