GRIT Country Skills Series

HATCHING A PLAN

When Ryan Kelsey has nothing to do, he just goes to the henhouse and “talks” with his chickens. Lots of them. Ryan was a senior in high school in 2017, when this article was first published. At age 12, Ryan started Valley Farms Hatchery in Spring Valley, Alabama. In 2012, he built his first hatchery, and now hatches between 300 and 500 eggs per week.

“From an early age, our son was fascinated by chickens,” says his mother, Kim Kelsey. “Our family had always had a few chickens on our country place. When he was about 12-years-old, he

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