Formerly,Bar None Ranch, of Berlin, NY, we are now Climbing Tree Farm, of New Lebanon. We raise PASTURED POULTRY, LAMB, GRASS-FED BEEF, and WOODLAND/PASTURE-RAISED, MILK-FED PORK. We keep our animals true to their instincts- letting our pigs dig, our chickens range, our sheep graze. We feed rotationally graze on pasture and silvo-pasture (in the woods). We work with a local dairy to feed our pigs Jersey milk. We are conscientious stewards of the land, and our animals.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chicks- for pleasure and meat...

After many years of brooding chicks in our basement (which is smelly, dusty and cumbersome),
we now have a chick brooding shed. the back third of the shed is sectioned off for brooding, with 50 gallon drums split lengthwise, strung with heat lamps, and used as a heat hood. It has been quite a bit colder out than we expected so far this brooding season, but we have been able to keep the little guys warm with extra heat lamps and rigid insulation piled on top of the brooder. In their first weeks chicks require a temperature of around 90 degrees (think- snuggling up under mother-hen's tail feathers). As their fluffy down falls out and is replaced by feathers chicks become more all-weather animals. Their first day in the shed it was about 22 degrees outside. We were worried that the brooder wouldn't be warm enough and the first day we visited the chicks every hour. After several trips to the shed Colby had the brilliant idea to put the remote sensor for our thermometer in the brooder- so we can now monitor the brooder temperature without putting our boots on and slogging around in the mud!

Washed up all of the chick feeders and waterers- made a resolution to wash them
 (outside with the hose) at the end of this chick season so that in the spring of 2015
 I do not need to scrub chicken poop off of them in my bathtub again...ever.

Picking up chicks from the post office. This box contains 100 little peeping fuzzballs.

Our son asked for chicks for his 7th birthday. He chose Cochins. They grow to be big, fluffy, and are quite tame. He likes that they have feathered legs and feet.
Here he is at the post office, meeting his new friends.

Opening Birthday present chicks:
 25 Cochins (egg layers) to keep and play with.
75 meat birds to slaughter and sell.
(And, to keep the birthday chicks warm on their journey to our house).
For the past several years we have had between 300 and 500 layers.  We've decided that egg
production is not a viable part of our business, so we will no longer be selling them. It's felt weird
buying eggs from our friends' farm,  rather than out from under our chickens. These little ladies will
 provide our family with eggs in about 22 weeks. And,  our son is thinking about starting his own egg
business. Stay tuned for details.
When we get new animals we always discuss with our kids which animals are for meat,
and which will stick around as pets or breeders. This way they know who to get attached to.
These chicks are pets!

Building a fort for, and reading to the new chicks.

Chicks love stories.

Baby cochins.

Sleepy chick!

The birthday chicks live in the brooder in the shed with the other chicks,
 but come out for visits and story time.

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