Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Baby Chicks

My poor son is under the impression that because he raises acres and acres of beautiful fruit, he also know how to raise animals...in this case chickens. He told me earlier this spring (and I use that word loosely) that he's going to raise 80 baby chicks and plans to sell the eggs at his fruitstand.

That sounds like a good idea, right? Well...it is much harder to raise baby chicks than he imagined. We've had such a cold spring that the heat lamps over the brooding boxes of chicks have gotten a real workout. One morning when he checked on the chicks he found that half of the chicks were dead. Somehow the heat lamp had overheated the box the chicks were in and it was smouldering, effectively killing the chicks by smoke inhalation. A few days later the other heat lamp's bulb exploded killing more of the chicks.

Now let me insert here that I have successfully raised broods of baby chicks, but I give all the credit to my Dad for making sure I was doing it right. My husband knows about these things too, but my Dad was always my go-to guy for advice about anything to do with any aspect of farming. Before he passed away Dad taught my son everything he knew about raising fruit, but I don't think he touched on the animal husbandry skills that my son seems so lacking in.

Hopefully he won't decide to raise lambs, pigs, or calves anytime soon. I think he's probably better off concentrating on what he knows...raising incredible fruit!


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