Twenty-first Century Pastured Poultry

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2018: $15,000.00
Projected End Date: 02/29/2020
Grant Recipient: Letterbox Farm
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Nichole Carangelo
Letterbox Farm

Information Products

Pastured Poultry On The Diversified Farm (Conference/Presentation Material)


  • Animals: poultry
  • Animal Products: meat


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, feed/forage, feed rations, genetics, grazing management, housing, manure management, meat processing, meat processing facilities, processing regulations, stocking rate
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: agricultural finance
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities

    Proposal summary:

    It’s been over twenty years since the publication of Pastured Poultry Profits changed the American farmscape forever. For decades, beginning and established farmers alike have turned to this dynamic resource for its practical, step-by-step enterprise guidelines, inspiring perspective on transparent farm-to-consumer marketing, and the sage wisdom of its author, Joel Salatin.

    This thoughtful guide will most certainly continue to garner esteem from the farming community for years come. But as they say, “the times, they are a changin,’” and the pastured poultry industry is no exception. We believe it is time to ask an important question: Is Joel Salatin’s promise of 25k in 6 months on 20 acres still possible in 2018?

    The team at Letterbox Farm will answer this question and more in 21st-Century Pastured Poultry, a much needed addendum to Mr. Salatin’s guide that poultry producers have been waiting for. This resource will include case studies of modern day poultry producers intended to demonstrate contemporary trends of the industry. It will also delve deep into Letterbox Farm’s own poultry program, which produces 2,800 broilers per year, culminating in a glass-walls illustration of our entire operation. This will include:

    - A summary of our farm’s origin and growth

    - An in-depth look into our production methods

    - Up-to-date and all-encompassing enterprise budgets

    - Marketing plans and sales reports

    21st-Century Pastured Poultry will be fully illustrated and photographed in an effort to provide accurate information that is clear and systems that are replicable.

    Our research team is committed to a robust outreach plan that makes the above research widely accessible. Our resource will be created with a broad audience in mind, using accessible language and visual aids.


    Upon completion, our PDF resource will be available online through the following platforms: Hosted on Letterbox Farm’s website Hosted in the Greenhorns website’s PDF library Hosted on Stone Barn’s Virtual Grange Submitted to ATTRA publications page

    SARE’s publications page and newsletter

    Distributed through Cooperative Extension’s service provider network


    We will submit to lead workshops at NOFA-NY winter conference, CT NOFA winter conference, the NOFA Mass Summer Conference and Stone Barns’ Young Farmer Conference.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    We see an opportunity to create an updated resource that can be used in conjunction with the work that already exists. We would like to close the above information gaps and equip farmers with the information necessary to create a pastured poultry operation that can thrive in today’s economic and cultural landscapes.

    We envision a 30-40 page PDF guide titled 21st-Century Pastured Poultry that is:

    • Based on thorough, primary research methods, not second-hand information or anecdotal evidence Includes data from contemporary pastured poultry producers used to assess the modern trends of the industry
    • Details a system that is relevant to commercial-scale farmers, combining financial feasibility with humane and sustainable practices
    • Presents a comprehensive management system, detailing all major aspects of production including brooding, housing, feeding, disease mitigation and management, processing, and marketing Includes complete start-up and operating budgets
    • Illustrates replicable building plans for mobile chicken tractors in an easy-to-follow format Is made available through extensive outreach, including both online sources and in-person demonstrations and workshops.

    We’ll also answer that initial question from our summary: Is Joel Salatin’s promise of 25k in 6 months on 20 acres still possible in 2018? If so, what does an effective model look like today?

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.