Pastured Poultry Production by a Stay-at-Home Mom

Homesteading family in Ohio adapts pastured poultry production with oversight from stay-at-home mom.

| July/August 2014

  • The entire family has a hand in a pastured poultry operation.
    Photo courtesy FARM SHOW

Thirteen years ago, Kelly and Evan Hahn started raising chickens for their own use. Five years ago, they decided to start raising birds on pasture to sell wholesale as a way for Kelly to make money while staying home with their children. After a year or so, they also started selling birds retail.

The Perrysville, Ohio, couple built pens and grew the business based on demand, and have raised as many as 3,200 chickens in a year. Since Evan has a full-time job, Kelly handles most of the day-to-day chores.

While some of her chores are automated, she pulls each pen by hand with a rope when she changes its location, so she can watch and make sure the birds are moving with the pens. During hot weather, she checks pens frequently to make sure the watering setup is working.

“I also spray down the pigs and the chickens with water on extremely hot days to cool them down a little. I use a little handheld sprayer full of cold water,” Kelly says.

She offers advice for others thinking about getting into pastured poultry production:

• Visit a farm where someone is doing it. Check out resources at your nearest ag school.

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