MacFarlane Pheasants Inc. grows most of its white meat pheasants on Wolff Farm in Belleville, WI (about 50 miles west of our Janesville, WI farms). Up until last March, the farm owner, Greg Wolff, raised the birds as a contract grower. We would bring day-old chicks from our hatchery in Janesville, WI, and Greg would raise them to 12-14 weeks until they were ready for processing.
In March 2022, Greg retired from the pheasant-raising business to focus on his hatchery. Luckily, we were able to work out a lease with him to continue using his facilities to raise the “Whites.” The facility is tailored to raise white meat birds. The buildings where we keep the birds are on two parts of the farm, the Hill and the Brooder Shed.
Our manager of Food Products, Shayne Noller, supervises two full-time employees at Wolff Farm. He is hoping to employ a third staff member in the coming months. When all of the barns are full, there are about 50,000 birds under our care at this farm.
MacFarlane employees take day-old chicks from the hatchery in Janesville to Belleville, by van, and place them in the prepared chick room at Wolff Farm. This is called the “A” room. The “A” room is bedded with wood chips, has nipple water lines, and has feed flats. The room is kept at about 95 degrees, which is perfect for our chicks. Birds stay in Room “A” for three weeks, and then we move them to an adjoining room called “B” Room.
The “B” room is bedded with grass or straw and has a floor feed system, and bell waterers. The birds stay in this room until they are six weeks old. At six weeks, our birds are moved to the “grow-out barn,” where they are free to roam. At 12-14 weeks, our white meat pheasants are ready for processing.
The Wolff farm is a vital facility to MacFarlane Pheasants. We are continually upgrading our equipment and processes to produce the highest quality birds for our food business, and are happy to have this facility as part of the MacFarlane enterprise.