Farming Status and Plans
Farming status:Full time
Description of farming status, plans, and practices:
We currenty raise heritage pastured poultry, ducks geese and chickens, which we market to local and regional restaurant, butchers and individuals, and via a small CSA. We market our poultry and value added products perpared form them at local farmers markets, arts and culinary venues and directly from the farm where we raise the birds currently. We are currently looking to lease pasture to expand the business. Water access is essential, electrical service is desired. Land should be fairly level and have road access. Good drainage is important, land with standing water may be used for waterfowl, but not chickens. We are happy to coordinate and cooperate with other famers at the same location, and are prepared to contribute to or initiate an agritourism display featuring baby birds. We also wish to expand our market share by offering our goods at a farmers market or restaurant either on site, or associated with the farm.
Description of marketing method:
We curently sell processed poultry to local restaurants and individuals. Our birds are processed at a family run NYS-5A facility in Rensselaer County, and are legal for sale to retail stores, restaurants and other businesses in NYS.
We have a commercial web site, https://bonticouducks.com and a Facebook page, Bonticou Ducks LLC, and send regular emails to our customers. Products may be ordered from the commercial web site. We are members of RVGA, several local and national farm related Facebook pages, and sell product, primarily live poultry, via those sites. We run a small CSA for pastured poultry.
We are very interested in creating or cooperating in an agritourism project that we envision would include displays of hatching and raising baby birds for chidren and adults to enjoy. This would add to the appeal of the farm, increase foot traffic, as well as boost sales of all farm products.
In additon to sales of live and processed birds, we also sell value added products. We are regular attendies at two local farmers markets and several local fairs, and are looking to expand that aspect of the business. On site access to a commercial or Ag and Markets kitchen would be a major advantage, as would an on-site or regional farm stand, market or restaurant.
Does this farmer have a business plan?In progress
Preferred location:Southeast, Ulster
Desired acreage:6-10, 11-20, 21-50
Infrastructure required:Barns or other facilities for storage of equipment, livestock, and crops, Water access, Electrical Access
Description of buildings required:
If barns/sheds with electrical service are available to house breeding stock or to brood young birds, that would be a plus. We own both solar and AC powered energizers for our mobile fencing.
Description of water access required:
We require potable water close enough to the pasture to facilitate daily delivery.
Crops and Livestock
Description of livestock/crops:
We raise pastured poultry, ducks, geese and chickens and specialize in European and American heritage breeds famous for flavor. Most of our birds are hatched from our own breeding stock that we have selected over the past few years. In 2018 we raised approximately 120 geese, 600 ducks and 300 chickens.
Our birds are protected from ground predators by electrified poultry netting that is moved frequently. They are housed in 3 season mobile chicken coops. In 2019, we plan to also build or purchase larger mobile hoop houses to fill orders for a new partner.
An ideal parcel would contain grass, clover, wheat or other grains, with dispersed trees and some brush for shade, protection from raptors and perches. We would like to also plant a small area with sunflowers, which we can then harvest for the birds in the fall. A small greenhouse could be used to raise spouts or grains to supplement the commercial feed that we use, and to provide fresh greens during the winter. We currently maintain breeding stock, incubators and brooders elsewhere, but if infrastructure exists to house these activities, we may opt to bring these birds and equipment to the property.
Tenure options desired:For Lease, Partnership, For Sale, Other Tenure Agreement
Description of tenure options desired:
We are open to several tenure options.
Will this farmer's operation qualify an eligible landowner for an Agricultural Assessment?Maybe
Experience & education:Farm owner
We are entering our 4th year as poultry farmers. We bagan with a small number of birds on our own property. As our business grew we transferred most of our flocks to a local orchard.
Our prior work experience is in tumor immunology and law, respectively. This includes extensive exeprience with small animals in a laboratory setting, study of genetics and animal husbandry. My husband has decades of experience providing legal representation and management to several small businesses, including a small artisan cheese company in the Hudson Valley.