Farmers, You Are Critical: Keep Perspective on Supply and Demand

Fri, April 03, 2020 11:01 AM | Anonymous

Seeing lots of questions about the availability of feed, chicks, processing and other essential services that pastured poultry farms need.

The Department of Homeland Security publishes a list of critically essential jobs, and as you might expect, agricultural supply chains are in that list. You can review it here:…/guidance-essential-critical-infrastr…

In terms of access to inputs (feed and chicks), please understand this is a high demand time of year. It's spring and the entire country is now coming online to raise meat birds. It's a recurring, high seasonal demand.

There's an extra pressure on the supply right now. As consumers push a higher demand for pasture-raised chickens, farms are blowing through stockpiled inventory. It's an expected outcome that they will be trying to add capacity to meet the demand and replace inventory.

That extra demand gobbles up all the available inventory and before you know it, your hatchery can't meet your needs for 1 month. It's not the end of the world. Don't panic. It's an increase in demand causing a 1 month window in next availability dates. That's a fairly normal result for this time of year.

When you go to a big box store and you see the shelves picked clean of feed bags when normally they wouldn't be, understand that is panicked buying in much the same way bulk toilet paper purchases are. Please give your supply chains time to work. If you have doubts, talk to them. The pastured poultry community is built on relationships throughout the supply chain and your relationship with your feed and chick supplier should be prominent.

Please don't hoard feed that you can't use within 30 days. If you do stockpile feed, you'll realize the cost of that decision in a couple months when your chickens develop growth problems and illnesses from nutritionally deficient feeds that you've stockpiled in the shed for three months.

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