“These chicken houses are my family’s life; they’re our investment,” stated Wesley Mewborn. “As a new grower, I trusted the folks at Hog Slat to provide the right equipment and follow up service. So far, they haven’t let me down.”
After spending 13 years in the retail hardware business, Wesley, and his wife, Robin purchased land near Kenansville, NC and constructed six, 46′ x 600′ broiler houses in Oct 2014.
A Hired Hand 4000 computer controls a total of 14 52″ galvanized Windstorm fans in each house along with winter air inlets. The arrival of warm weather begins the transition to evaporative cooling by opening the tunnel curtains and powering on the EVAP Cooling system.
The houses feature two GrowerSELECT feed lines using Classic Flood pan feeders with extended fins. Water is provided by four drinker lines regulated with a Plasson Water-On-Demand system.
“Raising chickens really just comes down to providing good air, feed, and water,” Wesley explained. “The more time you spend in the houses making sure that happens, the better the final results. The equipment in my houses provide me with the tools to be successful.”
This spring, the Mewborn family added six more broiler houses to the farm. “We really didn’t change much,” Wesley said, “other than moving the brood area to the middle.” We plan on installing the Hired Hand Farm Manager system to provide real-time remote monitoring. It will give me the ability to check conditions in the houses and even make changes when I’m not there. It ties into the Farm Alarm and notifies me when there’s a problem.”
“Chicken farming is a great lifestyle for a family. My kids, Layla and Macy, come to the farm every day, and that means a lot. Robin and I feel like we are building a good business and good family.”
“The chicken business works good with land and cattle,” Gene Williams commented as he looked out across the pasture next to his farm outside of Everett Springs, GA. “The land gives you a place to spread the litter; the chicken litter builds up the pastures, and the poultry checks provide a steady income when cattle prices are tough.”
Gene and Phyllis Williams have included poultry farming in building their family’s business for over 40 years. Starting with a registered Angus herd, they expanded into the poultry business by leasing two breeder houses in 1975, followed by building three new broiler houses in 1978. In 1994, the family business grew to include The Calhoun Stockyard, and again when oldest son Michael and his wife Shelby made the decision to build four new broiler houses in 2003.
Their middle son, Adam, and wife Jenny moved back to the farm in 2013. In 2014, the two older sons joined with younger brother, Jacob, and his wife Natalie, to purchase a neighboring land tract to form the Circle W Ranch entity. Central to this expansion was the construction of eight 66′ x 600′ broiler houses, each capable of holding 62,000 birds per flock.
The tunnel ventilated houses feature Windstorm 54″ exhaust fans, Hog Slat EVAP Systems, and TEGO tunnel doors, regulated by a Rotem control system. The GrowerSELECT feed system utilizes Classic Flood feed pans along with supplemental feeders in the brooder section. One notable feature is a dedicated feed line with Hi-Grow feeders, used for the first ten days of a new flock and then winched up out of the way. Also, a special hanger line above each feed line permits storage of the Hi-Grow feeders inside the house.
Still actively involved in the daily farming operations, Gene and Phyllis continue to influence the education and work ethic of the ten grandchildren joining the family workforce.