Saturday, February 8, 2020

My business heart hurts.

Is that a thing? "business heart"? Let's say it's a thing. Mine is hurt.

Homestead Phil, each of our Affiliate Partners, and I work really hard to provide these fantastic products of Rent The Chicken and Hatch The Chicken. We strive to have ethical standards of business practices as well as farming / homesteading practices. Certainly our service isn't for everyone! That's OK.

Now and again, potential renters ask "what happens to the chicks / chickens at the end of the rental?". I chuckle and make light saying "We don't have a big barbecue that's for sure!" They chuckle then I provide a more in depth response.

Sometimes, potential renters state "Someone said you kill all of the baby chicks after the rental.". Wait. What? Someone said *WE* do what? Who said that? This week, some one said they read it on a website. Certainly not our website! Those babies are worth more to us and our Affiliate partners as live baby chicks than dead baby chicks. :(

Here are a number of scenarios as to what happens to the baby chicks after our Hatch The Chicken program is complete:
  • The girls are raised to be hens for Rent The Chicken
  • The girls are raised as breeding stock for Hatch The Chicken
  • The boys are raised to be roosters to fertilize eggs for Hatch The Chicken
  • The girls are raised to lay eggs for our families
  • The boys are raised to protect our flocks to help keep them safe
  • The chicks are sold to families looking to expand their flocks
  • The roosters are sold to families looking to protect their flock


  • I can't confirm what other organizations do with their baby chicks after a hatching program but I know with my whole heart that all of the chicks hatched with our Hatch The Chicken program provide a purpose following the rental. We value their lives and value what they bring to our business and those who participate in our programs.

    Saturday, December 28, 2019

    Ready or not... 2020 is coming!

    Hello!

    We made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas and now we are clearly approaching New Years and then for us that means January "workation" and our Rent The Chicken Owners Conference!

    This time of year comes with goal setting and reflecting. Are there things that I wanted to happen in 2019 and they just didn't? Of course! At the same time, so many other things were knocked out of the park without expectation! We are blessed! We made some big change personally and professionally which certainly had an impact on exceeding our expectations.

    One area was my health. You may not know this but I am overweight. It was just getting to the point that I was having a hard time bending over for long periods of time, getting out of bed, and fitting into areas or "squeezing" through areas that had plenty of space for most people. At the same time, I just lowered my expectations to know that I would just be overweight forever. I lost some weight on accident in 2014 (building 54 coops in the front yard in 3 months!) and in 2017 (keeping up with a 6 year old!). Before that, I only ever tried two diets. One when I was in college which was a true diet saying how much and if what to eat at each meal (think tuna salad and raw veggies). The other one was fairly simple - eat when hungry, stop when full, and pray like crazy in between to not eat! I maintained for a number of years with that philosophy and a well used gym membership. I enjoy going to the gym but gym memberships where we live while working from home are far from convenient. (Yes, that's an excuse! haha) I do enjoy running but don't make it a priority.

    Just like there are a number of ways to start with backyard hens, there are a number of ways to lose weight. This time of year many make resolutions to lose weight. My resolution is to keep off the weight I’ve lost in the last few months and continue to lose. However you are working to lose weight or maintain, are you able to continue if you have a major job change? An injury? An emotional life change? I have been overweight most of my married life and sturdy prior to that. Miscarrying babies wrecked my already a mess hormones which didn't help with weight loss / weight gain. One year, I cut out soda (and even now I only drink maybe 1-2 a month if that). It was also when I started running for the first time. After a month of running three times a week 3-6 miles per week and no soda, I lost 2 pounds. People always say the easiest way to lose weight is to stop drinking soda. Well... I proved them wrong! haha

    You may have seen in the news recently about Intermittent Fasting? People who have never been able to lose or never been able to keep it off are losing and keeping it off BUT... the health benefits are astounding! Even people who don't need to lose are fasting for health reasons. Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure - they are all decreasing! Again not just with weight loss but those who don't need to lose weight have these health benefits from Intermittent Fasting. There are a number of effective intermittent fasting principles. These fasting hours are with water, black coffee, tea without sugar or cream, pickle juice, olives, and possibly homemade bone broth. Some people don't eat for 16 hours (including sleeping of course) and eat meals without snacks during an 8 hour time window. Others build up to 36 or 42 hours of fasting. When some eat, they eat keto or low carb / high fat or just their regular diet at meals without snacking. The huge benefit I see with this program is the higher probability to keep the weight off and continue with the health benefits once goal weight is reached. Since I'm not restricting my regular diet during my eating windows, there's no risk of adding too much "bad foods" as foods are integrated back in if that makes sense? Granted, once goal weight is reached, I will still need to fast a few times a week to maintain but I can plan that around scheduled events without an issue! I can successfully be in a vehicle and not *need* snacks and I baked without taste testing during a fast last weekend. Amazing! Anyway... I could say a whole lot more but I'll save that for another time.

    I started this "Way of Life" or "Way of Eating" (or not eating as it may be! haha) on September 19th. I was sick in October and again for 3 weeks from mid-November through beginning of December and was not able to fully fast like I wanted but still did my best. Currently, I'm down about 25 pounds and dropped entire pant size with another size change coming soon!

    Here are some helpful tidbits - Buy The Obesity Code by Dr Jason Fung. Read the back two sections first "What to Eat" and "When to Eat". No snacks. Plan your fasts around celebrations to not miss them because of your "diet". Change up your fasting "schedule" to keep it challenging and exciting! (If you are on any medication that requires food intake, please consult your doctor before attempting Intermittent Fasting.) Find a friend who is doing this and be accountable. More people are Intermittent Fasting than you know about! It's kind of a Fight Club mentality of "What happens in Fight Club, stays in Fight Club" but with Intermittent Fasting. There are a lot of myths about it like I'm starving myself and my body isn't getting the nutrients that it needs, etc. My body has plenty of nutrients to feed off of while I'm fasting. Don't worry :) So I'm breaking the rules a bit by publicly outing myself and hoping for not a lot of backlash. Please be kind to me for being open about this as it's working for me and tens of thousands of others (that I know about!).

    Happy New Year!

    Saturday, October 5, 2019

    It's not Friday?

    Since taking the afternoon off two weeks ago to watch the Downton Abbey movie, it feels like I've been going non-stop! Women's Conference at our church, our little guy's birthday, behind the scenes work for Rent The Chicken, a local Norwex retreat, an online Norwex party, planning for local Rent The Chicken pick-ups, prep for in home Norwex parties, and of course preparing for the launch of our 2020 Rent The Chicken and Hatch The Chicken reservations!

    No wonder I didn't get a chance or make the time to check in here last week or yesterday! So let me fill you in on some things... My motto for 2019 has been the "Year of the Harvest". "the Harvest" isn't just about the bounty that comes a few months of the year. It's about putting in the work, preparing, getting others involved, building community, tending to the crops / project, pruning, carefully growing the crops, and then.... THE HARVEST! It doesn't end there. All of the fruit and vegetables in the garden becomes nourishment and deliciousness! Some of it is consumed right away and others is made to last through the year until the next harvest. At the same time, clean up needs to occur and while winding down from the harvest of this year, it's already time to start planning for the next. Although when I claimed "Year of the Harvest" as my motto, I thought it was literally about the actual Harvest and reaping all of the great benefits of harvest-time. Every year we put in the work to build and grow our Rent The Chicken business. Every year we build and grow. This year though.. WOW! We prepared, tilled, planted the right crops, groomed, pruned, nurtured, and and and and...! As expected, because of our Affiliates, our Renters, and God's provision, we had a stellar year of growth and Hatch The Chicken & Rent The Chicken Rentals!

    That brings me to the next topic as mentioned above, a LOT of work has been put in for the launch of our 2020 Rent The Chicken and Hatch The Chicken rentals to be available for reservation. Don't hold back... our dates and coops are reserved so quickly and some locations sell out in the first few months after the launch. We've reserved over 20 rentals this week network wide and that was with gentle marketing. What a great start to our 2020 Rental Season!

    So of course I would love for everyone who reads this to make a reservation for a 2020 rental but it's more than that! I'm egg-cited for the things to come because of our focus this year. The planning for one harvest overlaps for years to come - both personally and professionally!

    Here's a photo of my friend Becky and I at the Women's Conference at our church recently. What a cute photo opp area, right?! You can find Becky's blogs over here: MrsGregWillis.com

    I'll leave you with this. There are two songs that have impacted me recently. One last year (Do It Again) and one just very recently (So Will I). I found this YouTube video of both songs here: