We’re about 10 months into our two year membership with The Sustainable Poultry Network. I thought it would be good to go over the reasons we signed up and why we’re walking away. (BTW, here’s a post regarding a visit by Jim Adkins, the head of SPN )
The Sustainable Poultry Network (hereafter referred to as SPN) is all about raising and developing heritage poultry and doing it in healthy conditions. That’s a great hook because it’s what we want to do. We had some Buff Orpingtons and some Barred Rocks and were ready to step up to a commercial operation. The operation that we wanted had to be good for the animals though.
One thing that we recognized was that it’s one thing to keep chickens alive, but it takes more knowledge to judge and cull your chickens, as well as other commercial processes. SPN promised that with our membership we would have two visits a year as well as 50% off training.
The bad news is that we haven’t seen any training that’s been offered at a 50% discount.
We were promised a second visit in October and it never happened.
One of the things that SPN promises is coaching. The only coaching that happened was when Jim came out to see our flock at 16+ weeks of age. Our birds were under-weight and Jim pointed out some concerns with the field peas in the feed. While I learned from Jim while he was here, the wife and I were very frustrated. We had gone through 16 weeks of raising birds with no direction only to find we had messed up.
Members of SPN operate either as breeders (selling chicks within SPN) or as growers, raising the birds to butcher size. We had agreed that we were going to sell chicks. This was discussed with Jim Adkins during his visit last summer.
We haven’t heard anything regarding selling our chicks.
To summarize, we paid $1,500 to become SPN members and we paid $8 a chick (100 minimum order) to get SPN chicks so we could have a certified flock.
We got one visit. and 99 birds.
I’m not going to try to judge the motives of the owners of SPN. I can say that we didn’t get what was promised. I can’t recommend this group to anyone.
Got an email from Jim today, requesting that I call him. I replied not to contact us. Jim then posted a comment to this article, which I’ve approved and you can read in the comments section. I would like to note that it’s a whole year since we heard from Jim–a full 8 months past the agreed time. As for trying to reach me repeatedly–sorry, Jim. That’s not the truth. My google number hasn’t changed and my emails requesting to be removed from your spam list have been ignored. You haven’t responded to us.