Saturday, May 16, 2009

202 guests

Its that time of year and today 200 plus day old chicks were collected this morning. These tiny birds are like little balls of fluff but grow very fast. These are broiler chickens to be grown for food. It took me quite awhile to get over the concept of eating something that I knew personally. But I know they are treated well and have everything they could possibly want to be safe and comfortable while they are here.

When chicks arrive they haven't eaten or drunk anything in their life. They are still getting nutrients from the egg sac that housed them for 3 weeks before they hatched. As soon as they get to the barn, they are placed under heat lamps shown where the food and water is. They have special feeders and water stations that prevent them climbing into them. Chicks can easily fall into a tray of water and get chilled or drown. Sometimes a few get confused and wander out from the heat and get cold, so they need to be monitored closely to make sure they stay warm and are eating and drinking. Most get the idea quickly but there's always a couple who are a little slow on the uptake.

And for those who haven't experienced driving for 40 minutes with a flock of chicks 'singing' in the back of your car, here is what it sounds like. And why the video is appearing sideways, I have no idea. I didn't film it on the side. Ahhh technology, it's a constant mystery to me.



Jonathan said...

My grandparents lived up the road from us and got 100 or so of these every year. From the time I was 12 on, I was the "murderer" as no one else had the heart to do it. I hated it, but still love fried chicken!

Jennifer Rose said...

that would drive me insane :p I'd have to have music up really loud to drown it out lol

Jeanette said...

Jonathan, these go off to an external processor to 'do the deed', but I still feel guilty. However, they do taste 100% different than commercially raised chicken and we have people constantly wanting to buy them.

Jennifer, you just sort of tune it out and they go through waves of quiet and noisy as the journey progresses. No curling up and going to sleep like the dog however. :)

Robyn said...

They are so sweet. I was taken with the little one in the video who walked over everyone else.

Kaye at Kaye's Kreative Korner said...

Thank You for sharing, they look so sweet! I loved visiting my Grpa's farm and seeing the chicks. I know it's hard to have them "go" the way they have to. I watched my grandma have that job.
But the sweet tweeting brings back happy memories.

Marsha Robinett said...

I grew up on a farm and we also had baby chicks this time of the year...and chicken for Sunday dinner when they grew up.

I could never stand to watch my father kill them but had to participate in the 'plucking' and 'singing' of the feathers.

One year three 'colored' chicks arrived with our Easter baskets. (pink, green, and blue) They became our pets and grew to an old age, eventually dying of 'natural causes'...or so our dad said?

The 'sound' brought back many memories. Thanks for sharing.

Jeanette said...

Its interesting how many people remember chicks as part of their life growing up. And even more interesting how more and more people are returning to raising their own food - just to know where it came from and how it was treated.

Jo Castillo said...

The chicks are precious. Brought back memories to me, too. I won one at the fair one time and raised the rooster it became. He used to sit on my shoulder and come when called like a dog. He grew to a big rooster and looked funny sitting on my shoulder! I don't cook chicken and don't eat it unless I am invited to someone's home and there it is. I like it OK. I did not like cleaning the hen house or bringing in wood chips to start the fires in the stoves. My Dad always killed the chickens at the woodpile. Nuff said, it is lunch time here. Ha.

Sorcha said...

OMG I think all that cheeping would give me a headache. But they are really cute so they can get away with it!

Jeanette said...

Jo, I've never had luck with rooster. They are always savage no matter how nice I am to them. Never again. I'm glad yours was more pleasant.

Sorcha, let's see....June batch of chicks are in. Want to drive? :)

Lindsay said...

I must have missed this post and I really have chicken envy. I'd like to raise egg layers not necessarily fryers....I would not have the heart to send them off to the slaughter house...but I bet they are really tasty.

Recently my daughter became a vegan...she'd never tolerate us having food chickens now.\

Have you ever thought of raising ones that lay eggs?