Our breeders are finally approaching full production. This spring has been unusually cold, and the final traces of snow just melted here in the past week. Until this week, our overnight lows were still consistently below freezing which makes both watering and egg collection difficult for our staff. Our breeder manager Troy Cisewski has been awesome in scheduling the last daily picks of eggs just prior to dusk, enabling us to avoid the high cull rates that occur when eggs sit out overnight in freezing weather.
We have over 39,000 pheasant hens in production, which is our largest breeder flock in the history of our farm. Troy is using 8 pickers to collect the eggs, making at least 4 complete picks (often 5 picks) daily. Our breeder pens cover over 20 acres of pens, so those pickers put on a lot of mileage daily.
Even with that many hens in production, we believe we have nearly our entire April and May chick production committed. Our sales staff now are telling our customers that we are into June for people calling wanting straight run, or cock chicks. It appears that there is a strong market for pheasants this year, and with 39,000+ hens producing eggs, we’ve got the birds.