They’ve heard them all. And please don’t think about giving them any chicken-themed accessories. They have them all.
Brittany and Chris started B&C Farm in Ovalo in 2018. They produce two products: pasture-raised chicken and eggs. The production is both physical labor and a labor-of-love operation.
Chris, 31, and Brittany, 32, are both mechanical engineers, with degrees from Texas Tech University. Brittany works for Lauren Engineers and Chris works for his parents’ engineering company in Abilene. Every free minute is spent operating B&C Farm.
“We work in town to support our farming habit,” Chris said.
They hope eventually the farming habit will become a full time way of life. When Brittany was growing up in Missouri, she spent a lot of time on farms owned by her grandparents, but Chris didn’t have any background in farming. They chose chickens and eggs to begin their farm life because that is the cheapest way to start and has the quickest turn-around.
B&C Farm sells its eggs and chicken either by direct delivery to customers or through Cordell’s store and restaurant in Abilene and Abilene Fresh, an outdoor market. Customers are guaranteed that the laying hens and the broilers both are soy and corn-free, non-GMO, and non-medicated.
“The Egg Ladies” sleep and lay eggs in a 20-foot by 8-foot mobile coop built on a hay trailer that is moved several times a week. It has a wire mesh floor that allows waste to drop to the ground. The ladies are free to roam the pasture during the day.
The broilers live in a 10-foot by 12-foot mobile pen with lawnmower wheels attached so that it can be moved daily to new grass. The mobility ensures that the chickens always have clean living conditions. Both mobile homes were built by Chris and Brittany.
“We’re designing all kinds of stuff for our farm,” Brittany said, explaining how they also built their own home.
Chris and Brittany married in 2016, after meeting at their jobs with Fluor, an engineering company in Houston. In 2017, when the Houston traffic got to be too much, they opted for the quiet life of Ovalo. A year later, they were talking about raising chickens. They started with 120 egg-layers in the spring of 2019 and by Christmas, they had so many eggs they were giving them away. Then, people started buying them.
“We’ve had a hard time keeping eggs in stock this year,” Chris said about 2020. “You learn a lot,” Chris said, “and you learn quick.”
The hen population is expected to grow to 300 in March to keep up with demand. Tending to “The Egg Ladies” and gathering eggs is in addition to raising broilers and processing the meat, a job that Chris and Brittany–along with some help–do themselves on-site. Broilers were added in spring 2019 and 130 were processed the first year, a number that grew to 430 in 2020.
Each day brings new ideas for Chris and Brittany. They envision expanding someday into pork and cattle production and gardening. Each new project has a learning curve, a challenge they both embrace.
HOW TO PURCHASE:
B&C FARM | bcfarmstand.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | (325) 829-1095
CORDELL’S | 6410 Buffalo Gap Rd Suite B | Abilene, TX 79606 | ordercordells.com
ABILENE FRESH | Weekly Fresh Markets and Pickup Options | abilenefresh.org
By Loretta Fulton