Monday, April 22, 2013

The real story

When people think of farms and growing things, visions of green hillsides, freshly painted barns, happy cows and clothes hanging from the clothesline come to mind. Oh how wrong that is. My friend and mentor says that farming is more about death than life. She is right.

So here's the real story on the chicks. They died. Yes, chicks - plural. The first one to hatch, the blonde, died within 24 hours. The second one died about 48 hours after it hatched.

Why? They were in the egg too long and were weak. Both could not hold their heads up. They couldn't walk. We were told that we needed to put them out of their misery. Drowning would be the kindest way to do it. But you know what? We couldn't do it. We just couldn't. Does that mean we are cruel? I don't know. You can be the judge of that. We brought them to water and let them drink, tried to have them eat, kept them warm. We talked to them. But in the end, they died.

We spoke with the Lovey's Gentleman Farmer friend. He said that the temperature in the incubator was too low. I was really mad to hear that. Of course I had set the incubator at the correct temperature! But then I had a light bulb moment. Was the temperature calibration on the incubator correct? We checked. It was not. I had set the temperature for 99.6F, but the internal temperature was 95.4F. That is a HUGE difference when hatching eggs. No wonder five didn't hatch and the other hatched at day 24 and 25 (instead of Day 21). Bad bad bad bad.

So what do we do? Quit?!? One thing about farming - you have to have hope. Stick a seed in the ground, water and watch it grow. Nature fights to live. So we've re-calibrated the unit and are trying again. That's what farmers do. We keep going.

1 comment:

  1. I soberly bow before your farmer's ability to keep paddling.