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Uncertain Time in Pastured Poultry – Pasture Posts #109

Here’s the weekly roundup from Watson Farms and your direct connection to your farmer. Enjoy the latest edition of Pasture Posts!

The worst bottleneck in the pasture raised poultry business is processing, hands down. This ever-present problem is causing some producers around the state and the country to abandon their pastured poultry enterprises.  We aren’t ready to do that, and hope we never have to.  Here’s why.

We intend to continue to raise the best pastured chicken possible taking no shortcuts that diminish the quality of life for our chickens or the quality of the end product for our customers.

Advantages that we have over some other pastured poultry producers:

  • On-farm processing
    • Labor is definitely a challenge but with the H2A program we have been able to hire some excellent seasonal workers which works out perfectly being that our pastured broilers are raised seasonally.  H2A wages are dictated by the federal government and they have gone up significantly for this year.  Due to this and the rise of other input costs, we are currently evaluating our price structure to determine if a price increase is necessary right now.  Please keep in mind that we take seriously any price increase and resist them as long as possible.  But the goal is not to simply make more money, but to pay our bills, pay our employees enough to keep them, and to make sure that the farm is profitable enough to stay in business for decades to come.  
  • Low freight costs due to the fact that our on-farm processing facility is just about a half mile from the field where the birds are raised.  Not only does this reduce costs, but it induces less stress on the birds as well.
  • Low infrastructure costs by using possibly the cheapest shelter available.  This is one of the key takeaways that we had from our consulting day with Joel Salatin back in April of 2020.  Low cost infrastructure on the front end gives more resiliency through tumultuous economic times.
    • The Polyface style pasture shelters that we use can be put together for about $500-$600. They can be moved with one person and no tractor.  Contrast that with mobile pasture coops that cost over $10,000 and require a large tractor and at least 2 people to move.  Furthermore this expensive house will only house about 500 birds at a time.  For that same money, we can house about 1250 birds.  That’s a big difference.  

Several farms in our area are reducing their chicken production or eliminating the enterprise altogether.  This is not our intention as long as we can make the economics work.  

We intend to continue to raise the best pastured chicken possible taking no shortcuts that diminish the quality of life for our chickens or the quality of the end product for our customers.  We do save money on infrastructure where possible and pass these savings on to you.  Our hope is that you will continue to support our chicken enterprise which ensures a better life for the chickens, the farmers and our team, the local economy, and your family as well.  

Pork Stock Up Event Continues for 1 More Day!

Offer Limitations

  • No other coupons may be used in conjunction with this offer.
  • Offer valid through March 27 while supplies last

Carving Hams in Time for Easter!

New Product Offering: Local Kombucha!

We are now carrying 3 Kombucha varieties from Lenny Boy Brewing Co. As always, you can find them in the Farm Store or have them delivered to your door with one of our vans if you’re in one of the areas served by Watson Farms Home Delivery!

Spring Farm Day

Don’t forget that our Spring Farm Day will be held on Saturday, April 29 from 10am to 2pm!

We will have vendors, hay rides and more!

Be sure to save the date and follow along for more details in the coming weeks.

Order Deadlines and Store Hours

Here’s a friendly reminder to get your orders in by the deadline. We have changed our workflow some to help reduce errors, so we have to begin the process of staging orders for the next day’s delivery very soon after the deadlines below. Help us serve you better by ensuring your order is placed in time!

Charleston Area: 12 noon Mondays

UPS Orders: 12 noon Mondays

Columbia Area deliveries now occur on Wednesdays.
Deadline for the Columbia Area: 12 noon on Tuesdays

GSP: 12 noon on Wednesdays

Charlotte/Fort Mill/Rock Hill Areas: 12 noon on Fridays

Farm Pickup: Please wait until you receive an email stating that your order is ready to be picked up (usually 1 business day from when you place your order). Farm pickup is done during store hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10am to 6pm
Saturday: 10am to 2pm
Closed Sunday and Wednesday

Tell a Friend!

It’s now easier than ever to Give $15 and Get $15 through our Referral Program. We don’t spend a lot of money of advertising, but rather we focus on producing products that people love and are willing to tell others about. So we depend on word of mouth to find new customers and ultimately to heal more land.

So in an effort to streamline this process we have made it easier to tell others (via email, Facebook, or Twitter) about Watson Farms. And it’s all automated on the backend, so you don’t have to rely on us to issue the store credits manually. Just head over to our Referrals Page and start sharing!

We re-use packaging!

We’ve seen a good response to our efforts in re-using packaging! Thanks and keep it up.  

You can help us reduce our carbon footprint by returning your CLEAN egg cartons and meat boxes. 

The main reason that we switched to plastic egg cartons a while back was because they are so much more durable than paper which could only be used once.  They also protect the eggs much better!

So if you have some egg cartons or boxes to return, you can just place them on your porch on your home delivery day.  Farm pickup customers can, of course, drop them off when you come to pick up your new order.  

***We can only re-use OUR cartons or boxes. Please re-use or recycle other boxes or egg cartons elsewhere.***

We redact your personal information found on your meat boxes when we re-use them, but feel free to redact to redact it yourself without damaging the box if you would like.  

Thanks for helping us re-use our packaging!

Did you know that we have a webpage that displays all the reviews we have received?  

Check it out!

Check out this ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review:

“I ordered several different cuts of beef from them. They were all excellent. Delivery went smoothly. Everything was packaged well and cleanly. I’ll definitely be a regular customer and look forward to trying their other products like ham. It’s nice to be able to buy from a local, family farm.”

We would greatly appreciate it if you would be kind enough to leave us a review.  It helps first-time customers purchase with confidence.

Thanks again for being partners in this endeavor of local, pasture-raised proteins that has truly transformed our farm.  We look forward to continuing this transition while serving you long into the future.


The Watsons

Pasture Posts is written by Matt Watson.

2 thoughts on “Uncertain Time in Pastured Poultry – Pasture Posts #109

  1. The food we have received from Watson Farms is excellent. The taste is outstanding. If you love your community, support the folks in it that grow food.

  2. I read about how a local farm was ending their chicken processing and was wondering how that would affect you guys. So thankful you are continuing ‘cause I love getting all my chicken (and beef and pork) products from you!

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