Mail Order Chicks

PSA: In celebration of Earth Day, you can watch Fresh free online here, but only until April 30th. Thanks to my sister for sending me the info.

Did you know that after hatching, chicks can survive for three days without food? This is because mom can’t leave the nest until all the eggs have hatched and that can take up to three days so the chicks are designed to continue digesting the yolk sac for 72 hours after hatching until mom can take them out for food.

Because of this, you can order chicks by mail! FedEx and UPS won’t ship them, but the good old USPS has been shipping chicks for 95 years. How cool is that? We get an order of 150 chicks every two weeks.

20130424_0002As soon as they arrive we put them into the brooders to make sure they stay nice and warm. We also make sure they have plenty of food because as soon as they are done digesting the yolk, they are hungry!

20130424_0003I won’t lie, they are adorable at this stage. They are so soft and fluffy and their peeping is pretty cute. But then they grow up and turn from chicks into chickens. And we all know how I feel about chickens.

Anyways, today was a pretty quiet day. Ryan took me down to see the steers at Lundale. Now I know the way if I ever need to go there by myself. At least, in theory I know the way. Whether I remember it is another story. I’ll be in DE this Monday/Tuesday, but next week I think I will drive out there myself just to be sure. Thank goodness for GPS!

Another thing that happens on Wednesdays is that we get our animals back from the slaughter house. We take them in on Sunday afternoon and they have 12-24 hours to relax after the trip before they are killed. This is both humane (there is a nice barn where they spend the night) and practical as it lets all the stress hormones, which can affect the taste of the meat, leave their system before slaughter. On Wednesday Mike take the refrigerated truck up to pick them up and bring them back to the farm. We do all our butchering on-site so we get the whole animal back. It’s actually pretty cool.

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Three new calves were born! One female and two males. Steve was off for the afternoon so I got to help Ryan tag them all and castrate the two males. They are so sweet. The pigs are still my favorite, but the cows are growing on me. I can’t wait for our litter of piglets to be born. Should be any day now!

20130424_0023Also, I watered the greenhouse today. Vegetables are beautiful. They really are. And they are delicious. People don’t give them enough credit. Go eat some veggies!

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