An educational, enriching and character building project. (Instagram/Facebook: follow @warmwisdom)
Seems like such a simple thing… not much to it… but the benefits of allowing a child – especially in urban/suburban areas – to experience the fascination of accompanying the development of an egg into a small chicken (and possibly beyond!) can be astonishing and are impossible to measure.
We believe such experiences foster a deep respect and gratitude towards Nature, animals, and our “daily food”. With active engagement and appropriate support from mentoring adults, this program also has the potential to open a child’s mind to the wide array of lifestyle choices available to her future, providing the structure and environment for the introduction of thoughts and concepts on ethical farming and its challenges, personal dietary preferences, business & career considerations, and more!
This is a seasonal, fully-supported program, by which families or groups (seniors/clubs) sign up to incubate and raise chicks for the first weeks of their lives (possibly longer if the participant is up for it!)
HOW IT WORKS:
We provide all the support, materials, and guidance you will need to take on the incredible journey of incubating eggs and caring for the newborn chicks!! (And we give the young chickens a home should that be your preference, or you may also keep them if you so wish!)
We carefully select our materials for an overall great experience for beginner families: we focus on quality, engagement, and ease of use!
We run several family program sessions per year, many dates available from Spring to Fall!
We also offer this program to daycare centers, pre-schools, grade schools, homeschooling & 4-H groups, senior residences & day centers, and other interested community and educational organizations throughout the academic year! Contact us to schedule your group!
We have limited sign up/participation space as we have to be conscious of the volume of chicks/chickens needing a home at the end of the programs – we always commit to taking back all of our chicks!
Our brooder at the farm. Many shapes & sizes! My first feathers!
1. Quality, hands-on educational materials, including child-friendly exploration sets, activity guides, journals and books.
2. For the incubation phase (21 days incubation period, plus 1-2 days setup time), you will receive:
- a fully-automated incubator (all of our program incubators feature a clear-view cover [allowing for full view of all hatching eggs/chicks!]; egg-turning with auto-stop; temperature display and control; humidity sensor; and a convenient, easy to use candling light!)
- a carton of fresh, fertilized* eggs (*we guarantee our eggs and will send replacement if needed, however, it is impossible for us to know how many are actually fertile!)
3. For the brooding phase (2-3 weeks*), you will be provided with:
- pet cage (large bunny cage or alike)
- chick heater plate (safer than old-style heat lamps)
- feeder and waterer containers
*Please note: families may keep chicks for as little or as long as they wish!! However, at approximately 2-3 weeks of age, we expect the chicks to likely overgrow the bunny-cage provided. Families will require a larger cage or dog crate if they wish to keep the chicks longer – it has been our experience that most families have access to one to borrow, but we also rent a mobile coop/cage that can be used to extend the program period!
It should be understood that at 2-3 weeks of age the chicks are NOT yet ready to be moved into an outdoor coop as they cannot reliably maintain/control their temperature. They can be placed in a coop/cage/crate in a sheltered environment like a garage, or basement with windows. They should be in that semi-protected environment (with a heat source!) until they are 7 weeks old (thus fully feathered), at which point they may indeed move outdoors full time. (We will gladly walk you through all these details and some important considerations in this transition!)
YOUR COMMITMENT & RESPONSIBILITY:
By joining the program, participants commit to and are responsible for:
- the proper handling, care and safe return of all equipment & material;
- following the pick up/delivery/return procedures as planned/agreed;
- monitoring and caring for eggs/incubator and chicks in the brooder;
- supplying chicks with chick-starter food, fresh water, and bedding.
Your routine will include checking the brooder’s overall safety and stock conditions daily; plus, cleaning and refilling food & water as needed.
You should change the wood shavings/bedding weekly for the first 2 weeks; then every 2-3 days as they grow (bigger chicks = bigger poops and more mess…!!)
WHAT IS RENTED VS. WHAT YOU MAY KEEP:
ALL REUSABLE MATERIALS SHOULD BE RETURNED TO US IN GOOD, WORKING ORDER, including all equipment (incubator, cage, heater plate, feeder and waterer) and educational materials (exploration set and reference books.)
Chicks may be kept by the participating family or returned to us upon completion of the program – families MUST notify us of their intent during the last week of the program so we can plan accordingly. Please see further options below.
Additionally, each participating family receives a thoughtful, interactive single-use item, such as a journal, coloring or activity book. These enrich and support the learning experience, while also becoming treasured family keepsakes!
KEEPING YOUR CHICKENS FOR LONGER (or forever!):
Colored eggs at the farm-stand!
We are ALWAYS happy to provide detailed guidance and support the transition of the new flock to a “big home” with the host family (Hurray!! How exciting!!)
We will gladly walk you through the important considerations in caring for your flock long(er)-term.
If you are not quite ready to make a permanent commitment, but are still looking to expand your knowledge and family’s experience (maybe get a few seasons of fresh eggs!? Yummy!!), you may like our “host a flock” program option. This coop rental program allows you to enjoy, learn, and experience the routine of caring for a flock before deciding if a permanent commitment is right for your household (click here for more details.)
Some of our mommas and pappas!
PROGRAM’S COVERAGE AREA:
Our program is currently offered to many areas – mostly anywhere within ~3hr drive from our homestead – which includes:
- Westchester County, Catskills, Upstate NY region; Orange/Fairfield Counties (CT); Boston region, Berkshires, and other areas of MA; and nearby NH! (And, of course, any areas in the driving path between such regions and our farm.)
- Families living (or spending the Summer) within ~1 hr of our homestead in Vermont (click here for our location) – this includes vacation communities and houses around Mount Snow, Stratton, Bromley, Magic, Okemo and other resort areas!! (Contact us!)
- families who are able to pick up/return equipment by meeting us “on route” or visiting our farm.
Contact us if you are unsure – we may be able to work with you, especially if you can double up with another family! (See details below.)
The experience is made available for a flat fee of $300 (plus $50 shipping & handling fee, and optional add-ons please see below!) This value includes the rental of all equipment & reusable educational materials, a carton of eggs for incubation, and a single-use activity booklet (note: if you have more than one child in your household or are planning the program for a school/other organization with multiple “scientists”, you may wish to receive additional booklets so each child/person may have his/her own working material – we can add these to your order: contact us for details!)
Please note: food & bedding are not included in the program’s flat fee. Personal preferences may play a very significant role in the choices of food and cage lining material, thus we do not provide these items by default (note we are always happy to guide participants through the overall considerations and market choices available!) Nevertheless, based on our customers’ repeated requests and direct feedback regarding the challenges they face in finding these items for sale in suburban areas, we are now pleased to offer an optional add-on choice of supply of 5lbs of chick-starter food and bedding material for a $25 fee. This service is only available by advance request as all items will be dropped off together at the scheduled equipment delivery date.
YOUR TOTAL INVESTMENT (if you choose our “no worries” package!) will be $375. This includes the complete incubation experience ($300), delivery and pick up service ($50), and the add-on food and bedding materials ($25.) You can always save by partnering with a friend [see “tag-along” below], visiting our farm for equipment pick up or return, or buying your own supply of food and bedding,
We are a small, family-owned business. Supply chains, economic market, and political volatility can have a significant impact in our ability to offer our programs. We reserve the right to cancel sessions, review or modify this program’s structure and pricing at any time before each participant’s registration/payment.
SCHOLARSHIPS AND LOCAL COMMUNITY SUPPORT: In collaboration with Untwine, our partner non-profit organization, this program is available to low-income families and to our local schools, seniors, families, and general community in Vermont at a reduced fee or free of charge. Please inquire (click here) if interested.
(Please see below for more information on SHIPPING & HANDLING FEES, and other LOGISTICS!)
TAG-ALONG: FIND A FAMILY TO JOIN YOURS and save on shipping fees! This discount is available to families who will WORK TOGETHER to transfer equipment to/from each other – find a family to precede or follow your session and save! HOW: the family who signs up for the first session will take on the responsibility to clean, organize and pass on all the reusable equipment and educational material to the family following them in the second session. We will then ship fertile eggs directly to the second family at no cost! (This equals a $25 savings for EACH family!!)
- This is only advisable if the families know/can rely on each other!
- WE WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT:
- be responsible for lack of cooperation between families!
- coordinate between families who sign up separately!
- EVER share participants’ details/contact information!
We are able to offer this discount given the resulting savings in time and costs related to the restocking/shipment of materials. As a reminder, we are always available to mentor and guide ALL families in our program!
Winter at the farm – come ski and visit us!
Chickens out for a quick walk on snow…
SHIPPING & HANDLING FEES – DELIVERY & PICK UP ARRANGEMENTS:
We usually personally drive and hand-deliver/collect the kits – we have several ongoing, back-to-back sessions and we are able to offer a reasonable transportation fee by coordinating regional deliveries and pick ups on the same day.
PROGRAM DELIVERY & PICK FEE IS $50 ($25 EACH WAY, payed in advance.) If you are able to either pick up or deliver your materials from/to a friend (see TAG ALONG above), or if you are able to arrange pick up or deliver directly from/to our homestead (visit us in Southern Vermont!), you will be refunded the appropriate shipping fee.
IMPORTANT!!! Due to present COVID precautions and travel restrictions, we are currently UNABLE to publish an advance-schedule of delivery and pick up dates – we will contact each family to schedule.
We commit to taking back all chicks (and even older chickens!) raised in our program!!! We usually offer one travel day a month during which we organize several deliveries and pick ups of materials and chicks in pre-determined areas! (For older birds – including “rooster pick ups” – please see below.)
ROOSTERS & OLDER CHICKENS [PICK UPs] and other SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS:
If you decide to start or conclude the program at an “off-schedule” date, or if you need an adult chicken or “rooster pick up” after the program (usually you can only properly identify your roosters at around 3-4 months of age!) an ADDITIONAL $50 FEE WILL APPLY as we will then have to make special arrangements to retrieve the materials/chicks/older birds.
Older birds require crates and special travel plans (including climatization during transport and the allocation of significant “trunk space” to them) which affects our ability to combine multiple collections/deliveries during the same trip, thus the additional fee. Our birds are ALWAYS welcome back at the farm and no fee will apply if you are able to come visit our farm and bring them to us!!
We will make our very best efforts to accommodate different dates or other special requests, but we cannot guarantee them – please contact us if you have a vacation travel schedule or need any special arrangement.
HAVE QUESTIONS? Please just contact us!