Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The chicken and the egg

Seems like a good place to start a brand shiny new blog. After being part of the farm these past 4 1/2 years, I have become a bit of a poultry geek, it is true. Maybe we manage our birds differently than most, but I firmly believe that happiness=health=productivity, so I spend a lot of time observing our birds and our systems to make certain that all is harmonious and working well.

We got ourselves a nice Sportsman 180 egg cabinet incubator about a year and a half ago, and since then have hatched all our own chickens, turkeys and even geese from our parent stock here on the farm. This has given us not only the opportunity to improve the quality of our birds through selective breeding, but it increases the happiness, also. When our babies hatch, they are lifted with gentle hands to a warm comfy brooder, instead of being chucked in a box and sent through the mail. I have to think it is a much better way to start.

Although I have hatched hundreds of birds, it never ceases to seem like a miracle to me. Eggs are so elegant, and efficient. Contained within is all that is needed to make a chicken, and provide it with food and water for three more days after it hatches-this is why day old chicks may be sent through the mail. The ones that don't spend 21 days in the incubator to hatch fuzzy new babies, are one of our most perfect sources of nutrition. Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids that we need, and are the only 100% complete and utilizable source of protein we consume. It seems a shame to me that egg consumption is so important and ubiquitous, and the ladies responsible aren't shown more respect. Think good thoughts about a chicken today, please.


Amy said...

Beautiful, beautiful chickens, and an eloquent testament to the powerful nutritional content of eggs. As you know, I am raising a child nearly exclusively on scrambled eggs and breastmilk (Shady Grove eggs whenever possible). This is noble work you do.

Dawn Leikness said...

I enjoyed reading your site and viewing pictures of your farm. I also am a bit of a chicken fanatic, and love to photograph them (kinda tricky sometimes as they move around a lot).