Frozen Lessons

It started out like any other project: “this will just take a few hours” Our first batch of chicks come in just a few days and so at the beginning of the week I knew I had to get things in order. For the most part this just involves making sure you have everything in place. Make sure the feed and bedding arrive on time, wash out the waterers and feeders…and since I didn’t get to cleaning out the old bedding in the brooder, shovel that out.

Easier said than done it turns out.

The first half of the bedding came out like a dream, fluffy light bedding was easy to shovel for all ages and we happily took our welcome, warm after school adventures to the brooder for some digging. Then we hit what we thought was a hurried piece of wood. Then we thought it was a really BIG piece of wood. Then I discovered that the whole back quarter of the brooder bedding, 2 feed thick, was frozen solid from water residue. One giant block of ice. A worthy adversary when you’re in a hurry.

We tried using a pick, we tried turning on all the heat lamps for a night, we tried drilling holes in it and filling them with boiling water, we tried cutting it up with a reciprocating saw, we tried pounding a digging fork in with a sledge…defeat seemed imminent. Then we borrowed a rock bar (big, thick bar of hardened steel with a flat end used to pry rocks out of the ground) that fit snuggly in our post pounder, and despite needing hearing protection we started to make progress.

In the end, we employed the age old technique used by road building crews when blasting road cuts: drill holes along fracture planes and then break off sections. And it turns out the frozen chucks make great “boulders” to chip away at!

The brooder is now just about ready for the first batch of chicks, and it’s a good thing, we don’t have much chicken left! If you’re hoping to have some chicken in the freezer to last until our first processing day in mid May, stock up now!


Local Customers – If you live in the Adirondacks, chances are we can deliver right to your door with Hub on the Hill delivery service. We make deliveries every week, and can take back and reuse packaging!

Beef & Pork Sale – We will be running our beef and pork sale until the end of the month so stock up and save:)

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