Thursday, 22 March 2012

So. Many. Chickens.

Well, today brought 612 egg-laying chickens to our driveway! Our good friend Aaron dropped them off in his trailer, and customers started showing up to pick them up shortly after 8:30am. Here are some photos from the day!

They fit 15 to a cage, and if they didn't prefer to cuddle up into the corner they would fit a lot better in there.

Liz holds 'Gloria' as Hannah gives her a gentle pat. Hannah is used to chickens, her grandparents had some on their property where she grew up. 

Jeremiah was a little more cautious, and kept insisting on touching her face, which made Liz nervous she was going to teach him the hard way not to. Thankfully, that never happened!

Marc and Bryan loading a cage up.
Hannah holding our 'loaned' cat, Oliver!


Liz's gross boots and the driveway at the end of the day! Good thing we have a pressure washer!

Next chicken day is May 9th, and I believe we are already sold out of those as well. Chickens are popular, apparently!

Friday, 16 March 2012

The Farmily Movie Night!

We're an adventuresome lot around here. Why do I say that?

Because we actually attempted movie & dinner in the grown-up livingroom. With all the kids. Best part? We fed them nachos for dinner.

Surprisingly, it went alright. We had very little spillage (we imagined spilled cups, broken chips and salsa from one wall to the other, to be honest) and the kids were pretty well behaved, considering! Here are some photos. We watched Kung Foo Panda :)

It will be a treat event, and certainly not very often (not a whole lot of nutritional value in chips, cheese and beef, you'll be surprised to hear. Shocking, I know.) but it was fun to do something out of the box with the kids. It's the kind of thing we hope they remember once they get a little older. 

Chicken Update!

Ok folks. The verdict is in.
We may be slightly biased, but we did a taste comparison.
We bought a chicken from a local grocery store (one of the nice ones, too) and BBQ'd it alongside our own plump bird (which, by the way, didn't even compare in size. Ours was huge!) and the jury came back. Especially when it came to the breast meat, there was no comparison. Ours won hands down. It was juicer, bigger, had more get the drift. Just thinking about it makes me want more. Good thing we know how to make a killer chicken soup with the leftovers!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Chickens to Chicken

So as Katie pointed out this morning, why is it when chickens are alive, we call them chickens, plural, but when we buy it from the store, no matter the quantity, we call it chicken? Good question Katie, and one I don't have an answer for.
All this chicken talk can only mean one thing. You guessed it - chicken processing day was today!
Marc and Liz woke up bright and early (5am) to bundle up and head out to the chicken barn and chase some chickens around. Actually, they are quite sleepy still at that time, so there was very little chasing. No one lost any fingers or got clawed, which is always a plus. Once they were snug in their cages once again, they fired up the truck, and Mark, Liz and Elijah (getting his first business trip out of the way early) hummed out of the driveway and headed up island.
Once the chickens were dropped off, they had the morning and afternoon to kill (sorry, bad pun there) and their first stop was following their tummies to a bakery Marc used to work for for some baked goods and a warm beverage. Unfortunately, the key they had only started the truck, it didn't unlock it. So while they waited patiently, Katie packed the kids up and drove them a set of keys that would do both. It was tedium, but as Josh pointed out - "hey, you said you needed to kill some time, right?"
The rest of the afternoon was spent here and there, and before long it was time to go get the 'chicken'. Nicely boxed, they packed up the truck again, and headed back home to sort, weigh, and package.
It was a relief the trip was so painless. We had a great turnout, according to our mentors, with only one casualty. (It happened the night before, too. Go figure.)
So there you have it! Chicken success! Place your order now! :)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Things are looking sunny...

Well the weather can't seem to make up it's mind what it's doing out there (yesterday was positively beautiful, then it started snowing in the evening) but the blueberry bushes know what's up as they are slowly starting to bud and leaf! Marc, who has become a blueberry expert these last few months, showed us all recently which parts of the branch were going to be blueberries and which parts were leaves. It's very exciting inspecting a plant and seeing all those blueberry buds!
Our raking and pruning endeavors are close to finished, and then it's onto the next step. Our backs won't complain when the raking is finished!
We are a mere week and a half away from selling our first batch of home-grown chickens. We sold out in no time flat, so if you were hoping to buy a nice plump Meadowbrook farm chicken this first batch, you'll have to give us a call and pre-order for the next time 'round! The next order will be due mid-May. We also upped the amount we are selling, due to popular demand! 70 chickens just isn't enough for you hungry people. 150 is where we're going quickly can we sell them??
The house seems to be doing quite well, as we change and improve things here and there. Liz recently made up a 'household chores' list, and we've all agreed to try and check off anything we can for that given day. The kids also seem to be settling in a lot better these days. There are less tantrums, and more co-operation. Don't get me wrong, there are still numerous 'time outs' in a day, but they are learning. When asked what he get's for whining and crying the other day, Jeremiah promptly answered "I get a tiiiime out." Half the time when one of the twins gets a time out, the other sits on the stair too, which we find somewhat amusing. Hey, brothers have to stick together, right? The main point is, the adults are trying our best to stick together as a team, and dish out the discipline as best we can when we're the only one around. The kids took a while to grow accustomed to not just two adults watching their every move, but 6 now, and they are starting to realize it's harder to get away with something! Consistency and love are what is keeping us all sane.
Stay tuned for more Meadowbrook Farmily news :)