If you've ever invested or started a company you will know that the biggest risks can be the most rewarding. Take our Le Grand breeding stock as an example of a large investment for our family farm. Several thousand dollars later we are thankful we got over the sticker shock and instead decided to jump in feet first. It made sense for us to do it. We grow food on our 20 acres outside Bellingham WA very close to some of the top chefs who source locally produced food.
Le Grand can compete in growth with hybrid birds, yet it is a superior tasting heritage bred chicken that can thrive on pasture. A fast growing delicious bird that you can produce in your own farm without having to depend on industry in our opinion is quite a good investment. If you've ever thought of being a middleman to produce chicks for one of the big three breeders in the world, you will discover that it can be a $250,000 investment at minimum! Not only that but you won't even own the birds or what is produced. We only pay for the feed and our labor. Yet we have poultry that can compete with the billion dollar industry raised chicken in terms of a bird that finishes faster than a traditional heritage breed like Barred Rocks. We spoke with family and decided it was best to import the Le Grand and a few other birds. Le Grand has performed beyond our expectations and most of our meat bird customers surprisingly prefer it to the Bresse.
It made sense for us to invest in them since we are in the business of growing food. It’s the perfect way for us to do it. We will never have to pay for chicks and shipping costs. We won’t have to spend countless hours tracking down chicks or finding half diseased and dying in shipment. Then waiting for replacements and setting up another tractor and sending emails to customers letting them know that again we were going to be late with their order. (That’s how we lose buyers, because we were reliant on someone to provide for us.). Not only is it better for us, it’s better for the chicks. We found a hatchery in Oregon to order from to ease the trip on chicks, however at $3.00 a bird and $4.00 for butcher the costs add up. We can produce our own chicks for less than .50 per chick in nearly endless numbers.
Take back the reigns, buy Le Grand! We already have return on investment without the contract obligations that would have existed had we decided to work with industrial breeds. This is not a fad, it is not the latest rare color, this is a bird that has been built for the small farmer to succeed. As you can tell we are passionate about these birds. They have proven to be one of the best chickens we have ever raised.
We know for a fact that some banks are approving farm loans for barns and breeding stock of Le Grand. Because bankers know a good thing when they see it. The best example I can think of is Murray McMurray in the 1930s great depression had lost his job as a banker and turned to selling his poultry as a way to make ends meet. The Murray McMurray hatchery we know today sells 1.6 million chicks per year.
It's simple math.