Birds, birds, birds!

Hello Salt Fork Farms followers! Sorry for the blog silence. It has been a crazy spring and summer getting the new place up and running.

Today was an exciting day. We spent the morning anxiously awaiting the arrival of 300 new broilers. Arrival you ask? Do they hatch? How do the “arrive”? Well, by the US Postal Service. Eric usually gets a call from Connie, the morning supervisor at the SW CR post office, telling him the birds have arrived. Today we didn’t hear from her by 5:15, like we normally do, so Eric called her. Only to find out today was her day off. Sorry, Connie. Bless this woman, she called her coworkers and found out the birds had arrived. Eric hurried out the door to pick them up. At 7 am we had 300 new chicks roaming the brooder room, which Carolyn, Katie and Seth had helped ready the day before.

At this time we have two groups of hens, 250 each, and two groups of broilers, c.a., 300 each. The second group of hens have started laying, and we will soon have pullet eggs for sale. Pullet eggs are the small eggs the hens lay the first few weeks of their laying career. I’ll be sure to post pictures of the pullets as we see more of them. For those die-hard SFF chicken fans, here is the bird schedule for the rest of 2011. The first round of broilers will be processed the week of August 9th. The second round of broilers will be processed October 4th, a week later than we thought. The oldest round of hens will be processed November 1st. Which means we will have stew hens and feet for sale after that.

So how are the birds doing with this heat? It’s tough on them. Eric has been going out almost every hour to make sure they have enough water. He is making sure they also have shade. During times of extreme conditions, our birds are doing all they can just to stay alive, so they don’t eat very much and therefore don’t grow very much.

For those of you who are looking for us at the Wednesday market, we will let you know when we go back. Realistically, we may attend just a few more. For this Saturday’s Farmers’ Market we will have cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, red onions, red potatoes, garlic, basil, turnips, kale, cilantro, green beans and squash. Oh, and eggs!

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About saltforkfarms

A small organic farm in Iowa that raises Standard Breed laying hens and hybrid broiler chickens suited for a pasture-based system, as well as varieties of vegetables and fruit suitable to our Eastern Iowa climate. We grow food, we eat food, we sell food!
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