Changing Times at the Hatchery
2821 South U.S. Hwy 51, Janesville, WI USA 53546
phone:  608.757.7881  toll free:  800.345.8348  fax:  608.757.7884

Changing Times at the Hatchery

Bradley Lillie - brad@pheasant.com

At MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. we go all-out in producing the best possible pheasant chick in the industry. Our breeding strategies continue to evolve working to improve the quality of our pheasants.

Bradley LillieOne of the biggest challenges for our company is to be able to get our chicks to our customers in the shortest time possible. In many cases we deliver our chicks directly to our customers in our fleet of climate control vehicles. For most people, this is not a viable option. We continue to see our sales grow with customers using the US Postal System for shipping. At MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. we understand how vital our relationship is with the Post Office to our business and our customers.

Last season I was able to visit the Minneapolis US Postal Air Mail Facility. During our tour I asked if there was anything that we could do to reduce our transit times. The most important factor for shipping chicks successfully is getting them to the customer as quickly as possible. The answer from our Postal Coordinator was quite simple, "Drop off your chicks by 3am on the day of shipment, that way all flights will be available to you". On the flight home I began to work out the details of this in my mind, and the following days began the process of changing the time our chicks hatch in order to arrive at Minneapolis US Postal Air Mail Facility at 3 am.

We had to change a lot at our hatchery to accommodate the change in drop off time. Traditionally we would hatch our chicks in the wee hours of the morning. Now we would need to hatch late in the day in order to get our chicks out the door by 10 pm due to the 5 hour transit time from Janesville to Minneapolis.

From the outside looking in, it seemed quite simple. But the new schedule would certainly need some adjusting too, especially for the hatchery staff whose work schedule would be changed around. Set time and hatch times needed to be adjusted accordingly. All of this had to be also fit into our regular schedule of chicks hatching for our farm, as well as chick deliveries and pickups.

The plan was developed, and put into motion as a test late in the 2010 hatching season. Immediately we saw our time to destination decrease, and our chicks were getting to our customers in better condition.

Fast forward to the 2011 hatching season, as I write this article we are approaching the midway point of the 2011 hatching season.

This year we have been hatching the entire season under our new system, and we continue to see excellent results with our shipments. We also were able to reduce our postage rates in 2011 due to our relationship with the Bird Shippers of America who were able to contract better rates. This all means better service for our customers, at even a lower shipping rate. You don't hear that all too often these days!

At MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc. our staff is dedicated to producing high quality pheasants, and to the goal of getting out birds to our customers as quickly as possible, at a reasonable cost. We wish you the best of luck in 2011 raising your birds!

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