Try Before You Buy!

I recently had an epiphany about moving chickens solo. Since the first chickens were moved on pasture at our farm in 1996, we have always used two people to move the pens.  Our family, Beth, Kristin, JudyJo, and especially Eli and then Isaac, spent many days helping me move chickens to fresh grass.  We focused on efficiency by making every move count. There was always another farm chore or task waiting so we tried to “get r done” fast.  Though in all the years of our work, only Isaac has mastered the art of moving chickens solo. In the back of my brain I knew that it was next to impossible to move chickens by yourself, and it really is once the crickets are plentiful!

Our 2019 chickens in their hoop house, looking for the first bugs of the season.

Our 2019 chickens in their hoop house, looking for the first bugs of the season.

Most of you are aware that we are searching for an apprentice/intern.  We have not found one yet so I have been moving the three hoop houses by myself. I’ve realized I like moving the hoop houses solo.  About two days ago the swallows came back. I got to watch them at my leisure without holding someone else up. Today I got to observe a chicken happily find what might be the first bug of the season.  Mostly though, I am serenaded by the Meadowlarks.

This new appreciation for being in the moment reminds me of my white water rafting days in the Grand Canyon. We did 14 day trips that were oar powered and 7 day trips that were motor powered.  Because the guides I worked with always tried to show the passengers as much of the Canyon as possible, we were often motoring down river from one side canyon to the next. It was easy to focus on what’s next and lose track of what was around us.  By contrast the oar powered trips moved at roughly the speed of the current and constant rowing would only produce a slight decrease in the time required to reach the next attraction. Might as well sit back and enjoy where you are. After decades of moving the chickens in “motor trip mode” I have come to enjoy moving them in “oar trip mode.”  There are still jobs waiting for me when I get back from moving chickens but with age comes the ability to discern the urgent from the mañana.

During all this time to think, alone, I decided to offer you all something that may help you.

If you have contemplated buying a half or whole beef but were unsure about the quality, we are implementing a new Try Before You Buy program. 


How does this work? Hand or mail us your deposit for a half or whole beef and we will give you 2 lbs of ground beef and a package of steaks or a roast.  If you are not satisfied we will return your deposit and you have no obligation to buy any beef. If you have already sent in a deposit you may come by and pick up a package of ground beef and a package of steak, or you may trade your free sample of beef for free delivery of your beef from the processor to your house.  We have smaller framed Red Angus this year and the portion sizes will be smaller. We expect them to marble easier than the steers we have had in the past.

Okay, I’m off to other tasks and then moving the chickens solo this evening. Even though I enjoy moving chickens solo, keep your ear to the ground for someone looking for an opportunity like this.

Many thanks,


Isaac Protiva