17 Jan Get to Know Jennifer, a Chicken Farmer from Mississippi
Most people are at least three generations removed from the farm, which means the average person doesn’t have first-hand knowledge of what life on a farm is like – for either farmers or the animals they care for. To help bridge the gap between the farm and the average person who doesn’t know much about farmers or farming, we invited Jennifer to answer a few questions about her poultry farm and her thoughts on being a farmer.
How did you get into chicken farming?
Being raised in South Mississippi, I loved the outdoors and grew up in the country. I always knew I wanted to be a farmer, I just never knew I would be a poultry farmer. When I was 19, I started dating my husband. He was already in the poultry business and so was his whole family. While we were dating, I decided to start helping him on his farm. I loved it. He says all I knew was KFC. I think that was when he decided I was a keeper.
So twenty years later, here we are. We have grown into two 6 house poultry farms and a poultry litter business.
What do you love about chicken farming?
The farm is my favorite place to be. It is home. Most of the time it is a family affair. I am home to attend my son’s school and sporting events. It enables me to be home to cook family meals and to be available for my family 95% of the time. I believe the farm is the best place to raise a family. It teaches so much responsibility.
What’s your least favorite thing about chicken farming?
Not being able to go on long vacations – having 2 farms and 12 houses means that the long vacations are over. We have birds almost 365 days a year. The weather also makes me nervous because when the power goes off you depend on generators. If you have ever had a generator go down and no power, it is very scary.
What’s one thing about chicken farming you wish more people would know?
Farmers have a 24 hour a day job. There are no sick days and the farm has to be managed no matter what. Poultry farmers work very hard to market a good healthy bird for the consumer. Farming is not a job, it is a farmer’s life and livelihood.
What’s your favorite chicken dish?
My absolute favorite is chicken and dumplings. My families favorite is chicken and rice. Either way, you can’t go wrong with either of those.
Get a glimpse into a day in the life at Jennifer’s chicken farm:
Fixing the water pipe to make sure the #chickens get fresh water 🔧🔨 Photo courtesy of @jennifer8865, a #chickenfarmer from Mississippi #farmwork #farmlife #farmer #onthefarm #chickenfarming A photo posted by Chicken Check In (@chickencheck.in) on
Chicken farmers check on their flocks multiple times a day to ensure they have access to food and water, and the temperature is just right. Here is @jennifer8865 adjusting the heat in the chicken house to ensure the flock is comfortable and warm during cold, winter nights. #winterishere #wintersolstice #firstdayofwinter #happywinter #chickencheckin #chickens #broilerchickens #winter A photo posted by Chicken Check In (@chickencheck.in) on