Greenview Man Promoting Poultry
A Greenview man raises poultry, but not just chickens...his focus is on pheasants. And he's looking to promote self-sustaining pheasant populations in the state of Illinois.
Pheasants, turkeys, even partridges. Cavan Sullivan of Greenview is passionate about his poultry. "I started thinking...I had raised chickens and turkeys and ducks, I can raise pheasants," said Sullivan.
It all started as a high school FFA project. "It has grown rapidly ever since. I started out with 250 birds and today we're hatching out tens of thousands a week," said Sullivan.
This fall, Sullivan is hosting pheasant hunts for the first time on his very own licensed pheasant preserve. "A similar situation to like a put and take catfish pond. We're stocking hunting grounds trying to encourage pheasants to take hold and we're giving hunters recreational opportunities," said Sullivan.
Once the infrastructure for raising pheasants was in place, Sullivan branched out to turkeys. The birds are confined to a small area within a few acres of pasture. Because they're out in the open air, rather than a closed poultry house, antibiotics aren't needed. "We don't lose turkeys to the same problems they lose them in turkey confinements to diseases that pass through the flock," said Sullivan.
The turkeys are moved to a different section of pasture every three or four days, serving as manure spreaders for the corn crop that will grow on Sullivan's land next year. "We'll be able to raise corn with no fertilizer input. We not be getting 200 bushel corn in this type of scenario, but if we can average 150 bushel with no net fertilizer usage, just the saving of fertilizer cost and application cost alone will add value to those turkeys," said Sullivan.
Sullivan's business continues to grow, but his ultimate goal is to educate others on the benefits of raising poultry and leave his farm in even better condition than when he started. "I want the soil to be better, I want the land to be better and more productive as a result of the way we are doing things," said Sullivan.Wednesday, April 23 2014, 10:23 AM CDT