Normal Guy Quits JOB to Farm (pastured chickens)

 


 
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I was so sick of my job as an accountant I was like I'm out of here I'm gonna make this chicken thing work one way or another but I got to get out of this cubicle this is horrible so I just left I moved in my why me my wife and my one-year-old son moved in with the in-laws for a period of time there was nine of us living in a 1,700 square foot house every single night my name is Paul grieve I'm one of the cofounders of primal pastures in the CEO at pasture bird how did this compare to your very first burger I mean you didn't know anything about raising chickens we did we didn't know a thing we read some Joel Salatin and we ended up putting a little hover brooder inside of a garage and we started with like 50 chicks so we wasn't anything special at all okay it was absolute chaos like mayhem we had HBO Showtime Animal Planet National jigger to come fill the documentary because it's like this madhouse of chaos at all times but you know that's what we had to do like we had to just cut back fall expenses rack up credit cards like the whole as entrepreneurs story I mean this is the same thing that happens in a lot of industries so for us and for me especially my soul [Applause] all right so in April 2012 I was finishing my time as an officer in the Marine Corps and had some health problems I had arthritis everything from my ankles my knees my back couldn't breathe through my nose low energy and at 22 years old I couldn't really figure out what my problem was I didn't know what's going on so my whole family went on this real food adventure we started learning about how food actually affects the way that you feel and your health and your vitality and everything so we started eating a paleo diet and we started feeling so much better like two weeks in felt like a kid again I could breathe through my nose I had all this extra energy it could move everything was totally different and my family had same experience so my father-in-law lost a hundred pounds my brothers both lost a bunch of weight and felt way better so is it is the hover brute or something that you bought no or don't we met you slept together we slapped it together but you've got a heat heat lamp yep you got a cardboard box it was actually made out of wood okay and we put some wood chips down and how'd you learn to do that much man I think it was a I think that was a Joel Salatin recommendation paltry profits so you went off the pasture poultry traffic that was the Bible for us for the first year so have you talked to Joel Salatin it's been pretty cool yeah every time I meet him we're a little farther along in the process I don't know if we produce the same amount or maybe a little more than him yeah at some point we're gonna be like they're gonna get more chickens and that's gonna do this be surreal well he served up the pastured poultry deal on a silver platter for us and we're just picking up where he's kind of leaving it we started really trying to buy good food for our family that's how this whole thing started from that experience we started learning more about grass-fed and free-range and cage-free and all this sort of idealistic meats and doing the research we learned that a lot of those things are full of it they're they're BS so we got really bummed out about the meat labeling industry and while we were looking at this thing we really just said we can't find what we want in the grocery store and that bothered us quite a bit so Paul how many problems did you have at those first you said 50 yeah it went fairly well to be honest we didn't have problems until a year in when we started getting massive predator losses so really probably six to nine months in we lost like 1300 chickens and 135 lambs and like we almost went out of business it was super bad it was horrible actually we started adding livestock Guardian dogs about a year in and that was the best decision we ever made I mean it single-handedly saved the business really yeah I mean have you lost since then zero we were asked a single animal to a predator since we added livestock - four years ago we may have lost chickens to our livestock Guardian dogs but we haven't lost it we have plastic as to predators so there they are right now there it is you're saying here this is one of them yeah well that's one of the pups is that a good one I couldn't tell you pretty good I guess good dog these are all the females up here so we run the females all together we went to brought all males last year otherwise a puppy City so yeah 13 14 left our Guardian dogs on 148 close right now so do you have the original dog here yeah Duke down on the lower pastor he's her who's her original guy okay and his brother JJ's in the middle and grandma is Jane the big long-haired Great Pyrenees original yeah so yes that's one of the originals yeah again special place in your heart for her this is Jane yeah well she's one of the she's one of the ones that actually has a name so she's gotta be somewhat special but uh yeah she was our first female she's grandma dog - a lot of these dogs at home and she's very she's a very important dog for us maybe she's brown doe I don't think they're actually that mad let's just do instinct latest park stuff away so they don't really fight that much with the Predators but they will intimidate the bar can they keep them away okay she doesn't like anybody coming up by her fence line barking go get it we don't do any training but you see all these female they're watching their grandma bark off these dogs so they're gonna learn what do you feed them they do get a couple like a grain but we try to give them as much raw food as we can so you can get if we have chick chickens the diet on the pasture or whatever just natural causes though those birds they get animal organ meats pork organ me to get beef organ meats but the raw thing we love we just don't have enough of it to feed them pure raw in April of 2012 we ordered 50 chicks and the way that that story goes we're sitting around joking as a family ha ha wouldn't it be funny to get some chickens and put them in the backyard my brother Rob but sitting there in the little circle of guys that was talking he walks away and he comes back like 10 minutes later and he goes oh hey I just ordered 50 chicks are gonna be here in two weeks and we're like you did what you know I we've never raised anything before we'd never had an agriculture background never really studied this stuff and so we got the birds put up a little brooder we put the birds outside on pasture we raised him without any vaccines or drugs or antibiotics and we gave them certified organic soy free food and I mean we didn't know what we were doing at all probably most farmers would have said you can't raise chickens outside they're gonna die they're gonna get sick this and that but we didn't know any better so we just raised him the way we want to eat them and to feed our family so this right here was your pasture poultry pen 2.0 exactly this 2.0 so we started with a normal wood Mountain pen with a pole rope on it and all that stuff we broke our back on that for a couple years and then we said let's put wheels on this thing let's make it out of metal especially since we irrigate they get wet all the time this was pretty well for us you can see how they cave in though don't build it with a flat roof you want to build it with a pitch roof so the water comes in it gets pretty heavy in there yeah like a net over the metal is much better yeah it's more expensive to build it I think we had almost a thousand bucks in each one of these but to me we can drive up we could push them with a Kubota Gator instead of having to pull them and it just saves your back is much better this way better this was a thousand bucks how long does it take to pay for it so well it depends what program you're running in it but if you figure you're making five bucks a bird and you can run you got 80 Birds in each one if you definitely paying for itself in less than a year oh sweet well you guys want to help me push this thing real quick all right let's do it we're gonna push really hard I don't know if we're gonna be able to do it or not city amenities every day these all move every single day we use a little Kubota Gator to push them forward okay okay 65 man Christmas morning these things are moving ready one two three go oh yeah and then all this feed that was spilled behind will have the pigs come through and clean that up so I'm just winging ways to you is that what the pigs are for and all even for something out there cleanup program and baking program I mean yeah they're uh they'll come through I clean up all this feed just for you guys or for the you show the bacon - oh yeah we sell the pork definitely once it's ready but this is a chicken farm that we use lives other livestock for other reasons bugs not drugs so we believe that chickens should have a natural diet grass bug seeds and worms moving over fresh pasture they don't need the drugs so it I've never used vaccines or antibiotics or drugs or you know feed additives or any of that stuff you don't need to those first 50 chicks back in 2012 there was a thing called Facebook that was really popular so we put those first 50 chicks we said uh if anybody wants a few of these you know here's a link you can put a deposit down and reserve one or two and we thought what will offset the cost of raising these for our family so two weeks go by the birds are like this big now and all 50 had been deposits collected paid in full like they were done it was a done deal which was so crazy to us because my family was all mad at me for selling all the chicken they thought they were gonna be eaten now Paul look at him come running to you Betty why they come and run into you well they used to get fed before they got here they don't get fed anymore but really yeah well they don't really what do they eat they eat the grass there's a Kunekune e grazing Pig this is the best backyard they don't like the electric fence much either so is the bass backyard taking a pig for backyard operation there will graze 100% grass they'll eat one veggie they don't root they won't destroy your pastures in these fields I think if you want y'all never mind they are if any of them know you tried to get in the big circle right now by the time we harvested the birds and harvesting was literally like an iphone here with YouTube on how to chicken processing from Joel Salatin in the bird like right here hanging in the tree so that's how we first started out but we harvested the birds we had a waiting list of like a hundred and ten families that all wanted you know real local pasture raised chicken and the next month we did a hundred Birds then a few months later we did 200 and then we did 400 and we did a thousand this is the original Paul King joke how are you King four oh he's just for you guys are just baby young Kings out here you guys are just five years old yeah this is just a little puppy come on now Paul this is just five years five years later man no way we're gonna go see what it looks like five years later and this is just gonna be a glimpse y'all yeah this is the smaller chicken farm but there's thirty chicken tractors and one of the big range coops and down in this field we have about 3,500 birds any given time and oh geez booting it friendly and this is important for us down in the desert as we do irrigated pastures down here so okay that will keep us on green grass year round we do 52 weeks out of the year we're producing birds which does help us because we don't have to lay people off and take time off we can really just keep it going it's good and bad a nine is five operation here yeah for sure it does help with wholesale and our other company pasture bird benefits from being able to do you know twelve months out of the year production so here you go this looks like it's just been moved recently you see the flies which are annoying but they help us break down the manure really really fast so they're gonna basically take it help us break it down yeah this just got moved to fresh pasture you can see we have pressurized water into this coop which is super nice so we're not tending water filling up water all the time that's just pressurized right into the coop on a loser and you look so you went from just a wooden pasture poaching pan meadow meadow pasture poultry pens to now this yes I mean you gotta hold them there well this will hold 500 and the freedom Rangers and now then these chickens look like you're almost ready to graduate they're ready to go yeah there in about eleventh grade here this is 500 Birds the first instinct people always say oh that's not very much room for 500 but we gotta remember is a square foot and a half for every bird that's moved every single day for 77 days so you really have over 100 square feet over the course of their life yeah we want to concentrate that manure and know exactly where it went down and get them off of that manure every single day yeah so that's what keeps us off the drug that's why we say bugs not drugs or and you watch them you know you see about 5% of them may be eating the feed ninety five percent are just out foraging green seeing fresh air sunshine this coop works really well for our environment out here and look they're acting like chickens yeah what do you know they're fighting they're walking around they're scratching they don't need to be dabiq they don't need to be be talon eyes they don't need to be vaccinated or antibiotic that I need drug or additives in the feed it's just really a truly a natural chicken a real program and it comes through in the flavor the health of the bird too so so we think the daily move is really important so they're actually on green grass every single day yeah if we left these guys for two or three days this would be a mud bath in here and there'd be no grass left all the bog all the good stuff about this would be gone so to us it's really important to be moving them all the time this is a really good set up to for range so we get some heavy rains through here in the winter time and this allows them to get out of the way if it's really wet in here they can get up and perch we can throw some straw and this system works really well for stuff like that too we hooked this up on misters 2 we don't need them right now it's not hot enough but if it goes over 100 this is useful because it'll bring the core temp it up of the entire thing got about 20 degrees just from running some water in here on mystery that works real well - is this made for this purpose or did you touch them it's just a normal greenhouse it's a high it's a high tunnel or whatever they call it but it's put on skids and it's kind of manufactured out with the roll-up sides I'll show you the side with quickly it's somebody else did that or you had the custom that we customized a little bit but it's mostly it comes like this ok this is really nice - so in the summer we're never gonna drop this but with small chicks in the winter it's a real easy way to really close down the coop just like night just like what is the importance of nice really but maybe more expensive equipment but it makes the process smoother we've always stood like are you gonna treat this as a hobby or give me a business if it's a business buy the right equipment do it the right way that's kind of how we approach it so it's better on the labor it's better on us it's definitely more efficient with results in way less mortality faster grow outs there's a better process overall so we're always looking at ways to invest in better equipment with it really come on boys there you go there you go come on these guys are big these guys are about ten weeks old right now so one more week and nobody ready to go started adding in sheep and we started adding in hogs and we found a partner farm to do some beef stuff with and you know now five years later we've got like twenty thousand chickens out on pasture or we're doing hundreds of orders every week with home delivery and it's just been like this what the heck just happened to take a step back and look at it now we would have never thought that it would be here if you told me I'd be farming six years ago coming out of the Marine Corps I would have laughed it would be like there's no way I don't know farming I've never done farming there's just no chance that would happen so what started as a hobby became a business and really became a passion for regenerative agriculture and now we're here today who knows where we'll be in five years but it's been a pretty fun ride for sure so these are non petroleum-based lawn mowing crew we use these to just graze off the fields in front of the chickens the chickens don't like the real tall grass so we try to get it down you know six to eight inches before the birds come through and then we do sell the pasture raised lamb - there's not a it's not a huge herd but we do sell whatever is produced out here cool program Dorper sheep really heat tolerant it's a meat breed so we're not shearing for they're not meant for wool or anything like that nice and the Lambs are just born right out here no assistance no barn year-round we keep a male in with them it's really really simple natural program yeah and has it beat out a petroleum lower at this point yeah don't have to sit on a track I don't think we even know we don't even own a tractor so there's a baby in there we should go we should go check that out you want to go see the baby mr. Brown come on let's go see the baby solar-powered electric fence charger works awesome Southern California where we got Sun 350 days a year yeah this just runs to a ground rod premier wall and electric fencing and that's what allows us to hurt them up and move them around every day nice this must be your mascot that's Mabel that's we got her for dairy but we haven't really done any dairy production yet so she's just the mascot they trampled her for now they were born two days ago little brothers over here you just let them do their own thing we don't touch him never been touched though there's no vaccine no antibiotic is just born here in the field we come out for chores and so cool there's lambs on the ground and that's yeah I mean that's all there is to it and when they're your mowers all that's just bonus it's just cream on the top exactly Simon baby's harvesting lamb yep the Dorper is a good breed it's a twin like 50% of the time and so they definitely reproduce pretty quick it's a really good meat lamb it's not good for wool at all but it's a good meat lamb especially for a warm climate I was a full-time CPA which is a pretty demanding job it was 80 90 hours a week commuting both ways you know still had my wife and have we had our baby and so it was like really busy and then my brother was a high school teacher too so he had a full-time job and that's what allowed us to start the farm I mean we had that off-farm income we didn't have to take a dollar of salary off the farm for like the first three years that's what really would allowed us to keep reinvesting every dollar that we made off and selling those chickens we put it back into the business and we kept growing it and growing it growing it it didn't have it didn't have the burden to pay us a living wage for a long time for us and for me especially my soul was just dying slowly in a cubicle I had to do something else I love this regenerative livestock agriculture and grass farming so there was no option I had to give try Paul this is where your are now and this is your finish good this is what it looks like when it arrives the customer yes so we've started doing this home delivery system we're just trying to make clean food really you know convenient for people because we found that farmers markets and trying to do all the stuff is difficult for working families sometimes so we're really working hard to put stuff on people's doorstep you know I'm glad you're shipping I know at first you hesitated to do that yeah because you want people to buy local and that's great but not everybody I've been traveling and there are many many food deserts all over they're not local all over the place and just because you have a farmers market doesn't mean it's real food that's there sometimes sure that's what caused us to start doing it too that's true we want to bring food to the people they can decide if they want to buy something local or not that's where we would love that but if you don't have it locally or if you want to buy from us where you know what's going on that's why we exist so yeah let's take a look at this box yes sir this is what we ordered yep let's see what Rebecca got so you can order anything from you then you don't it's not just like oh here's what you get this week no no we got this honey and we got some chicken thigh yeah yeah we love some chicken thighs anywhere that's so easy to make so healthy so all this is organic everything's a button you got bone broth and you got a whole bird oh man and you got this is a pork sausage so eat something where you getting your beef from beef all comes down to central California a little family farm of your workers but they're really awesome pasture for the ground oh this looks great man you got you got insulation here so much to what seven different states ship to seven states but pretty soon we'll be going everything west of Mississippi's we have your eyes on okay cool good job man good packaging so if somebody wants to know more about you or they want to order their own package where do they go this all the stuff is primal pastures calm so don't go on there check it out we've got all the car we've got subscription packages but everything in there certified organic soy free GMO free now pasture raised and pasture finished room and animals so it's all species-appropriate stuff it's the best that yeah I mean it's the best that you can get so it's the good stuff sake bugs not drugs hugs not drugs hey you sound great I tell your story [Music] [Applause] [Music] you [Applause]

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