Should I use this system even if I’m not a part of the Tree-Range® Chicken brand?
We encourage and expect farmers to use this training to improve their current operations, regardless of your involvement in the Tree-Range® Chicken brand. It is this initiative that builds sufficient collective capacity in areas to initiate system-level conversations and engage the Tree-Range® Chicken brand in expanding nationally.
How long will I have access to the courses?
There is no limit to course access after your original purchase. As long as you are interested in the materials, you will have access to them within your profile.
Will I get my production manual in the mail?
Manual copies are only available for trainees as a pdf file which is able to be downloaded and printed at your own discretion.
What is a production unit?
A production unit is an area where broilers (or egg layers) are raised. One production unit hosts 1,500 broilers per flock and is comprised of a shelter, grain bin, water supply, two paddocks for chickens to roam, perennial cropping systems, feeders, and forages at the ground level.
How do I measure the profitability of my poultry system?
A chicken is expected to produce at least $1 in the poultry production we teach. This covers the farm labor, and at wholesale generates at least 5% of the actual profit margin after all expenses are paid (farm labor, health insurance, retirement, etc).
When we measure the additional monetary profitability of this system we have to take into account the combination of chicken sales with that of other goods produced on the farm, such as manure, elderberries, and hazelnuts, and any income generated through services and apprenticeships provided on the farm. Profitability can vary depending on how much farmers want to utilize to generate additional income. After all the farm's goods and services are included in the calculations a farmer will get a better sense of their final net profit margins.
What does the paddock look like for southern Minnesota?
Our paddocks include hazelnut and elderberry bushes for the understory and oak, basswood, hickory nuts, and sugar maple trees for the overstory. As the system develops we continue to explore what hazelnuts and elderberries have to offer as a food source, from drying and roasting hazelnuts to making elderberry syrup and tea.
How much land do I need?
One production unit needs at least 1.5 acres in addition to a 1,600 square foot coop. It is up to you how many production units you will want to deploy, just add up the acreage. We don’t recommend farmers set up more than 8 broiler production units per farm.
Chicken Care and Insight
What chicken breed is used?
We currently only use Freedom Rangers,which is a slow-growth breed. We are also constantly searching for breeds that meet meat and quality of life standards for the poultry production units.
How do you protect chickens from predators?
We protect our chickens from aerial predators and also provide cool ground and shade to relax the chickens by planting overstory and understory perennial forest species.For ground-level predators, we build and carefully maintain a perimeter fence, and ensure that all chickens are in the nighttime shelter before dusk. When a predator issue arises it is normally possible to identify it as there are not many ways predators can penetrate the system unnoticed.
Do I harvest eggs manually?
We like to minimize labor by automating watering, feeding, and egg collection. However, some farmers may choose to pick their eggs manually, there is no restriction as a matter of the regenerative standard we abide by.
What happens when a chicken gets sick?
When a chicken gets sick it is given natural treatments that have proven successful in recovering flocks from rapidly advancing cases of coccidiosis with minimal losses and no need for pharmaceuticals. We reserve the right, however, to use antibiotics if a situation is too severe but in the history of this system, this has not been necessary.
The protocol of natural medicinal compounds is based on ancestral medicines and methods. The goal has always been to keep chickens healthy so we don’t have to treat sick ones at all. The system delivers such a high level of animal welfare that there have only been a handful of sick chickens in the 13 years the system has been operating.
What is a chickens daily diet?
A chicken's daily diet consists of regular ground-up feed, forages grown in the paddocks, and a sprouted grain mix used as a food supplement and dispersed throughout the paddocks.
Do chickens eat mice and other pests?
While chickens do not eat mice, they will eat bugs present in their coop and paddock.
Tree Range® Chicken
After my training, am I automatically part of the Tree-Range® Chicken brand?
While the training teaches everything we have available about the regenerative poultry system the Tree-Range® Chicken brand is a collective that currently only operates within a 2-hour driving radius of Stacyville, IA, where our first poultry processor is in operation. If you have finished the Regenerative Poultry System Training and would like to join the Tree-Range® Chicken brand but are outside of our current operating zone contact the RAA or Tree-Range® Chicken directly. As farmers are trained in new regions and regional producer pools/farmer collectives show interest, the conversation of Tree-Range® Chicken expansion will be engaged.
How do I join your system as an aspiring farmer?
If you are new to the world of farming and are aspiring to join the Tree Range® Chicken family of producers, it is recommended that you:
Check all the publicly available materials related to the system.
Talk to an existing poultry producer participating in the system, connections to these farmers can be made through the RAA.
Take the online Regenerative Poultry Training that can be found on this website.
Take in-person training/apply to be an intern at a Tree-Range ® Chicken farm.
Can you tell me about the Tree-Range® Chicken processing facility?
Our processing facility is USDA inspected and complies with all local, state, and federal guidelines. It is humane certified and we meet and exceed those standards.
Is Tree-Range® Chicken certified organic?
We ensure our practices are organic regardless of certification. While Tree-Range® Chicken meets all organic standards, it is not certified organic. Certification adds marketplace value and so we leave the decision to certify in the hands of the individual farms that produce this chicken. Farmers are not required to certify organic, but if you plan to join the organic market make sure to let us know so we can guide you on the record-keeping to make certification all the easier when applying.
Are my purchases tax-exempt?
Your purchases are not tax-exempt as Regenerative Agriculture Solutions is not a non-profit. If you’d like to give a tax-deductible donation to a non-profit organization working towards a regenerative future, please visit The Regenerative Agriculture Alliance website.
When will I receive my order?
We currently do not sell any physical items. All of our products are services that require travel or are conducted online. You will receive an email shortly after placing an order with details/follow-up on your purchase. If you do not receive an email at your provided email address, please check your junk/spam folder before reaching out to us at [email protected]
When will the chickens from Salvatierra Farms be ready?
Our goal is to finish building Poultry Production units by the end of the summer of 2022 and to start producing chickens at Salvatierra Farms shortly thereafter.