How to start a Chicken Cow Vegetable farm (Profitable Organic Business) #poultryfarming #dairyfarm

How to start a Chicken Cow Vegetable farm (Profitable Organic Business) #poultryfarming #dairyfarm

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to get a balanced diet from a single farmer with beekeeping organic dairy farm we  started selling our own eggs and then i take care of the cut flower garden yeah it's totally different last year itunes all that stuff nice  next to the vending machines hello everybody influenced by growing prices  during the last two years 2020 and 2021 i have   been looking to diversify my food supply have  an alternative to the normal grocery stores just   recently i have been a little bit arguing with  my brother whether it is possible or not to get   a balanced diet from a single farmer so this  argument actually led me to find this really   interesting farmer around brasshat in belgium  in this interview you will learn about farmer's   life and how to run a profitable farm business  finally it will be clear who won the argument how did you decide to become a farmer i  have to go back more than 10 years ago i went to australia for a year and then i was  traveling around the country and and visiting   all kinds of farms when i just uh did some work on  the farm in order to have a place to sleep and to   eat and so that's that's how i traveled around  and when i came back i started with beekeeping   just to have something more attached to  agriculture than instead of doing nothing   with agriculture and then after a  few years uh i met paulie and then uh   yeah we we started living together on the farm  of our uh of my father-in-law and your stepdad so that's how we ended up farming how did  you start to grow your own food and why   when we came to the farm it was  uh already an organic dairy farm   uh but because we wanted to work on the farm as  well we were looking for a different branch on   the farm to do uh to make a living for ourselves  and then we started with the chicken mobiles the reservoir is like the double reservoir  and it has around 400 liters of water in it   and then this side of the wall is uh  like the feed troughs we can put in with 200 layer laying hands in it and uh  we started selling our own eggs and then   a couple of months after we started doing  that uh venture or enterprise we started   making our make your own vegetable  garden and then continue from that is there any advantage of being organic  meaning do they actually find some feed   themselves or you have to calculate the feed  as if they're not eating anything but your   feed i mean some shrubs and bugs or anything  does it help like does it reduce your costs or having the chickens outside really  makes a difference in like the quality   you can really notice uh like sometimes in winter  we are not allowed to have our chickens outside   because of like hopefully or something like that  and then the color of our eggs get very paler   then now when they're like roaming outside  eating uh some grasses and other herbs and   other bags and all all right so and if we would  purchase right now eggs from you today what is the   approximate price per 10 per dozen it's  like uh 6 euro 60. and you call them no so when i came back from studying  in antwerp i moved to the farm but before i met sandro i was i was a musician  only so i was writing music but with music   it's very difficult to make any money uh when  you're a small musician so i was like because she   can she can also play piano and sing too oh yeah  so yeah i was writing using music but aside from   that i wasn't really doing anything with my life  so when i met sandro yeah we moved to the farm   after being together for half a year and i just  followed him in his ideas to make really nice   big thing on the farm yeah i always wanted to do  something with nature but i never really knew how   or what so so yeah i just followed him and i like  doing this so that's great now you have your own   flower patch as well yeah so i i  take care of the cut flower garden pauline please guide us about your vote  until 2017 before you're certified organic   so um yeah i studied clankins in antwerp  it's a study that combines theater and music yeah it's totally different so yeah i finished that and  well i'm i'm still writing music last year i uh it's yeah a bunch of songs uh in dutch   and yeah the theme of the songs is very  much about you know being in nature and   being on your own and yeah that's nice where  can we listen to it or where can we find it   yeah it's on all platforms so it's on spotify  itunes all that stuff nice nice we would like to   have something exactly perfect this was my idea  as well my artist name is catbug so like a cat   and a ladybug together he's a cat bug how do you  combine that so do you have time for both of them well um in the beginning uh when we started  farming i was also playing a few shows   every every month but that became a bit too  difficult to combine so right now i just   write music and i just take it how it goes also  at the moment i'm not really playing shows because   it's yeah actually that part is really difficult  to combine with farm life because you know playing   a show it's at night and you get home late and  then next morning you have to get up early to take how many chickens per square meter or   is there any um limitations are there any  invitations for to be organic in organic   you can put uh like 200 hens in one of these 200  i thought that's quite big you can put 400 600. probably like around 300 is also still possible actually give way more room than  they need even in organic uh what's   minimum investments are needed to open a  farm how much did you invest in you this one we were lucky enough that we could start on the  the farm of my father-in-law so we don't have yet   bought the farm from him but eventually that's the  plan in order to start at the market garden in the   beginning we didn't use any tractor or something  like that only like a little walk behind tractor   and i think we started our first year with  two small poly tunnels the walk behind tractor   all in all like 15 000 euro or  something like that there was a   first investment to get started  with with the parking lot what is your typical working day skill i  usually first thing i do is check if the a check if the vending machines  are still i mean if i need to add   add eggs or check if there's still bouquets  next to the vending machines and what time from so yeah between seven and nine i usually also go and pick berries or  making a small walk between the flowers   to you know to meditate and then it's  usually just you know work in the garden   for the next day or taking care of the  eggs sorting the eggs packaging them and then i collect the eggs too and  then it's time to make dinner i guess i forget a lot of things there's so many things kind of a similar thing but i   mainly look after the garden and uh ordering  the the plants and and seeds and all yeah in the morning it's like a  walk around uh what needs to be so you happened enough yeah actually yeah   yeah the good thing is that the main part of  the season is when the days are long so we can   work longer in the day if you have to but yeah  that's that's a nice part and none of us are like   very early risers my mother and my  stepfather are like also eat risers so yeah um actually it's like a mix  of all different uh milkweeds i mean i think there's some flakvy  in it there's one with jersey how much milk can you get from one cow every age  per day and do you milk it once two times a day or   three times a day we built two times a day one in  the morning and one in the evening and the average is around from outhouse which isn't really that  high it's around four thousand five hundred to   five thousand liters per year  machine had a must for a farm   in the beginning we didn't want to  invest actually anything into machines   because we were very idealistic and  wanted to do it all completely by hand and at start you can do it all and after months go  by yeah you you feel your body gets tired and all   and then first we bought the walk  behind tractor because it's already and then last year we bought our tractor  and planting machine and a precision hero   so now we we can plant with the tractor which  is more ergonomic than crawling over the field   uh with the precision arrow uh we can just drive  very slowly over the plants and it's like a   a comb and it comes out the weeds from in  between the plants so yeah that takes care   of a lot of hand labor what we used to do by  hand by hoeing and picking the weeds by hand yeah so now we have or we can make some  free time if we want to like before we   were working from the morning till the  evening every day but now yeah we can go   enjoy the sun or go out with friends  have a drink or a barbecue so that's not every day what would you recommend   to a beginner farmer who would want to buy things  like that and get 200 chicken we buy our chickens   at point of lay it's like when they're around 17  weeks old and then it means like they will start   about two weeks or so okay and we use like  the typical uh industrial blading hand because that's really the only  one we can get in high enough numbers throwing your own uh chicks you could  do that but also means if you need 200 hands   you get around 200 roosters as well so you  have to do something with your sisters as well   and this breed being like a laying breed it means  that the roosters aren't really they don't have a   lot of meat either compared to the typical uh  royal chickens so that's why we we choose to   just buy the hands what are the must-have  skills and abilities for a farmer oh gosh like i learned most of my skills from sandro  um and we also just learned a lot from youtube   and online courses you know finding a flow in your  in your work and becoming more efficient in doing   the things you do every day i think that's very  useful but those things are not so easy to learn   to learn from a video or something so most of the  things you're learning from your own experience   yeah i i guess so yeah i just learned them by by doing them   how much length is needed for growing  enough food for a balanced diet depends how many people do you want to feed just a person like a balanced diet what do you  need to grow and then scale from one person on   maybe it might be easier to like explain how  many people we are feeding okay all right at the moment we have like around 200 people or  even with the restaurant and the vegetable boxes   maybe you can say around 250. yeah yeah around  250 people we are feeding uh year-round and by   saying feeding means they're getting food from  you daily or not yeah yeah yeah they picked the   vegetables uh fruit uh milk we have year round and  eggs we have year round as well uh yeah i think   we have usually around 400 hands on the farm  you can you can feed way more people than 250. so that makes it pretty balanced diet  with vegetables combined with meat   and milk and milk products yeah yeah together yeah  yeah i think the total size is around 40 hectares   of the farm 40 hectares yeah and uh wanna one  and a half uh two hector is uh is the vegetables   from the farm so i can see that you have some  different varieties here so the bigger one   what is the name for this variety uh i think  that one is perlati but the thing is with the   small tomatoes the cherry tomatoes cherry they're  uh they're wrapping for ripening faster faster   compared to the bigger tomatoes so we're  picking cherry tomatoes like two weeks   before we started picking the bigger ones so  your season is already a little bit longer   and in terms of demand do you see more demand  for the cherry tomatoes or for the bigger ones   uh it's more or less the same thing yeah yeah now we'd only do dairy with the cows but  if you could do there some dairy and some meat   i think you can yeah more or less get everything  from uh from the home from your own farm it's good   to know 40 hectares can feed 250 people or more  understood yeah i think way more if you really   want to but then the main thing is people are  so used to have like oranges year-round tomatoes   year-round and that's the the main problem yeah  if people learn more to live with uh with the   seasons then you can feel even more or a little  re-learn how yeah things work in the past yeah check if the cracks are there  so we take those out and then   the the whole eggs they go to the customers  um we'll so check if they're clean if there's i mean if they're fresh stuff like that and i think about the rest of the our products i  think sandra can tell you more yeah actually the vegetables the the people do it themselves  because we we grow and plant all the   vegetables we take care of the garden but  when something is ready we just put a sign up   next to the bed that people can harvest from the  the vegetables so if a vegetable doesn't look good   people just leave it and even then if it  doesn't look good you can still cut it off that's the same for the flower so people pick  them themselves and everyone every person likes   a flower in a different stage of bloom some  people like them when they just opened and some   people like flowers when they were almost  dead so yeah they picked them themselves   regarding the cost of feed for the chickens uh  what was the price before and what it is now   procurement during uh corona it was around  55 cents a kilogram and then now we're in   the 70 cents so it's a quite a big increase  and that's just for for like layer uh feet   but if you need feed for uh broilers or meat  birds then you need more protein in the feed   and it gets more expensive that's yeah  doesn't mean what about have you thought   about growing your own feed or it's really  complicated because you need mix of everything   and then yeah you need a mix of everything  and and you also need a place to storage   that amount also a place to mill it yeah and  and be sure you get your own feedback yeah uh   then also the the ratio from yeah how much of  protein how much fat how much carbs yeah that's a   different study and how far are the bees  from here because i've seen just one bee   coming over to our table but actually uh  there's a small uh a few hives over there   used to have around 250 hives but now it's more  like four or five hives 250 yeah that's a lot of   honey yeah yeah and a lot of driving  around so yeah we had to downscale   that part what is the turnover of the farm the  vegetable part it's around or almost 90 000   total and then uh yeah from x it's kind of  hard to say because last year uh the the whole   peoples of pfas scandals started and we we're not  really in the zone but our our sales just crashed   yeah because people were afraid right yeah yeah  yeah and it's still not getting better and now   with all the the feed that's it's getting really  expensive okay so the prices of the eggs price as   well and actually all the prices are rising  right now so people are hesitant to buy uh   like organic uh stuff at the moment or  sometimes because of the price is already higher   so yeah with the egg venture it's it's  not the best at the moment but yeah   hopefully that turns around what is for  you the hardest part to run in the farm i think making sure i don't forget anything  on the lists that needs to be done   because there's just so many small things that  need to happen on the farm and if you if you miss   one of them it can be a disaster so for  example if you forget to give the chickens   more water well that's a big problem  so you can't forget the small things so mainly that and for me personally to  just um you know talking with lots of people   or customers can be a bit difficult  for me so yeah just a small thing i don't know how to explain there are lots  of had difficult customers no it's just um   because i'm i'm very introverted it can be  difficult sometimes and for you i think also   the the heart this is like pauline says yes you  have to keep in check with with all with a lot   of different factors in the farm and also check  each other that you didn't forget anything like   like when the chickens don't have their water in  time or we also have to look out with the weather   like when we have to plant new plants and it's  going to rain like for the next three or four days   it's better than to have the plants in the in  the ground before it starts raining because   it rains a lot maybe we can't go on the on the  field for the next week or so with the tractor   um so it's it's a lot of small things but still  important things then you have to like kind of   follow the whole planning of the season like when  when to prune your open the tomatoes or have the   the the wires up in in time because if you're too  late with that then it all gets a tangled mess yeah just yeah keep in check with all the  things you you don't want to really need yeah   you say don't yeah yeah don't procrastinate too  much and even if you do just don't forget you did okay and how many votes it's almost like the question for santro what is the key to manage the  farm when there are two or more owners um i think the main thing is try to communicate communicate and and  talk about the things you want to do and usually it goes pretty well and of course  you also have like like a generation gap   like my father-in-law is a different  generation even though it's it's more   open-minded than than a lot of  farmers because this is organic uh but   then yeah we we have different visions about  some stuff but yeah usually just talking about it makes it that we don't have any  real issues something like that   and and also the plan is that that we will  take over the farm in a couple of years   so yeah we kind of have to be already moving to  that that time because yeah was it difficult to   certify organic because as far as i'm aware you  must not have non-organic operations very close   by and then there are some checks and then there's  a time frame you cannot use a lot of pesticides   and so on and so forth uh well stan was  already stan is my father-in-law was already   farming without uh chemical pesticides or  chemical uh like uh manures so the the move   to organic wasn't really that big for him the only  thing he stopped was planting uh mice for silage   and now we just only use his grass to feed the  cows and and the thing why you stopped with the   maize is uh because of the yeah you're not allowed  to spray for herbs and uh to use herbicides no   right could you name top five mistakes that  you made since the you start uh the farm i   think our biggest mistake was in the beginning  thinking we could do it without mechanization   yeah just being a bit too idealistic in general we  watched a lot of videos uh from polyface farming   and we really wanted to do that from the  first day we started and you just just can't   start your farm and be banned  like polly face for me yeah exactly is 3rd generation i think or now he  has a third generation his son is taking over   and his father was doing it and i remember  in one of the videos he was explaining his   his land was absolute disaster when they first  took over yeah definitely requires a lot of time   yeah and also when when you work together  with an older generation so my mother   and my stepfather live here too so when  we want change that's difficult for them   so just take small steps when you work with  with your family just small steps small steps   then it works if you keep arguing then it  doesn't work do you do rotational phasing i want to do that in the future but  now the crowds are still following law what if i do the get the electricity from  the sun for instance would that be better for   nature or it doesn't work in terms of the costs  does it could that work here for example the solar power might be that it could work but yeah  the problem we have is is the the roof   needs to be changed as well so we first have  to get some money to do that so yeah at the   moment we're still paying for all the other  things yeah like a tractor and all so yeah i hope that we can do that one day one step at a  time and then uh yeah put some solar panels on the   on all the the stables okay and if someone um in  terms of the some someone new would you recommend   to go like you have uh volatiles yeah exactly  polythenes and they're quite they're massive   actually you have a lot smaller ones as an  option but you have already big ones and   um would you recommend for some new to go with  three five or in five or just small in this scale i think in your first season when you're  just testing the waters first at first   then it might be best to get like a  second hand caterpillars on all uh   like those polytunnels with the ropes over  the plastic when you have the feeling that   you really have your markets around you and things  are possible and you can get a loan or something i think it pays back to have like a bigger  funnel tunnel because the climate inside   is much better it's much easier  to vent the the polytunnel as well and it looks more professional as well if a lot  of at our farm a lot of customers are coming   directly to the farm and also when the first time  or the first uh big polytunnel we put up that day   more uh new people came to visit  the farm because they saw something   new yeah but if that's not your plan and then  you don't uh plan on having a lot of customers   at your farm maybe that then things are a  little bit different but to grow growing   wise it's much better for the plants and also  much better for yourself working in in a bigger   polytunnel because the heat is all all the way up  in the summer it's a nicer climate to work in yeah   yeah and um how do you maintain fertility inside  the tunnels because uh yeah obviously you need to   be fertilized the earth here how do you  do it inside okay i can understand it's   easy with with probably manure and so on and  so forth outside but how do you do it inside   uh we mainly use uh compost compost  yeah yeah and we can get compost from uh   pretty close it's like a municipal uh compost  okay okay uh that's what we mainly use and then if there is enough time we use some like  chicken manure or stuff like that as well that doesn't work today what are the most popular and least  popular products that you produce and sell   like fast runners in terms of the  volume and slow runners as well so now we already understood that the  eggs have problem because of the news   and the people are afraid  that that is good yeah i think you know just a couple of weeks ago  we started with a milk vending machine   so that still has to grow its audience but you  mean the one that is at the entrance yeah yeah   um i i think the flowers are also steadily growing  yeah so last year it was really difficult to get   customers uh to the flower garden and this year  this year it's it's already easier so it's also   much better better than last year and what about  the fast runners suppose something that you grow   not enough in terms of customers are saying   i'm here where is it and it's already gone  so they can do you have such a product uh   actually we really try to avoid it we try  to grow always in a abundance okay yeah yeah so we don't really have that problem they also   sell processed food for example tomatoes  either pickled or chicken if it's already   dried chicken for instance or dried  with seasoning or anything such   we do make uh some pasta from our eggs okay uh we  don't make it ourselves but uh we go to a small we'll call it pasta make a woman yeah  close to the border uh with germany   and uh yeah that she makes pasta from our eggs  then okay and like spaghetti and macaroni and also   yeah but besides that we don't  really have any uh processed   foods no i think also um the the people who  bake something they use a lot of eggs for sweets sweet stuff the bakers do you sell  any any eggs to them in antwerp for example   or it's too far away or considered to be far  away um the main problem with that is uh like   bakers they get pushed to use uh like the pastured  pastured eggs in a in a like in cans yeah in cans   so it's kind of hard to to sell natural eggs to  uh to a professional customer for a bakery and all   not that there's something wrong with our eggs but   so it's like convenience for them convenience  and also because there is a small chance even   though we get checks checked several times  for salmonella and all right there's a small   chance that there is someone la in the neck and  that's why they use the pastured jars yeah so   it's kind of already processed in a way there's  no that eggs is actually coming to them yeah it's   it's like uh in a bottle like a bottle of milk  but then a bottle of egg that seems awful yeah the profitability of each product   what is the least profitable so what brings  you the least margin and what is the most   profitable if you can sell all the milk  yourself to the customer then it's realistic stan is now milking only like 40  house it's not really that much yeah every day it's kind of hard to sell   300 liters of milk every day and  of course you can go make your we wouldn't manage to do that like uh time-wise  yeah everything yeah and then um the solar how   does it work um the chicken more well has  like uh lights inside okay and also the   the door uh opens in the morning automatically  and uh also closes uh when all the chickens are   inside so it's all automated  yeah it's all automated yeah   i heard from the farmer uh also in belgium but  that was already a time ago that was um just   when corona started so in in the shop the liter  of milk was about at that time about 80 cents   roughly and he was selling his milk to a processor  and was about 23 cents something like that so since then the price of  milk did rise in the shop   but do they still keep the same prices for you as  a farmer or they also increased it actually the   price that the conventional farmers  get for their milk at the moment   actually gets close to what organic farmers get  for the milk at the moment and the price that   organic farmers get for their milk is  not really changed since uh since all the   price rises started so interesting hopefully  that will uh still happen soon which means that   the shops are actually earning but  not the farmers yeah that's not fair yeah that's also why we we our plans for  the future is we we want to move away   from that kind of setup and more have more  products go directly to the to our customers   so according to the data in  the industry average farmer profitability is about 28 somewhere depending  so some grow more vegetables and grow more chicken and so on and so forth but that's  the average is it some somewhere that that is   here on your farm because you have it very  balanced how i look at it i mean you have   chickens milk you have vegetables so  we have a little bit of everything yeah i don't know about yeah the   profitability way i mean yeah we we earn  a living but it's not really that way i mean if i would go back to my work  which i wish i had before i went to   farming then i would earn more in a month  okay with doing less hours but the farming   brings way more of uh like uh  yeah satisfaction uh kind of way   it brings different riches than the normal money  plus you know what you're eating and they don't   in the city yeah and i know what my customers are  eating yeah so yeah i have two channels one is   uh ovary channels for the for the farming another  one is this one in regards to research but all   of them are actually in the long run have  the same goal ever seen in for me i always   ask the final question in respect to what  would you change in a business that would   bring you closer to a regen regenerative  way meaning that it would less pollute or   less you would use less plastic  for example or anything and such so what what do you think what would you change  on your farm that would bring us closer to   to living in balance with  nature they already try to   to work as regenerative as possible like peas  or something like that to to make like an   unknown plant for the chicken feet and  maybe even have like grain for uh for baking   maybe that would make the  whole thing a little bit more regenerative in a way because now actually  the only thing we buy in for uh for feed is   chicken feet you're already organic you're already   far away from comparable way from many  other businesses uh in terms of uh   regenerative way you can always think of one  step further you could think of something else   that's it also maybe more trees in the fields  right something else we hope to do one day

2022-07-31 02:12

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