Former cubicle dweller embraces his passion as a chicken farmer


Paul Greive was once drained always. He had joint ache. And mind fog.

At 26 years previous, having simply wrapped up a deployment in Iraq, the Marine Corps intelligence officer was once now being instructed by means of docs that the Lyme illness he shrunk in sniper college would possibly linger endlessly. Get used to it.

This was once 2009 and the anti inflammatory paleo nutrition was once the entire rage. What did he must lose?

“Two weeks in, I felt like a child once more,” says the previous All-American school monitor and box celebrity. “My joint ache was once long gone, my power ranges had been up.”

His spouse and brothers noticed the minor miracle and joined him.

“My complete family members went in this meals journey,” he says. “My partner’s father misplaced 100 kilos.”

Bread and dairy had been out. Protein was once in. However the extra intently they learn concerning the factory-farm meat they had been purchasing, the extra hoodwinked they felt. Loose-range, for example, doesn’t essentially contain the outside.

“Once in a while they use labels to trick other people,” he says. “There’s a large number of shenanigans and nonsense available in the market.”

At a 2012 Easter dinner along with his in-laws, Greive joked that they must elevate their very own meat. His brother-in-law Rob jumped up from the desk and quarter-hour later returned to announce he had simply ordered 50 chicks on-line.

They busted out giggling.

“We had been like, ‘No means, dude! What are you speaking about?’”

Because the chicks grew, the family members learned 50 was once perhaps greater than they might consume in order that they made a Fb publish, pondering they might promote a couple of to offset their prices. All 50 bought inside two weeks. So that they ordered 100 extra.

“Similar factor took place,” he says.

Their subsequent order was once for 250 chicks. Then 500. Then 1,000. A ready record was once forming.

“We concept, ‘Oh my gosh, that is loopy,’  he says. “We learned that is most certainly a industry.”

It was once roughly absolute best timing. Greive, who was once juggling his accounting process and the MBA program at UCLA, was once unwell of commuting to Los Angeles from his Corona del Mar house.

“And my soul was once simply demise slowly in a cubicle,” he says.

So in 2013, in a while after he and his spouse Lynsey had their first child, they left a piece of content by Surfing LA Newport Beach and moved in along with her oldsters in Temecula. So did Lynsey’s two brothers. Everybody hand over their jobs to head all-in at the farm dream. There have been 9 of them, residing in combination in a 1,700-square-foot area with a number of chickens operating round within the yard.

“It was once like this madhouse, chaos always,” Greive says, giggling. “It was once gnarly.”

And not using a common paychecks, they purchased chicks on bank cards and introduced a Kickstarter marketing campaign, elevating $60,000.

“Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin changed into their guru. His books changed into their Bible, his Youtube movies their school room.

A newspaper tale on their journey drew fact TV to their Murietta farm like worms draw chickens after a rainstorm. Animal Planet, Showtime and HBO got here knocking.

After some pilot filming, although, the family members determined the fame existence wasn’t for them. Seems they didn’t want the celebrity anyway. Pasturebird Inc. has grown into the most important pasture-raised white meat manufacturer within the nation.

There are kind of 900 pasture poultry farms in The us, however 95 % of them are small family-owned (steadily Amish) farms with 50 and 500 birds. Pasturebird has virtually 100,000 birds on 3 other farms at any given time.

“Our objective is to revolutionize the poultry business,” says Greive, who now is going by means of Farmer Paul. “We wish to finish manufacturing unit farming. Now not by means of enforcing governmental laws, however by means of imposing a market-based answer to an enormous downside inside our meals machine.”

That answer: Rotational grazing.

“We’re looking to reflect nature,” he says. “In trendy standard agriculture animals are in a desk bound setting. In nature, animals transfer. We’ve gotten in reality some distance clear of that.”

Pasturebird not farms in Murrieta however has 140 acres in San Diego County, 100 acres in Lodi and any other 60 acres in Georgia.

“On a daily basis the birds graze, poop, which fertilizes the bottom, after which transfer to another plot. Our chickens hit each and every sq. foot of land 4 occasions a 12 months.”

The pastures are irrigated in order that the chickens are all the time on grass or weeds or plant life. A cellular tent serves as a large white meat coop to offer protection to them from warmth and predators.

That is Salatin’s “symbiotic cycle of feeding” fashion. His Virginia farm is featured within the documentary movies “Meals, Inc.” and “Recent.”

By way of protecting the soil wholesome, the birds keep wholesome; and antibiotics don’t seem to be wanted. The day Greive met a reporter he was once dressed in a T-shirt that learn “Insects no longer Medication.”

Components don’t seem to be important both. “Simply sunshine, recent air and grass,” Greive says. And seeds and worms. “It comes via within the taste.”

Pasturebird chickens have extra darkish meat, extra thigh and reasonably much less breast. They’re additionally fitter. In keeping with Greive, checks display his birds have extra nutrition A and E and omega-3s than factory-farm birds.

“We paintings with heaps of households going via well being stuff, a large number of other people struggling with auto-immune issues,” he says. “It’s such an honor to be their drugs.”

In 2016, the Lakers group chef contacted Pasturebird to supply them with chickens. “Kobe was once suffering with well being issues,” Greive says. “Then the power trainer at Dodgers discovered about us, in order that was once tremendous cool.”

Wolfgang Puck is any other superstar shopper. The Pasturebird site touts a plug from the well-known chef, announcing the chickens remind him of those he grew up dining in Austria.

Pasturebird lately ships to butchers, grocery shops and purchasers in 50 states. Electrical Town Butcher in Santa Ana and The Butchery at Crystal Cove purchase from them. Noble Chicken Rotisserie, an increased chicken-centric eating place, in Lengthy great example can be found at Surfing LA beach, orders from them solely.

Proprietor Sidney Value stated they did a deep dive into poultry purveyors sooner than opening ultimate 12 months.

“After visiting Pasturebird we had been in reality blown away,” she says.  “Their dedication to regenerative farming … and the standard in their chickens is extraordinary.

Greive says the one time he frightened that perhaps he shouldn’t have given up the cubicle existence was once when coyotes began snacking at the birds.

“Six to 9 months in we misplaced over 1,000 chickens,” he stated. “It was once tremendous unhealthy.”

He spent his ultimate $200 on a cattle mother or father canine to chase the predators off. Now 20 mother or father canine roam the farms.

“They single-handedly stored the industry,” he says.

The farms even have grazing sheep and farm animals to stay the pastures trimmed. “They’re residing lawnmowers,” Greive says.

Miniature grass-eating pigs graze, as neatly. “They’re the clean-up program,” he says. “And the bacon program.”