Posted 2/28/2019 4:51pm by Allison Rostad.
You never really know what to expect on a farm from day to day. We farmers just try to stay on top of things so as to not get too far behind. Well, trying to stay on top of things, we decided it was time to rearrange where each of our breeds' coops were. The birds seemed to have been getting too comfortable where they were and began to venture off a bit further than we thought they should (including wandering too close to the other breeds -- we didn't want them to start mixing). It's winter right? The ground here in Maryland thaws to a mud pit or freezes solid this time of year. No in between. We decided to move the coops while it was frozen (for obvious reasons: I wasn't trying to get a coop stuck in a mud pit!). Anyways, we've learned trying to move coops during the winter in general is just not the way to go. We managed to break two wheel axels off of the same coop while the chickens were still inside! Thank you frozen mud ruts for that! Ahhh, just another job for our already busy Spring...
Here at Deer Run Farm we always try to offer the best quality products we can. One of the ways we separate the chicks we offer from other hatcheries is by providing Marek's vaccinations to all chicks before they leave our farm - at no additional charge to our customers. This year we've stepped up our game and are now vaccinating our chicks with a better Marek's vaccine that also vaccinates for Newcastle Disease! With the recent outbreaks of Newcastle Disease in southern California, you can never be too sure where it will go next. Vaccinating against Newcastle Disease at day one allows us and our customers to get a head start in the prevention of this disease outside of the standard biosecurity measures practiced.
Calving Season Has Arrived!
Just in time for chick season, calving season is here too. We have 38 moms expecting to calve this year with the majority of them likely to give birth in March. This past week alone we've already had 4 born: 3 girls and 1 boy. If you're interested in following along with our calving season we'll be posting photos and videos of all the new moms and babies as they're born on our Facebook page. We'll even be asking our friends and followers for name suggestions! This year we will be naming them fruity candy names since we did chocolate names last year. The above photo is the first heifer calf born named Twizzler :)
Sad News: Broody Hen Attack
In last month's newsletter we introduced you to an Ameraucana hen that managed to hide away from her coop to sit on some eggs. Unfortunately, after several days of checking on her and awaiting chicks to arrive, we found her dead just outside of her nest one morning. From the looks of it she was attacked by a raccoon or opossum. The worst part is that we knew she had been super close to hatching. When we found her we tried to save her eggs, but knew at first touch it would be too late as it was below freezing out. I did candle the eggs she had left. 4 of 6 eggs were no good, but the 2 that were good were just moments from hatching. One had already pipped but died and the other was fully developed with it's yolk sac absorbed, but hadn't pipped yet. So, no chicks have been born naturally at Deer Run Farm still. Maybe next time :(
Hatching Egg Giveaway
Have you heard? We're hosting a hatching egg giveaway! On Valentine's Day we opened a giveaway to friends and followers on our social media platforms. Entries are being taken now through St. Patrick's Day with the winners (yes, there's more than one winner - three to be exact!) receiving a mixed dozen of hatching eggs in time to set and hatch chicks on Easter! Even if you're not a social media person you can still enter the contest through our website link by clicking the button below. Good luck!
Penn State Bull Test
We participated in the Penn State Bull Test again this year. Our bull ranked second in the Red Angus program and we will be a part of the sale on Friday, March 29th. For more information about the sale see the Penn State Bull Test website. Like our poultry breeding program, we take our cattle breeding program seriously too. Quality is important to us.
There's Still Time To Place Your Spring Order!
The first hatch of the Spring season took place just this past Tuesday. Orders are being filled already and we'll keep filling them every week as we hatch new batches of babies every Tuesday. If you haven't placed your order yet, you should soon! We will be closing orders in May (possibly sooner if we reach our max limit) and you don't want to miss out.
Meet Your Farmer
- CoPilot -
CoPilot's one of two Bernese Mountain Dogs here on the farm. He's bigger than he realizes weighing in at 130lbs. His weight doesn't restrict him from being a lap dog though. He's a lover of all things food. He will beg for a bite with his paw on the table rested beside his head watching the fork go from plate to mouth in hopes to just taste whatever it is one time.