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February Newsletter-Chickens on the farm

Hello Farm Supporters!

February is a pretty busy month on the farm. We've received our huge seed order and seeding in the greenhouse has begun. This season, we are adding about 3,000 bed feet to our growing area, so I've started to expand our fences and prepare the fields for opening up new ground. The berry plants have also been getting some TLC. On days when it's too cold or wet to get outside, I've been reading books on farming and doing extensive planning for the season ahead.

One new thing I've been reading about in preparation for 2018 on the farm is CHICKENS! We are bringing on 18 hens who will live a lovely free-range lifestyle in a portable coop on the farm. Now, I have a secret to admit -- I'm a recovering chicken hater. Okay, this isn't exactly accurate, I'm an animal lover -- but chickens freak me out. They look like tiny dinosaurs and they can be erratic. So why do I have 18 chickens making their way to my farm? Fertilization is the short answer! Chicken manure is an amazing fertilizer (when used in accordance with food safety practices). The other short answer is kids! I'm sick of disappointing cute children when they ask what animals live on my farm and I say, "None." Finally, I'm invested in the welfare of the chickens whose eggs I consume, so I'm excited to create a luxurious natural lifestyle for my hens. I am also super excited to have a new building project! Check out our instagram for pictures of the chicken coop design and progress shots as we build the coop.

I have concocted a plan of how I will become a chicken lover. Step one: Procure docile chicken breeds. I ordered chicken breeds that the good people of the internet tell me are appropriate for small children because they are friendly and calm. Step two: meet my chickens when they are really cute! The chickens moving to Windy Hill Family Farm will be only a few days old when they arrive, so they won't look as much like dinosaurs. I will cuddle them when they are tiny and cute, and I'm hoping this means we will form a beautiful bond. Step three: focus on the benefits! My future chickens will make great instagram models; they will fertilize my fields; they will eventually produce delicious eggs; and visitors will love to meet them.

If you are a chicken raising expert, feel free to reach out with advice as I move into this first phase of chicken parenting!

Liam Miller