I have a dream and a goal to have the absolute best/most natural bird dogs in the world. Not just good bird dogs. Not just some really good bird dogs, I want to produce the best every litter. Every single puppy. The best in the world. By the best, I mean the most natural, out-of-the-womb, just show them wild birds, bird-dogs in the world. The dogs and puppies are reared almost entirely from livestock and crops raised and produced on the farm. And this dream takes place on a humble, 185-acre farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that we’ve named August Haven Farms.
The natural, pointing instinct starts showing in our puppies by 4 weeks of age.
The second part of this dream is to be able to do this on a completely self-sustainable farm wherein almost everything needed to raise our dogs and litters, feed them, train them on wild birds, teach others to do the same, etc., is raised on the farm–all of their food–I believe dogs are healthiest when raised on real meat, vegetables, and fruit and I want to produce everything they need right on the farm. I would eventually like to seek organic certification, but I have followed organic practices for 4 years and the owner did for many years before me.
We have had a very successful breeding and training program for over 15 years. Our litters are reserved and sold for up to 3 years in advance. But our farm is being sold and I’m trying to raise the funds to purchase it outright and continue the dream.
I have developed a simple training program for puppies thru adulthood that enables every Llewellin Setter owner to follow and do it themselves, because I believe it should be that simple and an owner shouldn’t have to send their dog away and spend thousands of dollars to teach it to hunt. I’ve done it myself time and time again and I can teach others to do it.
My dream is to teach Laurel Mt Llewellin Setter owners how to feed their dogs naturally for optimal health, energy, and a long life. I don’t believe in dry kibble, I believe a dog should be fed excellent real meat, poultry, vegetables, and fruits for excellent health.
I want to raise everything Laurel Mt Llewellin Setters needs to thrive right on the farm (named August Haven). From small-scale meat production, like chicken, lamb, goat, etc., to all of the vegetables and fruits they need as well. I follow organic practices and will develop the farm using Permaculture design. I will eventually install a greenhouse, solar power, and an aquaponics system to extend growing seasons and be even more self-sustained.
I want to manage the property to hold wild birds (Ruffed Grouse & Pheasant) for natural training.
My dream is to have state-of-the art kennels for optimal health and comfort of my Llewellin Settters and litters.
I would like this property to be able to sustain our kennel of Llewellin Setters almost entirely.
I want to run web cameras to be able to run a 24-hour-a-day web cam to show what is happening on the farm at all times, plus puppy cams in every whelping area so customers can watch their puppies from birth to 10 weeks of age when they are ready to leave. Customers & supporters love this. I’ve done this for 10 years for our puppies!
The next part of the project is to build cabins on the property to offer luxury stays for Upland hunters, puppy clients, training clients, farm tour clients, etc.
How I will make an income:
The Llewellin Setter Training Website: A membership site chocked full of training videos/live seminars/webinars showing me training Llewellins every step of the way at every age and stage. (This is already started–The Llewellin Setter Academy)
Laurel Mt Llewellin Setter Products (Annual Calendar, Notecards, Shirts, etc.)
Podcasts & Youtube Channel- Already in the works
Breeders Resources: Books/Videos on Breeding/Whelping/Rearing Puppies (Already started)
Wild Bird Camps (September – October). Wild bird camps where owners can bring their Llewellin Setters for week-long camps where the dogs are run on ruffed grouse in the north woods to get them ready for the season. (I did this small-scale, but ran out of space to house client dogs).
On site Education Programs/Seminars for kids and adults on bird dogs, ruffed grouse hunting, bird dog nutrition, etc.
Sale of grass-fed/pastured poultry, lamb, goat, etc. I can raise enough to be able to sell products to the local community after enough is raised to sustain the dogs/litters. The fields provide pasture for poultry, lamb, beef, and goats, as well as hay for the dairy goats for the winter. Maple and Birch trees provide syrup! The wooded acreage provides wood for heat and areas to work the dogs and puppies, browse for the goats, as well as habitat for Ruffed Grouse, Pheasant, Whitetail Deer, Turkeys, Bear, Coyote, Wolf, etc.
Llewellin Setter Puppies/Started Dog sales. For 15 years my litters have been reserved in advance (years in advance) and the demand for started dogs is constant and I’ve never been able to keep up with the demand!
Rent from the luxury cabins offering an unmatched experience in the Northwoods!
What do I need to make this happen?
This project involves a few stages. First, I need to purchase the farm I had been leasing/renting: $165,000. The property is 185 acres of mixed fields/woods that provides areas to work the dogs, pasture-raise lamb, poultry, and small-scale, organic crops for the dog’s food and goats, etc. The hay from the fields feeds the dairy goats, which in-turn provide invaluable nutritional resource for the puppies, dogs, and humans.
The next stage is to update the kennel building with heated runs. The dogs are currently housed in a 32 x 80′ steel pole building, but the kennels are inside only on sand. This needs to be updated to heated concrete inside and out and proper drainage and biosecurity systems.
Next is a state of the art puppy facility to house & raise litters with an excellent biosecurity system to keep out Parvovirus and allow for visitors, 24-hour puppy cams so clients can watch their puppy grow from birth to 10 weeks of age. The facility would also have several fenced-in yards for exercising mammas and puppies separately.
Proper fenced areas for the dog’s health and safety and to keep livestock areas separate.
A livestock building/barn with a milking parlor for the dairy goats (a treasured nutritional resource for the rearing of my puppies and dogs). And a sanitary butchering room & freezers for meat/poultry.
Begin construction of the cabins!
Eventually: Implement planting additional trees/shrubs, plants, etc., that attract and hold Ruffed Grouse and other wildlife.
Eventually: A tractor, a mower, etc., and a greenhouse to enable year-round growing of vegetables and fruits.
I literally have days to purchase the farm, keep the kennels, equipment, dogs, diary goat herd, etc. There is another interested buyer but the owner has given me a little time to purchase in full. ($165,000 is what I owe).
My dream plan would be to find enough backers (or one) to purchase the farm immediately. And keep my dogs and animals to continue the business and breeding and training programs on this farm.
Moving forward: Immediately begin the improvements to the kennels and puppy facility and cabins while working the dogs for the summer. The UP has a short summer/building season.
Begin the summer gardens/poultry production, etc. Get the goats on track for breeding/milk/meat production again.
Begin producing litters again.
Begin the live broadcasts of progress and training programs/filming/dvd production. Complete the books I started and complete the product creation!
Be a part of this epic project and support the Kickstarter Campaign!
Email or call me: 412-407-7769
P.S. I’ve created a Facebook Group for accountability/questions/support for any ideas/help you may have for me concerning ideas/suggestions to raise the funds. I will be doing live videos in the group. Click here to request to join the group.
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