310 Reminders of Spring…

So, our layer chicks came this morning.  We ordered 300 in total: 75 Barred Plymouth Rocks, 75 Delawares, 75 New Hampshire Reds, and 75 Speckled Sussexes.  We received 310.  They always send a few extra because they figure some will not make the long journey through the mail from the hatchery to our brooder at the farm.  They are usually right about this.  I call the post office the day before to forewarn them that the chicks are coming and that I will need to be called immediately in the morning when they arrive so that I can get there as soon as possible.  The chicks are born at the hatchery, placed 100 to a box and shipped through the mail the same day they are born.  It takes 2 days to receive this cheeping package in what has become relatively predictable for us.  The post office calls about 5:30 a.m. and we finish chores a.s.a.p. and drive to Cedar Rapids.  There we inspect each box in order to verify the condition of the birds.  Three chicks were DOA and two more were nearly dead when they arrived.  We rushed home to get them to food and water and warmth!  Chicks are given no food or water while they are in these boxes.  They are born with enough sustenance from the egg to keep them going without food or water for 2 days.  It’s a small window and it is essential that they get to the brooder very quickly.  When we arrived back, I instructed Katie on what to do as she had never received chicks in the mail before; basically counting the chicks and unload the boxes carefully.  We did.  Here are some pictures…

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305 chicks doing well. It will be about 24 weeks before these babies start laying eggs for us to add to the 250 birds currently laying.  It is a great reminder for us that spring is on the way!

We will be at Deluxe tomorrow at 9 a.m. for the winter market with eggs and chicken and cheese.  See you then.

-Eric

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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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