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Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Raising Chickens For Meat

Raising chickens is easy if you follow good animal husbandry practices. Avoid these common mistakes when raising your own backyard chicken flock.Mistake #1: Using 'dual-purpose' chickens.If you are raising chickens for the freezer (i.e. fryers or roasters), don't use the so-called dual-purpose birds. They grow more slowly and rarely get as large as actual 'meat' birds. Order the meat bird recommended by your hatchery or feed store, usually a rock-cornish cross. These birds are intended to grow to roaster size in optimum time; taking longer than necessary to raise the birds costs you time and money.Mistake #2: Skimping on chicken feedIf you want to raise big healthy birds, don't try to get by with cheap food - i.e. scratch grain or scraps. Feed a good quality chicken starter grain mix for 5-6 weeks, then switch to chicken grower. Chicken starter (preferably an organic grain mix) should contain about 20% protein; grower should contain about 17% protein. Your birds will also need access to mineral and grit. The ...

 


Why Market Gardeners Must Avoid Farmers Markets

If you are a market gardener (or want to be one), there are good reasons to stay away from farmers markets. Here's the scenario: You've grown some wonderful veggies in your market garden and now the time has come to sell them. So you head off to the farmers market, right? Wrong! There's a better business model for the would-be market gardener. But first, what's wrong with farmers markets?Problem 1: CompetitionOther growers will have many of the same goods you do. It's possible to establish a niche by trying to be the earliest grower, or growing unusual or gourmet vegetables. But these all take extra time and attention, and the demand is still uncertain. And inevitably as the season progresses, there is 'price erosion' e.g. one of your neighboring market growers has a great year for growing tomatoes, so all of a sudden he is selling them for $0.50 less a pound than you are. Your choices are to match his price, and reduce your profit, or don't match it and lose sales. Problem 2: WastageWhen you set up at a farm...

 


The Market Gardener's Secret Marketing Weapon

Market gardeners need customers; customers come from effective marketing. Here's the secret marketing weapon that can help your build a successful farm (or home) businesses. First, what DOESN'T work. Trust me on this: space advertising - i.e. like in newspapers or magazines - does NOT work for farms or work at home businesses. Classified ads are expensive, they are not targeted - i.e. they go to everybody, whether they would be a good customer or not - and they rarely get a response. So, what does work?The Market Gardener's Secret Marketing Weapon - Flyers!We have used mail-out flyers to build two successful businesses in the last 5 years - our farm CSA, and a cleaning business owned by our daughter. Flyers were the secret to bringing in customers for both businesses. Here's the advantages that flyers have over other kinds of marketing:Advantage 1: Flyers are targeted. You can pick the locations you want the flyers delivered to (by the post office), and specifically target the areas that are most promising. A...

 




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