University of Maryland Eastern Shore Agriculture Students have been visiting Happy Hens Barnyard.
Every trip to the farm begins with bio-security. Students bring booties to put over their shoes as well as body suits and hair nets to prevent any contaminants coming in to the farm from their shoes, clothes, and hair.
The first stop is at the chicken barn where they learn more about bio-security, good stewardship, why we free-range, and about the feeding and egg collection process.
Rebecca, our cow, enjoys all the attention that she gets from the guests.
They stop to take a look at the water system and to talk about the architecture of the building and it’s purposes.
The highlight of everyone’s trip is getting to pick up and hold a chicken. JacQ́ui talks about predators, chicken anatomy, and benefits of free ranging. We get lots of chicken selfies!!
From here the tour goes to the egg washing room. The students get to see the egg washing machine and hear about the different ways that the eggs are packed for different customers. That part of the talk ends with a look at the freezer and a everyone gets eggs to take home.
A visit to the other barn where they hear about the meat chickens is next, and the tour wouldn’t be complete without a look at the hogs.
As they disrobe, we talk about the way we incinerate the dead chickens, and the ramifications of how each farm effects it’s neighbor. Maryland is an agricultural state and we want to be sure that we continue to be able feed the world, one farm at at time.
On this particular day one of the hogs were on their way to the butcher.
The duck pasture is the final stop on the tour.