We got baby chicks about a week ago – they are really cute but growing fast. They are meat chickens so we (or mostly River with possibly my assistance with the packaging up – not sure I am ready to do the kill part myself) will be slaughtering them in about six weeks. Needless to say we will not be naming them.

River built a really great house for them in the hopes that we will have laying hens in a year or so – these lucky little guys get first shot at living there.

The new chicken coop! The boys really enjoy checking on the chicks – I am not sure which one enjoys it more…

Trace is getting a real kick out of it (you can see his little chair in the picture – he likes to hang out watch them play) – he loves to go check on the chicks with us and make sure they are the right temperature – he thinks they are fun to watch and shows everyone that comes over the chicks. Hopefully he will be able to eat them when the time comes. I don’t see him having a problem with it as we eat wild game that River gets like turkey, geese and ducks and he has seen River dress them out – but something he has helped nurture could be a different experience.

We decided to get the chickens because of all the information that we had been reading about how animals were treated and slaughtered in the big meat business. It seems safer to grow our own – we know what they are eating and frankly we are nicer to them – in there short lives they will not have their little beaks cut off and will get to explore the outside world a little when they get larger (usually about 4 weeks old) and they have a lot more space in our coop per bird then the traditional poultry houses.

I can’t say I don’t eat meat unless it was humanly treated in life – but I have been trying to be more contentious about where my food comes from and what my family fuels our bodies with. We have several local sources for meat the farm my dad works at in Dresden, Goranson Farm they grow and sell chickens, turkey at thanksgiving and portions of pigs that are raised on some grain and lots of veggies, www.goransonfarm.me; my aunt and uncle’s farm, Partridge Hill Farm right down the road, they sell grass-fed lamb and beef as well as pork (not grass-fed – but well fed); and our friends the Wright’s have Three Little Pigs Family Farm and raise pork, they have a great website at www.trustyourpork.com with really cute pictures of the piggies!

Piggies at Partridge Hill Farm – they are so cute at this stage – Trace always wants to take one home

These Partridge Hill Farm alpacas are not for eating – but they make very soft fiber for knitting and the babies are as cute as can be – who wouldn’t fall in love with those big brown eyes!

Baby boy alpaca born on 5/14/2012 – he is very curious – mama isn’t sure I should be this close to him though at Partridge Hill Farm.

Another curious alpaca on the farm – we don’t eat ’em – but their fiber is lovely for knitting!

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