Get to Know Shaunee, a Chicken Farmer from Ohio
How did you get into chicken farming?
I was lucky enough to be born into farming. My family raises beef cattle, hay and crops in Eastern Ohio. When I was around 10 years old, my family started discussing raising chickens. By the time I was 11, the barns were up and we had our first batch of chicks. We are now going on our 10th year of raising broilers. Along with working full time on the farm, I’m also attending college full time and am working towards a vet tech and pre-vet degree.
What do you love about chicken farming?
I love that it’s a family effort. I get to work alongside my mom everyday caring for the birds, and my father when there’s something to fix or if we are getting ready for a new batch. My two sisters aren’t involved in the farm as much anymore except for delivery days, shipping days and days when we need extra hands always brings them back around to help, as it does various other family members.
What’s your least favorite thing about chicken farming?
My least favorite part would have to be how hard it is to get away, even when you have down time you usually spend it getting ready for the next flock and fixing things in the barns. And if you do have a flock, you have to be available to the barn 24/7 in case something goes wrong. There are very few things that can get me out of bed quickly at 2 am, a call from the chicken houses is on that list!
What’s one thing about chicken farming you wish more people would know?
I wish that people knew what actually went into raising the birds, how much we actually care and how well they are taken care of. People see the large barns or hear how many chickens we raise a year, and they automatically assume we are some factory farm who could care less about the animal raised, when in reality we are a family farm just trying to raise the healthiest birds we can.
What’s your favorite chicken dish?
My favorite chicken dish would have to be wings! It’s not really a dish, but chicken wings are one of my favorite foods.