After about 3 weeks of dry weather, it rained. The dry weather made it easy to move out 7 week birds to the pens and made it easier for the catching crew to crate shipments, but we really needed the rain. Rain makes pheasants preen, and it regenerates a lot of the cover in the pens (especially the lambs quarter). We have had a day of on and off rain, nothing fierce – just steady drizzle. It was good.
Chris Theisen, Brad Lillie and I are meeting virtually every day to make decisions on how to make the farm profitable. I have spoken to a couple of the larger pheasant farm owners in the past two days – and their story is the same as ours, i.e. just breaking even financially in our business for this year is our goal. At the same time we need to cut costs, we want to make sure everything we do with our breeder flock for next year is top of the line. The two concepts (cutting costs vs. top of the line) collide – and we have to figure it out.
We’re steadily shipping birds, and we’re keeping our drivers hopping. Once it cools down a bit, the local preserves will kick in too. Time will tell – the next 10 weeks will determine a lot of where the pheasant preserve business (and therefore the pheasant production business) is heading. If we have good hunting weather (cool – mostly dry – and no big November snow storms) – and demand arises (in the form of last minute bookings at destination preserves) pheasant producers like us will have a happy Christmas.
On my end, for now most all of my day is spent on next year – as this year’s plan is in the carrying out phase. We’ve got the birds ready to go. If they go – we will be so thankful to get through all of this.
And then it will be on to the next season.