Additional details: This is a 3 day workshop at our farm where we raise pastured poultry in the style and methods promoted by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. The workshop is designed for farmers or prospects who wish to build a profitable pastured poultry operation for a market in your community or for the homesteader or prepper who wants to raise the best food for yourself and family. We will share all of the real skills of raising poultry (including our early mistakes) so you can get up and running is short time with our proven methods and techniques. This method is completely scalable to meet your size requirements.
We will cover all of the day to day operational aspects of raising poultry from day-old chicks in a brooder, following them to a chicken tractor in the pasture and then processing them in home-built or commercial facilities on our farm. You will learn how to build a chicken tractor. You will participate as a class on building a tractor. You will go through the daily chores of moving, feeding and watering. You will learn how to process poultry for yourself or a market. You will participate as a class on processing a batch of birds. You will cycle a batch of birds from the brooder, out to the tractor. You will learn about handling (or not handling) the waste products. I will teach you all of the business aspects of the operation, including the cost of the birds, feed and all of the materials. I will cover how to market direct-to-consumer, through a local farmers market and to local restaurants. You can use these methods even if you do not own land. The infrastructure is portable. Each participant will get a whole chicken to take home.
Lodging: You are welcome to bring tents and camp on site in the field. Facilities are primitive. Bring what camping gear you will need. There are several hotels in the nearby town of Barboursville, WV approximately 20 minute drive.
Meals: We will prepare 1 meal per day for the 3 days of the workshop. We will provide the raw food supplies for the other 2 meals from our food stores on-site for you to prepare in a camp site style meal. Heck, we may join in for some of those camp style meals.
Conditions: This is an outdoor hands-on, get dirty event. After the days training, we can gather around in my yard or the camping site to visit, share stories and experiences and have a good, relaxing time. Partaking of adult beverages is fine if you are of age, but don’t get out of control. Be respectful and courteous of others. Canopies will be available in the yard in the event of rain. This time of year is usually warm to hot days, cool nights and can bring intermittent rain. There are hiking trails available throughout my farm, which is hilly and wooded, with lots of wildlife to see.
Clothing: Wear clothing appropriate for the farm and in case of inclement weather, have rain gear available. I highly recommend boots or at least a full close-toed shoe while training during the day. A hat is a good idea for sun protection. However, judge for your own comfort.
Cancellation: We will not cancel due to weather. One exception will be in the event of continued lightning due to safety. That call will be made the morning of the event. We will do everything possible to have the event as scheduled.
Directions: From I-64 at Barboursville Exit 18: Drive North on Rt 193 (Ben Bowen Hwy) for 3 miles to WV Rt 2. Turn right onto Rt. 2 and go for about 3 miles to Oak Hill Road (marked with green road sign). Turn right onto Oak Hill Road and drive uphill to the crest and back down. This road will merge onto an unmarked road (Nine Mile Road) (stay straight into the merge). Drive about 1/10 mile to Avalon Farms. Avalon Farms is 1 mile from Rt. 2. Look for signs for parking area.
From Northern Cabell or Mason County: Go South on WV Rt. 2 to Oak Hill Road in Lesage. Turn left onto Oak Hill Road and drive uphill to the crest and back down. This road will merge onto an unmarked road (Nine Mile Road) (stay straight into the merge). Drive about 1/10 mile to Avalon Farms. Avalon Farms is 1 mile from Rt. 2. Look for signs for parking area.
Safety: Your safety is the most important thing to us! We will give a verbal safety briefing at the beginning of the event and prior to each new block of training. If you have any safety issue, notify us and we will address it immediately. We are not medical professionals, however we have a first aid kit available and a UTV on site if evacuation is required. Our staff has combat first aid training to sustain you until professional help arrives. If you have any medical issues such as heart or respiratory issues, please inform Roy confidentially at the beginning and we will keep an extra eye out for you. Again, your safety is the most important thing to us!
Roy Ramey began farming as a youth growing up in Indiana until he moved to WV to attend college. Roy and his wife bought their own farm 7 years ago and have been raising animals every since then. He initially learned about pastured poultry from Joel Salatin at Polyface Farms and has attended workshops and processed poultry at Polyface. He has tailored the process and adapted a system to his particular farm conditions. Roy most recently certified in Permaculture Design, studying the science of natural systems of plants and animals and using them to our benefit in healing the land. He continues to learn from written and oral traditions about sustainable and regenerative farming. While he has taught formally at the collegiate level at Marshall University and in military environments, he also shares his knowledge of agriculture traditions and primitive skills outside of the classroom to adults and children alike.