As we all think about our big plans the summer season, you might want to read through the following report if your plans include chickens on pasture. This enterprise analysis compares the costs and returns from two pastured poultry systems, one a "chicken tractor" or move-able coop system and the other a free-range system with stationary housing:
This analysis is based on the actual costs and revenues of our two partners, Main Street Project in Northfield and the flocks managed by the University of Minnesota. I appreciate their involvement and willingness to share how their operations are performing financially.
Certainly the financial performance of these two operations are not representative of all pastured poultry enterprises. However, little data exists about these types of enterprises and even two examples may provide insights into how your profitability compares and how the management or set-up of your system could impact your financial returns.