Friday, February 20, 2009

The Chicken Challenge

The biddie bus came down Tippins Road today bringing us 54,400 baby biddies to care for and love! Yes, we are bonafide, certified chicken farmers. We have been foster parents to these little critters for 14 years Wow! Approx. 6 times a year we take in these cute little biddies, feed them, water them and encourage them to eat to their hearts content! (Our last batch ate 342,000 pounds of feed.) At the end of their stay which could be anywhere from 36 - 44 days, 8 Eighteen Wheelers from Claxton Poultry come to take the big honkin' chickens to the chicken plant. They are processed and eventually find their way into the menu of Chic-fil-a', Wal Mart Super Stores or the like.
I can remember vividly our first "grow out"... the term used to represent their period of stay on our farm. (Never really thought about why it's called "grow out"... but considering it is our task to fatten them up, maybe it's descriptive. Maybe we should refer to Thanksgiving and Christmas Seasons as "grow outs"). Our family was so excited about this new adventure that we even created a "Reality Series" and videoed the process.. beginning to end. The documentary included a fashion show.. the latest trends in chicken wear, footage of the "chickens with disability" area, coverage of the chicken nails (honestly, women would die for sturdy nails like theirs!!)... and last but not least, the final walk. The final walk was probably the most touching aspect of this Chicken Reality Series. With tender care, it was videoed with music in the background... Dolly Parton singing "I Will Always Love You" while me and the boys carried our buckets picking up dead chickens for the final time. (Did I mention that many chickens die layin' on their back with one leg straight up.. as to say.. "Take me Lord, I'm ready!" Palin will be thrilled if the chickens are in heaven too!!!)

Mr. Norman Fries was the President of Fries Farms and owner of Claxton Poultry when we initally started our home-based business. I wrote Mr. Fries a poem about our family adventure and shared it with him before he died a few years later. I called my tribute..
This adventure it's true,
we began in the dark,
Plannning, preparation and prayer
helped get us off to a great start.
Decisions, decisions...
made in light of the truth
that neither Randall nor I
knew beans about a chicken coup.
Adams Poultry, of course,
took their sweet time.
While Tippins Bank made interest
on each and every dime.
Then finally that day, at last, did arrive.
Claxton Poultry wanted to know,
"Can you keep our biddies alive?"
Justin and Jordy, Randall and Jo
looked at each other and said,
"Of course! We've been ready to go."
Our schedules, they changed,
as we knew they would.
The boys, Connie and friends from around
did what they could.
Late nights, early mornings for 46 days,
then the call came.
"Oh yes! We're ready... they're NOT the same!"
"Their ugly, they've changed. No longer are they cute.
We can't bride our boys to help..
We all need a space suit!"
So yes, the crew came
We'd been warned all about.
Eight hours later
our houses looked like a hurricane route.
But two weeks later, for all that work,
we received a nice sum,
in hopes that our first .. is a sign of many to come.
From beginning to end,
We've come to be blessed.
Our family has been a team
and now we've had our rest.
So Mr. Fries, we're back up
and ready to go.
TIPPINS POULTRY FARMS can make you proud
we'll make your sweet biddies grow!


If you're a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don't call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it's something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift. Romans 4:4

1 comment:

  1. Boy, do I remember the excitement of the arrival of those first biddies - and then the really fun day of their departure!!