Grower Spotlight: Garvin Gouraj

For Garvin Gounraj, the legacy of farming started three generations ago in the rice paddies of South America.

Garvin’s family immigrated to New York in the early 1990’s. Shortly after, they made their way to Maryland where they transplanted their roots and continued their farming legacy.

His father and mother once raised sheep, goats, and chickens. After his father’s passing, Garvin and his mother now focus solely on their chicken flocks. They work together every day, checking flock health, monitoring equipment, and maintaining the farm.

The average day on the farm begins with a check of the feed levels, water lines, and how the birds look in each of the three houses. They walk the birds, perform bird removal, make adjustments to equipment, and apply medicines. He checks again each evening. Some days are easier than others; equipment might break or malfunction which requires time to fix. Because it is an older operation, it can require more care and attention; Garvin makes an effort to be proactive in caring for his farm.

He recently made some upgrades in his houses. All three of them are now equipped with VAL-CO FUZE Pan Feeders, Quencher drinkers are used throughout, and some HyperMAX fans were added to increase his air speed.

He was skeptical at first, before taking a chance on a new pan. Though the FUZE wasn’t initially his first choice, the sales, service, and pricing offered by both Val and Marydel Ag Supply made all the difference. “Flock performance was hit or miss with our old pans, I never knew how it was going to go. With Val it’s been consistently, consecutively one of the best feed conversions in the program. These houses have age, competing with brand new houses with all the bells and whistles and this thing performs flock after flock.”

A good watering system is important for any bird, but can be especially challenging when growing large, ten-pound males, as Garvin does. There has to be enough space, access, and water flow from start to finish, but not so much that it creates wet floors. “The Val drinkers are phenomenal. Quenchers are the cheaper version, but they manage to do just fine. We need enough water but not too much and these are great for smaller birds but have the flow rate needed as the birds get larger.”

Despite some struggles in the beginning, his experience with VAL-CO and his local dealership, Marydel Ag, have been nothing short of positive. “The process of installation with Marydel was smooth, they stand by their work, and it’s always a pleasant experience. Anyone can sell equipment, but customer service and support make all the difference. We had some struggles in the beginning, but they have been 100% behind their work. Even VAL-CO themselves came to the farm instead of sending a third-party contractor. They look at it, take it apart, troubleshoot it, give me suggestions, and ensure they’ll get to the bottom of the issue.”


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