Tag Archives: Poultry farm

Visit to the Cartanza Farm

On September 9th, I spent the day at Georgie Cartanza’s poultry farm in Dover. This particular poultry farm is organic, meaning that not only are the birds cared for, but there are many more precautions taken when compared to other non-organic poultry farms. These precautions include, making sure there are no antibiotics used, the chickens have access to natural light, they are free range, no GMO’s used, and the feed is organic. The Cartanza poultry farm houses around 37,000 chickens per house and the farm contains four houses. The organic grain used in the houses is from Argentina and Turkey because of the lack of the supply in the U.S. I definitely learned many different interesting facts such as how the manure is used. Each flock produces about 3 in. of manure that that manure is then used as fertilizer. This means that about 20 tons of manure per year per house is produced. Also, it’s incredibly expensive to build and maintain chicken houses. It’s also extremely technologically advanced. The technological advancements throughout the last decade are extremely modern and allows poultry farmers to grow more chickens with about half of the space needed. This is incredibly efficient when it comes to the amount of space needed for not only the chicken houses themselves, but for manure housing and grain silos.

Georgie Cartanza’s Poultry Farm

In this picture, Georgie can be seen sharing information about her farm and Delawares poultry industry to students.

Georgie Cartanza is a great example of a dedicated poultry farmer who is willing to go beyond expectations in her field. I admire her work ethic and thoroughly enjoyed touring her farm. Georgie is now an organic chicken farmer and her operation can house 148,000 chickens. Before she switched to organic chickens she grew roasters. The chickens on Georgie’s farm produce about 80 tons of manure each year, which is then sold as fertilizer. I found it very interesting that Georgie would have never expected herself to have her own poultry operation. While she was always involved in the poultry industry she didn’t start running her own chicken houses until 11 years ago. Her hardworking attitude lead her to be very successful. However, she does see some challenges coming her way such as organic consumers changing requirements based on how the chickens are raised. I believe Georgie to be a great role model for anyone going into the poultry industry or any branch of the agriculture industry. Poultry is a huge part of a Delaware and Georgie has stood herself out from the rest.


An Egg-cellent Field Trip

On September 9th, the class took an exciting trip to Miss Georgie Cartanza’s poultry farm! After working in the poultry industry for nearly 20 years, with eleven years owning her own poultry farm, she had a wealth of knowledge to share with us. She owns four different chicken houses, with about 37,000 chickens in each house (almost 150,000 total chickens!)! On top of that, there is only one other worker who occasionally helps with the farm operations, so she’s raising that many chickens practically on her own!

Luckily the chicken houses are top-of-the-line, with an assortment of computers, machines, and equipment that makes her life much easier. Nowadays, almost everything is automated: there are computer systems to regulate the temperature, humidity, food, water, and practically everything else you could imagine within the house! This allows her to check in on her chickens from anywhere via her smart phone, and helps diagnose any potential problems there may be. We were lucky enough to get a tour of one of the chicken houses so we could get a firsthand look at the computers, feed systems, and a whole lot of chickens.

One thing that I found most fascinating was the inside of the chicken houses. I always imagined a chicken house would be loud with the clucking of the chickens, flapping of wings, and movement of equipment; and most of all I was expecting it to be smelly. But it was honestly the opposite! The chickens were very relaxed, it was surprisingly quiet (almost peaceful), and the airflow provided by the large fans made it so the smell was not an issue!

Ms. Cartanza ended the tour with some words of wisdom about the real world: being a good worker, having good communication skills, and always keeping a positive attitude will get you far in life!

Poultry Farm Tour

My Field Trip to the Poultry Farm in Dover went fantastic, as I got a real life hands on experience! Interestingly before we could even get into one of the indoor houses we had to wear a suit, this is a must so there’s no chance of contaminating one of the chickens with a virus or various type of disease. This showed me how difficult the industry is; as you have to make sure that everything goes accordingly (No room for errors)! The three species of birds that Georgie grows are Cornish, Broilers, and Roasters. There are four Chicken houses each house holding approximately 37,000 birds per house, this makes up to approximately 148,000 birds on the farm! Georgie makes sure that almost all the birds survive as she has been in this Business for 11 years! I learned that for every 1 job in the Poultry Industry it creates 7 jobs in the community! I also learned that although the industry has a lot of positive attributes, like anything else there are always negatives that come with the positives. The downsides are the maintenance, cost/budgeting, and the marketing, although it is possible for this not be a factor if you work to the hardest of your ability! Finally I’ve come to the conclusion that the Poultry Industry is like most industries where you get what you put into it, work hard and anything is attainable!

Georgie’s Organic Poultry Farm


The trip to Georgie’s organic chicken farm was one of my favorite field trips from this class. I had never been to a poultry farm before and being on her farm and seeing her operation exposed me to some of the experiences of an American family farmer.  Although Georgie owns a small family farm, there are still a lot challenges to overcome to be a profitable business.  Some of the biggest challenges to running a poultry farm are the manual labor needed to run the day to day operations as well as the overhead cost of electricity to run the chicken houses. Also, another big cost to running a farm is keeping up with the regulations and technology requirements for both mountaire and the state of Delaware.  To help with daily regulations of the chicken houses, Georgie has a high tech main control center that controls the temperature, humidity, ventilation, and the food and water supply for all three of her houses.  There are, as well, requirements to become an organic chicken farmer.  Before getting your organic business license your farm soils must be tested rigorously for three years straight to ensure that there are no harmful chemicals in the ground.  Another requirement to becoming an organic farm is the installation of windows in your chicken houses as well as doors for the chickens to be able to go outside as they please, making them free range chickens.  Overall, I really enjoyed learning about the organic poultry industry on Georgie’s farm and am very grateful of her hospitality and kindness.

An Eggcellent First Trip

Georgia Cartanza is the force behind a four house organic poultry farm in Delaware and upon meeting her I realized she is one of those special people who is just pure sunshine. Ms. Cartanza didn’t jump out of college and into her current 156,000 bird operation, but started as a flock supervisor for Purdue, the job was essentially to help poultry growers with managing and improving the day to day in their houses. After that she jumped around to a number of different positions before deciding to make the switch to having her own houses and being her own boss with the bonus of a more flexible family friendly work schedule.

After putting on tyvek suits and boot covers our class left the bus and Ms. Cartanza explained about her manure shed, and different external parts of the operation before showing us inside the chicken houses. Right before going into the house we saw the computer system that is a technologically amazing part of the operation, controlling the house regulations right from Ms. Cartanza’s phone, which will also alert her if any of the stats are way off, for example if the temperature in one of the houses spikes. One thing that really astonished me inside of the house was that the smell wasn’t bad, I was always told that chickens are dirty and smell awful…and it was pretty much the opposite. The air movement inside of the chicken house is so impressive that the smell doesn’t bother you, and over all it was quite clean and much quieter than I had ever expected! #AgMythBusted

Georgia Cartanza talking to our class

Ms. Cartanza talked about the food and water system, the air flow, the outside access, as well as the toys the chickens had, like bully boxes and ramps. One silly comment that really stuck with me was her joking apology about the state of her chickens, how the previous classes who visited got to see cute chicks and we drew the short stick and visited during molting!


Ms. Cartanza chatted with our class about a number of different things throughout our visit. For example the challenges she is faced within the poultry industry, how energy and electricity are a big issue, how regulations can really hinder farm growth, as well as the impact public views have. She also discussed with us what she thought was important about entering into the job world, and one of her biggest points was accountability, the importance to be mature and responsible for your own person and actions. She also emphasized how far a positive attitude and the way you handle mistakes can go.