Logistics Is Planning & Coordinating at MacFarlane Pheasants
Game bird hatcheries face a seasonal window in which they can rear chicks for release in the late summer and fall. MacFarlane Pheasants Inc. uses several different production strategies to ensure the availability of an ample supply of healthy chicks throughout the chick season.
Pheasants normally come into egg production each spring in response to the increase in day length. By mimicking this process, we are able to bring our flocks into production at different times during the chick season. In early winter, we place hens and cocks on increasing lighting programs in our barns to mimic this increase in day length. These flocks, which we call Ringneck Early, begin producing eggs in the beginning of February. We also place our outside pen flocks on an early lighting schedule. By using floodlights over our pens, much like the lights in our barns, we are able to begin some of our outside flocks, which we call Ringneck Lit, to start producing eggs in early March. Finally, we will allow some of our pens to follow the natural increase in day length. These are the Ringneck Unlit flocks and begin producing eggs in early April.
As you can see from the egg production graphs above, using these three production strategies extends our chick seasons and ensures plenty of good quality hatching eggs will be available for our hatchery. This allows MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. to produce chicks both early and late in the season, and have plenty of hatching eggs on hand in order to supply both our large and small chick customers during the peakhatching season.
During the peak season, we want our hatchery to be operating at full capacity. By adjusting our flock numbers with our production estimates, we are able to fine-tune our production system to maximize our hatchery space. This allows us to produce enough hatching eggs to fulfill our chick sales requirements, but not to over or under produce. By producing a consistent amount of chicks on a weekly basis, our sales staff can plan chick orders accordingly.
It is a lot of work planning and coordinating this each season. It starts with the initial breeder planning, through the breeder selections, on to egg collection, off to the hatchery and finally as baby chicks on hatching day. This involves just about everyone working at MacFarlane Pheasants Inc. in one way or another. Moreover, we all do our very best to produce healthy chicks for our customers.