A Chicken In Every Pot
A Herbert Hoover quote during his Presidential campaign. I like it, especially because we raise chickens for your pot, pan, deep fryer, casserole and grill!!
Today we received our first flock of chicks for our 2018 season. I thought I would share just how they arrive and our protocol for their first few days. They were shipped yesterday from the hatchery, so they arrive at 1 day old.
This is how they arrive in shipping boxes with holes in the sides for air flow and arrive via the United States Postal Service. Our local USPS ladies have my phone number on file so as soon as they are unloaded from the truck they call and I meet them, even if the Post Office is not officially open just because they know the importance of me getting the chicks as soon as possible.
I warm the truck up and put the heat on as high as I can get it this time of the year. It was set at 90 degrees this morning. I’m sweating but the chicks will be warm on the ride home.
When you open the box, they are chirping like crazy, they can survive up to 48 hours from hatching on the yolk they absorbed in their bodies right before hatching from the egg. The yolk inside the egg is what they are fed on through absorption while developing in the egg. Right before they hatch the last of the yolk is absorbed and that colors them bright yellow. If they were with the hen this allows the hen to hatch eggs over 2 days without having to leave the nest to feed the newly hatched chicks. All the chicks will leave with her even if they were hatched different days. Just a neat fact of chickens.
Before I leave for the Post Office, I will turn on the brooder lights , get the starter feed ready and this time of the year we tarp the brooder to trap as much heat inside as possible
We add a vitamin to their water while in the brooder and the first day I boil eggs and crush them, shell and all to mix with their starter ration. The eggs provide an additional protein and is easily digested. It’s fed to them warm to help warm their bodies up.
The hatchery always sends at least a few extra chicks, because it’s not unusual to lose a few that may be weak. If started off right and we stay vigilant with their care we don’t lose very many if any at all. It’ll be 8 weeks before these little guys take their trip to the processor. Hopefully if the weather is cooperative they will be outside in a few short weeks, eating up bugs, getting grass and lots of sunshine so they can grow into delicious , healthy and nutritious chickens in every pot.
If you every have any questions about our farming practices, just ask!!