My family's farm is Seifer Farms Pastured Poultry. Their first batch of baby chicks arrived last Thursday. These cute little balls of fluff are destined for the dinner table, and will be full grown and ready to butcher in about eight weeks.
My father passed away in 1993. My mom wanted to become more involved with the farm, but wasn't really in to driving a tractor or working cattle. What she could do is raise chickens. We started that first year raising, butchering and direct marketing about 200 birds, just to get the hang of it.
The farm production increased gradually, finally topping off at about 12,000 birds each year. The babies arrive as day-old chicks from the hatchery through the U.S. mail. The postmaster is always anxious to have us pick up the chicks as soon as they arrive, as a thousand baby chicks can make quite a racket.
They are kept in a brooder house for about three weeks, then moved out to the pasture, where they live free-range until they're about eight weeks old when it's time to butcher.
The freshly-butchered chickens are delivered directly to customers, sometimes on a delivery route, sometimes on the farm, and sometimes at a Farmer's market.
In the past I've always been pretty involved in all aspects of the business, but for the past several years, my job has been to drive a delivery route once a month during the summer. My kids, and those of my brother and sister's have all had a hand in the business growing up.
Now it is my youngest niece's turn, and she enjoys it, at least when the chicks are this age:
So, as the marketing slogan goes: If you're hankerin' after fried chicken just like grandma used to make, you've got to start with chicken just like grandma used to raise.
You can contact the farm at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in ordering chickens.
Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on (early, now that chicken chores have started)