Happy Easter from Browder's Birds!

Spring is in the air and it’s starting to get really exciting as our first full season of raising pastured chickens is now upon us. So, I thought I’d take a little time to update you on what’s happening at Browder’s Birds. Our first batch of 235 Cornish Cross chicks arrive on April 7th via US Mail. The chicks are hatched at the hatchery in Pennsylvania and are boxed up as day old chicks and mailed to us. I’ve let the post office in Southold know what to expect and they will call me just as soon as the chicks arrive. I’ll rush them to the brooder which will be waiting with warm lamps, fresh pine shavings, food, grit and water. I’ll dip each chick’s beak into the water so they know where it is and make sure they take their first drink. I’ll have newspapers spread around the brooder with grit and food sprinkled on it. The grit lodges in the gizzard and is vital to help chickens digest their food. I’ll pay close attention to how the chicks handled the trip and to help give them a little boost, I’ll add some organic sugar to their water. I hope they arrive energetic and warm.

On April 8th, I will receive 40 additional chicks. These chicks are Red Broilers, a heritage breed that grows slower, have smaller breasts, but evidently, have tremendous flavor. So, I’m going to experiment with about 40 of these chicks to see how they do, how they taste and gauge the demand for birds like that.

The chicks will remain in the brooder at Biophilia Organic Farm in Jamesport for three weeks. I’ve converted two old horse stalls in the barn there into the brooder which measures about 25" X 20’. When they get large enough to handle living outdoors, I will transfer them to our yet to be constructed chicken tractors. I have all of the supplies for the chicken tractors and one of my high priority tasks will be to construct and place them on the pastures at Biophilia over the next week or two.

There will be much more to discuss on raising the chickens on pasture, so I’ll leave it here for the moment. Just a few additional updates. As many of you know, we’ve applied for organic certification. Our package was submitted in early March and most of our paperwork is complete. We expect to have the inspectors come out in May, While our practices will be organic with or without certification, it will probably help marketing if we can make the claim of being certified organic.

Our permanent location will be Charnews Farm in Southold. Over the next few weeks, I’m having the electricity upgraded in the barn there and will prepare to move the whole operation over in early June. The 5 acre pasture is greening up nicely and it should be filled out and ready for the chickens in early summer.

Finally, our time is more and more devoted to the marketing process. We will be at the Westhampton Beach Farmers Market every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm starting June 12th. In addition, we will be partnering with three local CSAs to offer a chicken share to their members. The farms are Biophilia, Garden of Eve and Sang Lee. We will also have an On Farm CSA and a NYC CSA for direct chicken sales. Make sure you’re on our mailing list for the CSAs by sending a note to Holly at holly@browdersbirds.com Our website is http://www.browdersbirds.com/

Many more updates to come, but that’s it for now. We hope to see you this spring/summer out on the North Fork.