The Brooder Crew is a critical part of the MacFarlane Pheasant team! There are 8- 10 full time employees during the chick rearing season, but during the off season a few of the employees go on to other jobs on the farm. The off season brooder crew (3-5 employees) works seven days a week. Each of them put in at least nine hours per day and has 2 days off per week. During the off season, which typically begins around the second week of September, the brooder crew is responsible for 75,000 birds left in the barn and are raising 15,000 white pheasants for our food processing division.
Birds in the Off-Season
At the end of September there are 55,000 ring neck pheasants, 10,000 Hungarian pheasants, and 10,000 French red legs in the barns totaling 75,000 birds.
- The brooder crew is also responsible for raising 15,000 white pheasants during the off- season. All of these pheasants are processed as food by the food processing division.
Brooder Crew Responsibilities During the Off Season
Check for water leaks in waterers as large birds can create leaks from running into hanging water lines and bell waterers.
- Keep bedding fresh by topping it regularly.
- Keep the five flocks of white birds (total of15, 000), that are raised for food, healthy until processing.
- Take care of Chukars (Eurasian gamebirds) that are grown by contract growers and brought back to the farm for shipment. They stay in the barns during fall and winter.
- Rodent control is a must and vigilance is required.
- Walk barns every day to remove any dead birds (it does happen!)
- Fill feeders and clean waterers every other day.
- Help get birds moved outside into enclosed pens by November 1st. After November 1st the only birds left in barns are typically white pheasants and chukars.
- Clean, wash, and disinfect barns.
- Prepare A-rooms (where all chicks spend the first three weeks) for the spring season.
- Perform maintenance on all brooders.
- Work with maintenance department to make sure all fans and feed systems are ready to go for the new season.
Our brooder crew watches out for our birds and keeps a close eye on the future to make sure our facilities are in perfect condition when our first group of birds arrives on March 1st.