Every year there are lots of twists and turns in the market for day old pheasant chicks. Historically we can readily sell our chick production for hatch dates up through June 1st. This year was no exception – the market for early season chicks was strong. Then as we enter June – our sales fall off – in fact during the last two weeks of June – our phones were very quiet – very few sales. The sales we book on calls to our farm in June are usually for orders of 50 or 100 chicks. I am glad we have built up a good retail business (orders for 50, 100 or 200 chicks) as those retail orders kept things moving for us in June.
The shift point usually is right before July 4th – we start getting calls then for July and August chicks. This past week the phones started ringing again – and though many of the calls were for 50 or 100 chicks, we got a call for 3,000 chicks and then we also received an email from a customer wanting to book 3,000 chicks.
Our egg production is still over 7,000 pheasant eggs collected a day – later this week we’ll set eggs to hatch August 4th. So we plan on hatching 25,000+ chicks a week the first week of August. Our plan at this point is to hatch, in addition to that August 4th date, on August 11th and have our final hatch on August 18th (but that may change).
We think we are where we want to be – i.e. we have some chicks to sell in July and in August – but not more than we feel we can move. Postal shipping the past two weeks has been much more successful so we have more confidence in that area.
I’m looking forward to the end of the chick season – our last scheduled day of egg collection is planned for Friday July 23rd – it’s been a good season and all in all we’ve done well.