Folks, the calendar says that it’s spring and, this year, we believe it! Out on the farms we’ve been enjoying green buds on the trees, purple and yellow wildflowers, and—the biggest sign that spring is upon us—chicks in the brooder.
What’s a brooder? It’s a warm, dry shelter that simulates the comfort of a mother’s nest. The baby chickens live here until they are old enough to survive the temperature fluctuations that occur on pasture. They are fed grain from feeders while they are learning the scratching skills that will help them graze. They have constant access to clean water, and their temperature is regulated with heat lamps.
Right now, Fresh Food Farm, The Other Side Farm, Falling Sky Farm, Cedar Creek Farm, and Dettelbach Farms all have broiler chicks in their brooders. Restoration Farm and The Wright place have Red Rangers, a slower-growing breed we are raising for the first time. Later in the week, Ariel Farms will receive its first delivery of chicks, and next month The Farm at Barefoot Bend will join in the chicken fun.
When the chickens reach toddlerhood—which happens next week for the first few batches— they will move out to the pasture. There, they’ll live in the fresh air and have access to green grass.
So, with all the care these little ones require, we’ve sprung forward with full force! And we’re looking forward to watching them grow.