Tuesday, March 4, 2014


forecast said up to a foot of snow
thankfully, we only got 5 inches

“This is crazy!”

I looked over at the Boss who was intently driving down the very icy, snow-packed Mbrook Road.

“Not the craziest thing we ever did…not by a long shot!” He glanced my direction and chuckled a little.  “told ya you could have stayed home…come on…this is an adventure!”

Adventure?  Not to my mind…but, I was here now.  Might as well go with it. I sat on my hands, in hopes of keeping them warm AND to keep from clenching the dashboard in a white-knuckled death grip.  Icy, snowy roads freak me out just a little bit.

It didn’t seem to bother him that the tires were making that little “whizzzz” noise indicating that the ice on the road hadn’t been treated and it was really slippery.  He was only slightly concerned that the windshield wiper on one side had lost its battle with the ice and needed replacement.
I guess it didn't matter if I couldn't see...
It was simply “no real big deal” that we were in a different vehicle because the truck doors were completely frozen shut, thick ice barring any thought of entry. No worries that it was 15* and snowing furiously.  He was a man on a mission and he can be pretty single-minded at times.
It's 15*
 roads are ice-covered, it's snowing and blowing a gale
Of course we're going to town!

Today’s mission…make it to the farm store to pick up broiler chicks.

In the snow.
Over the ice-covered roads.
While I was freaking out.

In late February, the farm store starts selling day-old chicks.  Since we only raise and process a few at a time, it works to our advantage to buy our first, small batch (in the cold weather) from the large number that the farm store orders.
However, this year the numbers available have been far fewer than in the past.  Last week, we passed on the opportunity to get them, hoping that this week there would be more.

An early morning call to the farm store ascertained that this week’s shipment was also small.  But, time was getting short. Our carefully thought-out processing plans (and previously scheduled chick shipments for the rest of the season) would be impacted if we didn’t do something soon.  Some chickens would be better than NO chickens…so come on, let’s go!

following a plow-truck to town

not much traffic on Mbrook Road
Out into the swirling snow we went…with much fear and trembling on my part (only a slight exaggeration).

Staunton never looks like this
particularly at 11 in the morning
Honestly, the trip was pretty anti-climactic.

all the broiler chicks at the farm store
We made it to town, bought new wiper blades, (which the auto parts dude replaced in mere moments—yay!) filled the gas tank and bought all the chicks the farm store had.  We tucked the chicks in the back seat and headed back to the hill.

a box of broilers
homeward bound
They peeped loudly for the entire completely uneventful trip home.

warming under the heat lamp

Presently, they are living in a big hopper in the shop.  It is far too cold to take them out and put them in the brooder. (apparently, we set some sort of record last night for COLD temperatures in March. It was -4* at the local airport and 2* in our backyard) The weather should moderate by the weekend and we’ll move them to the brooder, where they’ll stay for a while before moving onto pasture.
This is not as weird as you may think
the heatlamp has a RED bulb


I know it sounds crazy

 what with the snow and ice and frigid temperatures…


Warm weather will indeed return to the hill. 


In just eight weeks, we’ll have freshly processed chicken for the Market!


  1. I must say those chicks look warm and snug. Lucky them.

  2. Can I come and be a broiler chick for a few days? I promise I won't squash the other chicks!

    1. Sure! They do look toasty, don't they? You should be forewarned...they're also loud, messy and even a little smelly. But, other than that...

    2. As my sainted mother used to say, forewarned is forearmed. Wearing Hazmat suit. On my way! LOL!