Chickens!

I can’t believe it’s already 9:30 pm on Wednesday! The last 3 days have just flown by. Eric and Seth, as well as our neighbors Jeanne Cadoret and Bill Ellison spent Monday night wrangling chickens. This involves Eric climbing into the chicken tractor well after dark and handing 3-4 birds to Seth and Bill. Jeanne stands by and counts. Depending on size we can fit 8-10 chickens in a coop. After all the chickens are cooped up, they are loaded into the back of Eric’s truck. The whole process takes anywhere from 45-90 minutes, all depending on the weather and the number and quality of the helpers.  We had really good help. Early Tuesday morning, around 3:45, Eric is up and off to take the birds to Greene, Iowa for processing. Finding a reliable processor has been an ongoing challenge. Greene is almost 2 hours away, but it is one of the only processors left in eastern Iowa. (Small scale chicken producers used to be all over the countryside, but now there are hardly any, so local poultry processors have long sinced vanished…but I digress).  After dropping off the birds , Eric is back on the road and home by 10 am. Last night he got all the coolers and the truck ready for pick up. Today, Eric was able to sleep in a bit. He didn’t get up until 4:30. After a few snuggles with Milo, he was out the door by 5:30 and off to pick up the processed birds. He was fortunate enough to have some travel companionship today. Our good friend and business partner, Chad Zahrt is in town from Milwaukee. Eric picked Chad up around 6 in Cedar Rapids and off they went. If you didn’t know, Greene is the setting for the movie “King Corn” and it is a very remote part of Iowa.  There is little industry or economy of any kind.  The processor, named Martzahn’s Farm, is a solid local business that attracts chicken growers from many miles away.  We are happy to support them.  They do an excellent job!  Eric was happy to hear that all the birds were able to be processed, and there were only 3 non-sellable birds, due to processor error. They made the trip back and loaded the chickens in the freezer. This means we have chickens for you all!!

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This Saturday at the Market, we will have chicken, eggs in the following sizes pullets, medium, large, and a few X-large, chard, squash, okra, tomatoes, potatoes, red onions, garlic, basil, and beets. It looks like next week we will have peppers.

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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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