|These one day old Dorper sheep triplets are just about the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.|
|After a day or two the lambs and their moms are moved to the field closest to the lambing shed.|
|Freedom Ranger hens grow quickly. Kinderhook raises four rounds of babies to broilers each summer.|
|Above, laying hen chicks. Below, two little girls meet the goslings outside the coop. Inside the babies are protected and warmed with heat lamps early in the growing season.|
From there the visitors walked back to fields where the laying hens had their mobile coops, but trust me, there were chickens EVERYWHERE, having dust baths, congregating, running around at top speed because they could, doing chicken yoga, preening, etc. They were, um, BEING CHICKENS, the way chickens were meant to be. Downside was they had a way of setting up nesting sites all over the farm, so Kinderhook wasn't getting the yield they should have from all those birds in terms of egg production, but they were working on it. Laura talked about the possibility of building new coops that would be more inviting to the various species and sizes of birds, all of whom seemed to get along well. We got to pet a couple that she picked up and cradled for us. Soft and friendly. The "Peace Train" - two buildings on wheels, is moved around the farm to fresh pasture throughout the season.
|Feed in the low trough, near the center, supplements the bugs and stuff to keep the birds healthy and well fed.|
|Chickens like to roll around in the dirt. It feels good. It makes them happy.|
There's a farm store on the property that's open year-round, probably the best place in the area to buy their products, including all parts of the animal, ground meats, whole chickens, sausages, and eggs. Kinderhook also sells to chefs that handle whole animals. It may seem expensive, but the quality is amazing, and you will have the grace of knowing you are part of the solution.
Thanks to everyone at Kinderhook Farm who made us feel so welcome and who took the time out of their busiest season to share their story. It was a beautiful day.
Zena, Goddess of Fire
|Spring in Valatie at Kinderhook Farm|