The Best Laid Plans

I had big plans for today.

I was going to go for a run after work. I was going to haul out my camera and go take some real photos (as in not iPhone photos). I was going to go play with the two baby lambs that were born just a few days ago.

But it was cold and windy. So I showered, put on my running tights and watched a movie. Even that was less productive than I’d hoped. I was going to watch something educational. A documentary. Or maybe a TED talk. But instead I watched The Lincoln Lawyer which was OK, but probably not the best use of my time.

So much for my productive evening.

We put our first batch of broiler chickens out to pasture today! All 133 of them. How does one move 133 chicks from a shed to a mobile chicken hut on the other side of the farm? In a dog crate, of course. Don’t worry. That wasn’t my first guess either. But it works nicely. The hardest part is catching the chickens. All 133 of them. That occupied most of the afternoon.

Putting the broilers out is the first sign that spring is coming and that things here on the farm are going to pick up speed. The broilers will spend the next 7-9 weeks in a kind of floor-less, mobile greenhouse. The chickens can’t just be set loose in a pasture because they are too vulnerable to predators and are too young to brave the elements, at least for the first few weeks. They “houses” provide shelter while still giving the chickens access to grass and bugs and whatever else they can forage. Each day we will move the houses to a new patch of grass so the chickens always have a fresh food source.

I realize I’m not explaining this system very well. I was going to take pictures. I really was. But it was cold. Maybe tomorrow. Definitely soon. I promise. The point is that we will have chickens for sale soon. Which means I need to dig out my stock pot!

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