With National Poultry Day being highlighted on March 19th, Heartland’s Agribusiness team is not only passionate about partnering with local poultry experts, but they also own a few birds of their own. What better way to understand the needs of their clients than by actually being involved in the same farm activities as many of them – a win, win for the team!
As interest in chicken raising seems to be on the increase in recent years, celebrating what these domestic birds offer our economy and families is second nature. Raising chickens, however, is not to be taken lightly and even though life lessons can be gained, ultimately these birds require constant care and commitment.
According to Darby Moran, Agribusiness Portfolio Manager at Heartland, “I think the biggest tip I have is to do your research before purchasing chickens. Although they are small animals, they do require care and commitment that may be out of the scope of normal animal caretakers. Also, research what types of breeds would best serve your family before going out and purchasing!”
Both Darby and Matt Bucklew, Agribusiness Banker Team Lead, agree that chickens are an easy animal to care for requiring very little space. They provide a constant source of food via meat and eggs. However, Matt shares, “Be sure to check with city ordinances before getting your chickens.”
Predators are another source of concern, and Matt suggests being very careful with enclosures and access from outside critters. “Chickens are very easy to raise for all ages, just keep them warm, fed, watered and away from predators,” shares Matt as he points out that smaller children might be negatively affected by the loss of their new chicks to common woodland carnivores.
Acquiring chickens in March of 2021, Matt currently raises eleven chickens and two ducks. “While I am new to poultry farming, it has been a very easy learning curve. I enjoy collecting the eggs (which taste MUCH better than store bought), and it will give my daughter something on the farm to manage as she grows up.”
Darby has grown up with birds through 4-H projects and now raises thirteen chickens and three ducks. Darby does admit, “I am allergic to eggs. I have egg laying chickens, but normally I incubate the eggs I collect to raise to sell chicks or give them to family or friends.”
A few fun facts: Hens can produce eggs without a rooster, they will just never be fertilized to develop into chicks. Nutrient wise, white and brown eggs are the same…cost variations are due to feeding differences.
If you’re looking for an Agribusiness partner that understands your business because it is also their business, contact any one of our Agribusiness bankers today!