Commercial Poultry: Worst to First

by Allen Reynolds September 30, 2015

A case for Litter Life & Big Ole Bird Poultry Supplement

It's hard not to talk business even while at your children’s school functions.  One day in May 2015, while I was at a soccer practice, one of the other parents and I began talking about his poultry operation.  He began to explain the troubles that he was having with extremely high mortality and pleaded with me as no one had been able to diagnose or help him with his problems.  He described what seemed to be catastrophic.  As I looked at the pictures of the all the dead birds in the bucket of the tractor I realized he wasn’t joking.  This farmer proceeded to elaborate on his situation.

dermatitis in poultryIt was the third grow out in a row, same song third verse.  He grows a 42 day bird and at day 35 dermatitis hits house number four.  The integrator had tried multiple strategies to help him with no success.  I told him about the Southland Organics product Litter Life.  Litter Life is a litter amendment that deals with litter through three natural sources:  carbon, organic acids, and indigenous biology.  This combination vastly improves the quality of the litter in terms of dryness and bad biology.  Through a process called “Competitive Exclusion” Litter Life has helped thousands of commercial poultry farmers nationwide.  I felt confident that it could be a big help in this case as well.

After thousands of dead birds and with a little persuasion the integrator allowed him to try Litter Life on the fourth grow out.  Three tiers of management were present on the farm when they made the decision to let him clean the house to the ground and apply Litter Life.

After the application I would call once per week and ask how things were going.  He mentioned that the mortality rate was lower than usual, but we were waiting for day 35.  The evening of day 35, I called him and asked for an update.  He said so far everything was great.  The afternoon of day 38, I called again.  He told me that he had a scare the day before.  He picked up eleven birds and they all had dermatitis.  He then proceeded to say that he went into the houses that morning with dozens of 5 gallon buckets, fully expecting the worst.  He did not find a single dead bird!  He sold at 4:00 am that night and his mortality rate was under 3%.  Relief was an understatement because this battle had taken a toll on him.  We were not surprised, but still excited all the same.  The story didn’t end there.

The next week, the farmer called me again and said they were going to pick up his birds early this next grow out.  He needed a way to raise as healthy a bird as he could with such a short grow out time.  He chose to use our poultry probiotic with organic acids - Big Ole Bird.  Through the grow out, the birds looked good and he was feeling confident about how his birds would do.  One day I received a call.  Instead of getting the birds early, they caught on the 42nd day.  Not only was there still no sign of dermatitis, but he was the top grower.  I could sense the excitement on the phone.  With that success, he decided to use Big Ole Bird again on the next flock.  At the time of this article, the integrator is catching tonight and his mortality rate is at 1.8%.

These stories are common, but we still celebrate each one.  At Southland Organics our desire is not only to have a positive, healthy, natural impact on our food source, but to also help our customers be successful in providing abundant, quality food that is full of flavor.

Allen Reynolds
Allen Reynolds


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