2020 - Volume #44, Issue #2, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Farmer Provides Pheasants To Hunters
Customers appreciate Zabala’s operation because it is less expensive than joining a club with membership and other fees.
“With me you just pay for the birds. I have no minimum purchase. I try not to oversell, and then they come back,” he says, adding he also shows customers how to place birds for the best training.
Zabala recalls his frustration about rarely seeing pheasants when he was young and hunting with his dad.
“I just wanted to see pheasants all the time,” Zabala says. So he decided to raise them at his home in Cleveland. He started with 10-week-old chicks, then tried eggs and chicks. There was a learning curve to figure out incubating and how to keep small chicks healthy and safe from predators. When there were too many for his space he placed an ad and they sold quickly. When he did it a second time, asking for a higher price, they still sold quickly.
Zabala saw an opportunity, took a gamble, quit his good-paying job, and moved to the country where he works as a driving instructor and hatches about 3,000 pheasant chicks a year in 20 batches starting in March. He sells another 100 dozen eggs to people who want to incubate their own birds.
“I can ship eggs ($10/dozen) all over the U.S. Chicks ($2/each) are shipped to one-day points from my location,” he says, adding he also sells older chicks ($5.25-$10.25) and mature pheasants ($12.25).
In addition to selling to hunters, many customers order pheasants for Thanksgiving or just to have in their home flocks.
Over the winter, Zabala separates his breeders, cleans pens, and takes orders that he starts filling in April. He’s made several YouTube videos (Sunrise Harvest Pheasant Farm) to help customers successfully hatch and raise pheasants.
“I’m doing this for fun. It’s not my main source of income,” Zabala says, admitting he is a little surprised how far the pheasant raising venture has taken him. The best thing, he says, is that now he sees pheasants every day.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Nick Zabala, Sunrise Harvest Pheasant Farm, 10675 Oyster Rd., Alliance, Ohio 44601 (ph 330 584-0020; www.shpheasants.com; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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