Episode 23: Maria Graber on Raising Chickens

business Jul 06, 2021
Maria Graber Knows Raising Chickens

Maria Graber talks about homesteading and specifically raising chickens. She even shares her favorite chicken gadget!

Connect with Maria on FacebookInstagram, or her website (and while you're there, be sure to get your Hatching Checklist.) 

Maria's favorite gadget is her chicken waterer!  Here's a link to her blog post about it: Watering Chickens 

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This is a transcript of the This Mom Knows Podcast - Episode - 23

Jennifer Uren
Maria Graber is with us today, Maria grew up on a small farm with goats, rabbits, chickens, cats and dogs. But her love was horses. She lives on a 11.7 acre farm called CG Heartbeats Farm in northern Indiana with her husband and her well loved animals. In 2016, Maria purchased her first Swedish flower hen chicks, and her homesteading journey began. And by August 2017, she launched her website where she started to share lessons and heartaches of homesteading while dealing with chronic illness. So welcome, Maria.

Maria Graber
Thank you. I am happy to be here today and chat with your audience.

Jennifer Uren
Well, thanks. I'm so glad to have you. I was talking to a friend earlier. And she mentioned she's getting chickens soon. And I'm like, Ah, I'm interviewing someone you got to listen to. So it's timely. So tell us just a little bit more about you that we didn't hear like, where you grew up, and what kinds of things you did with horses and things like that.

Maria Graber
Okay, I grew up in southern Michigan, and we lived on a dirt road. It's paved, but we lived on a dirt road. And life was simple, slow, slow in the summertime, I spent a lot of time outside as a child and a lot of time taking care of animals. I got into, I think we got our first pony when I was 11. We saved money for four years, me and a sister to buy that pony, we spent $125, which didn't seem like that much money now, but back at that point in where we were in life, it was a lot of money to save up.

Jennifer Uren
Absolutely.

Maria Graber
I've had horses ever since I still have them even though I'm not writing actively or showing up competing anymore. My focus after 4-H or even in 4-H was barrel racing. And then I did a little bit of team roping. And I worked five years at a breeding and falling barn owned by veterinarians in northern Indiana, and did a lot with foaling out the mares and I worked in the barn during the day cleaning stalls or whatever stuff they needed me to help with. And then at night, I would stay and watch the mares. I really, really enjoyed that. But it was exhausting.

Jennifer Uren
Oh, I bet.

Maria Graber
I don't know that I could carry that heavy of a schedule anymore at this point in my life. So...

Jennifer Uren
Well, that's fascinating about the horses and the foaling and of the, of all of that. So but today we're going to talk about chickens, which are a little simpler, I would imagine than horses.

Maria Graber
Yes and no. Um, my biggest struggle with the chickens is I had all this background knowledge of horses, I, if something went wrong, I don't need to call a vet every time something goes wrong, because I have experience with dealing with a lot of different illnesses or struggles that they can. I do need to call a veterinarian, sometimes it's not that I never do. But with chickens, I knew nothing. And so it's really been different to learn to take care of them. When, when I have like no background knowledge, and I learned that, at least through my experience with chickens, they can offer a symptom of something. And it's not really a guaranteed indication of what's actually wrong with them. Like something like where they may not correctly use one of their legs that can indicate a variety of problems or diseases or struggles with their health. And so it doesn't necessarily mean okay, they're doing this, so this is wrong with them. And where with horses, maybe it's because I have more experience with that it's easier for me to understand what's going on when I see something isn't right. And I don't always know with horses, but maybe just you know, 30 plus years with horses versus five years with chickens. And I feel like I'm still kind of a newbie when it comes in comparison. You know, that's five years versus 30 some years, so years. There's that difference in experience.

Jennifer Uren
Yes, that's interesting. So you live on 11 acres, which sounds like a really cool place to live. But what animals besides chickens do you have on your farm right now?

Maria Graber
I have a Blue Heeler that he is probably 10 or 11. I raised him he was my stepsons dog. But then as he grew older and moved on he stayed - the dog stayed with us. And then I have a Great Pyrenees that just turned one on the 18th last week so we're - that's last week as we're interviewing.

Jennifer Uren
Right!

Maria Graber
...and and she that's been great. learning curve because the healers are strong minded and so are the Pyrenees. And in that they're alike andI've had Pyrenees, or Great - Excuse me, I have had Blue Heelers for a lot of years, maybe 20 or 30 probably over 20 years. Yeah over 20 years that I've had Blue Heelers, where with the pyrenees, they're both strong minded dogs, but the Blue Heeler is a herd dog, to you know, direct animals where to go. The Great Pyrenees is a protector. And so how they go about their jobs is very, very different. And it's, again, it's been a learning curve for me, because even though I read as much as I could about the Great Pyrenees, as I got a puppy, I still there's things that you just learn with experience. And maybe you don't see it quite the way it's written. She's a good dog, they're very smart. Sweet, and, and kind really, um, but a puppy is a puppy. And a quick story if we have time.

Jennifer Uren
Sure.

Maria Graber
I have her in the barn at night because it's been so cold - in a crate. And then she's outside on a chain during the day because we don't have the fences up. And she's at an age now where I cannot let her run on 11 acres. She sees a deer, she's off the property. So what's up, getting the fence up is a work in process. She was in the barn last night, I went in the barn and I seen that I had a box of jars out there and I seen that was looked different than it did last night. And I noticed that the top part of a chicken water that I was very tired last night I left it on the floor I seen it wasn't where I'd left it. And I was like, oh, what happened in here. And I continued walking and she greeted me. She had made it out of her kennel.

She's a puppy so she's gonna chew on things. That's, you know, that's part of it. And she but she was not as hyper and hadn't tore up as much as like a few months ago, she got out of her crate and she was in the barn. But I thought well, there was no possums or Coons in here causing any problems last night. This I know.

Jennifer Uren
That's good.

Maria Graber
We've not seeing too many since then. So that's the Yeah, that's a great Pyrenees. I have five horses. Two of them, I raised since foals. One of them my sister had as a foal, but the two I raised tfrom foals are over 20. And, and one of them was kind of struggling with their health. One that I competed on a lot of stuff. So she's very special, she's not hurting, she just doesn't look quite as good as I would like her to look at the five horses, I have a lot of cats, probably more than I should have. Note to if I could go back and do something different when I attained the feral cat - it took me eight weeks to touch her. But I would have gotten her fixed quicker because I'm just playing catch up constantly to keep cats fixed as they're born. And and you know, like like animals in the wild possums or Coons or deer or coyote, there is a natural selection process that happens which is you know, if you love your domestic animals, it's not really a joy to see that happen. And so I do continue to strive to get them fixed. So that cuts back. I could that could be a whole nother episode.

Jennifer Uren
Right.

Maria Graber
And then let's see, uh, yeah, the dogs and I'm hoping by the time this airs, I will have Nigerian dwarf goats.

Jennifer Uren
Oh how fun

Maria Graber
I'm shopping for them. And I originally wanted cattle I want my own milk because it's part of my homesteading and I grew up with goats don't care for the tog goat milk taste, which is the breed that my dad has. And I tasted some Nigerian, Nigerian dwarf goat milk. And it's delicious. It has none of the goaty flavor that you find in a lot of goat milk. And so they're little you know, I have 11 acres not 100 and it's it's harder to have cattle or very many cattle with only 11 acres being that part of it's woods about half the acerage is just woods and so it's you know, I have been already had the horses on some pasture. So Nigerian Dwarfs it is for now.

Jennifer Uren
Perfect

Maria Graber
And I amy one day, I haven't given that up. But it's been five years of wanting a cow. And so I'm like, okay, the point is to have my own milk. So a goat will work.

Jennifer Uren
A good starting place. And that's a good segue because even though we're going to talk more about chickens, I wanted to just back up a little bit and spend a minute talking about homesteading. What is that exactly? How would you define that?

Maria Graber
I think each person that homesteads has their own a little bit of their own definition of what that is to them. And that current question intrigues me of what homesteading is to different people because it's not all exactly the same thing. So if you're asking you know what it is, to me, it's the ability to produce my own food, to be somewhat self sufficient, in producing my own food, but in producing other products that you might use in life, and I am nowhere near what my long term goals are, I've made progress. It has to do with you talk about producing your own food that can be meat, that could be eggs that can be milk, that can be vegetables, the canning process. And it was only two years ago that I started canning again. So if we go back 20 plus years in my early 20s, I canned then I grew up helping my grandma can, eating canned food, and there's a huge difference in the flavor between what you find in the store and what you homecare and in process. So, that's all beginning journey there, you know, I I'm not canning all of my own food. And I've started raising gardens. A struggle that I came across, when I wanted to start having a garden was we have this phenomenal root system grass and grass with a phenomenal root system. And so getting that sod broken up is a physically difficult if you don't have the proper tools to do that. I used my chickens, and I set up like dog kennel panels for my chickens on that ground to kill the sod off. And so every year I have more ground space because a couple times a year I moved those pens around to create my garden ground.

Jennifer Uren
Well, that's brilliant.

Maria Graber
Well, my, my journey of garden space is growing in. And then you know, under my breath mowing the lawn going, I'm all in too much lawn, I can't wait until we get more of this put to use.

Jennifer Uren
So right now you're growing vegetables, you're getting eggs. Do you use any of the chickens as fryers or are they all layers?

Maria Graber
Oh, my chickens. Yes, they're all all three breeds are Swedish Flower Hens, Lemon Cuckoo Niederrheiner, and Silver Gray Dorking, they're all heritage breeds. So they're slower to develop than what your fryers would be. Okay, they're not as steady of layers as you're laying as your laying. Like, let's see, there's a laying breed the Red. And then there, there's also a white one, and I'm sorry that I don't have that in those names on it. But they're your common layer breeds that you would find at like a supply store and that kind of thing. Where these are heritage, they may lay longer, but maybe not as many eggs in a year.

Jennifer Uren
Okay.

Maria Graber
And then the Silver Gray Dorkings is more of a meat bird. And it was used to create the modern meat bird. One of many. And since the the modern meat birds that are out there, you know that they're ready to butcher in, in three to maybe maybe two months to three months, I think and you need to or their hearts get so big that they cannot continue living. And so, um, but you know, the Silver Gray Dorking, you're probably still gonna wait five months or longer until you're ready to butcher those. They lay eggs their eggs are smaller.

Jennifer Uren
Okay

Maria Graber
The other two breeds do lay a pretty good two ounces, or larger once they're out of their pullet stage.

Jennifer Uren
So, one summer, the kids and I had an opportunity to help raise chickens for the intention of butchering them and having having meat and it was a fascinating experience. And it was an interesting process. And it I was never more grateful to pay 79 cents a pound at the grocery store as I was because it's a lot of work.

Maria Graber
It is a lot of work. I hope that the value in it is it's different than the cost of meat per se, because the value in it, you know, is knowing where your food came from. It's not injected with something to make it more plump, it just is food in its natural form. And maybe that's where the value lies versus the actual money cost. Because you're right, it is a lot of work to have your own eggs to have your own to have your own meat, you know that's not in you don't always I mean, the feed is not cheap to buy to feed them especially you know where the meat birds might be ready in two to three months. The Heritage are five, well, then you've got it two to three more months of feeding them so there's more costs. And I'm still working on what feed I can grow for them to to help offset the cost of the feed for them because it takes away from any income that I do produce with them when I'm spending so much on feed. So that's kind of, that's where I'm at. That's kind of where I've been at and so I grew flax last year and chickens like flax.

Jennifer Uren
Okay

Maria Graber
So one of the things I want to do this year is actually have a flax plot in the garden and not just a row in the garden and grow more, but..

Jennifer Uren
Wonderful. So when you buy your first chicken in 2016 was it with the intention of building up a big flock and having you know, a whole bunch of chickens laying eggs?

Maria Graber
Well, there's this thing called chicken math. So if you're not familiar with what that is, it's the, the rapid way that your flock multiplies in your desire to have more. Swedish Flower Hens was the first breed that I had purchased. And they're unique in their coloring, they have white tipped white tips on the end of their feathers. But the color variations within that breed it just like this year, I hatched chicks, Oh, I didn't hatch that color yet. Hmm.. I think I gonna keep this one, so, it's and then the way my pens are set up, I set them up by breeding lines. People set them up differently, there's not a right or wrong. And so I may have like a pen that has like some of my original pens. Hens, from one farm, a rooster from another farm to keep the diversity there, like that's my approach to it. And then I'll take the offspring from one group one pen, and pair it with an offspring from another pen. And I keep adding pens and this year, I really need to move on some of my older pens, because you know, make sure I have what I want from them and move them on and continue. And that's part of the breeding program, that I've always had an interest in genetics, and if it's horses or cows, if it's goats, and if it's chickens, like, that fascinates me, and studying it and watching the different characteristics come through through the generations, you know, in horses, you can go back and look at your great great, great grands of a particular horse. And in being that I've worked on farms and seen, you know, been able to have an opportunity to see not just pictures, but see certain traits come down through the lines. And that fascinates me I sit and spend hours on it. And then you know you actually have to go through chores. So right.

Jennifer Uren
So you are so you do breed I mean, I saw I know that you sell hatching eggs to people who want to start or or expand what they're doing. And so you've you've breeded these and you calculate how many eggs you need to have for that you'll keep and that you'll sell and that you'll eat and you've got all that figured out. How did you jump from your first chicken to saying I'm going to teach people how to get going with this and and sell things to them.

Maria Graber
I've always had a passion for like when when it was when I was around goats. I had a passion for kidding when they were having babies. And then as I get into horses, I was very interested in foaling mares out. And I did a class for two years at a Career Center in high school. And there I got to help a pig have her babies. I've been present for cows being birthed, but I've never actually had to assist. But I just have this passion for that. And and same thing with hatching baby chicks it intrigues me the process the miracle they develop, you know from what you might throw in a frying pan, and then you get this live baby chick that grows up into a chicken and that's so beautiful. like yeah, if I may like credit, credit, the Lord's creativity and his creation to establish this process from the beginning of the world like to me that's beautiful.

Jennifer Uren
It's miraculous.

Maria Graber
It is Yeah. And then to witness that, you know, which it's not always pretty. I've helped goats that the kids were dead. I've helped goats that the doe died. I've had I've lost chicks. I've got one now that I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it to help him make it. So there's hard moments. It's not it's not always joy. It's not always but it's part of it. And I wouldn't trade it even though some days I say why am I doing this?

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, absolutely. So what's the what's the furthest you've ever shipped any of your eggs to? How, how far of a reach do you have?

Maria Graber
Down south I think. I mean it's always been within the country because there's there's regulations in place for shipping out of the country. I have taken birds that not not eggs but actually taken like birds that were maybe two to three months old to Wyoming. But that's been a trip that was already happening. So they just traveled with me because shipping is hard on them. Um, you know, the the post office workers are human too, and no one's perfect, and so there's a risk when you're shipping them. I've shipped a few chicks. I the farm is NPIP certified, which is a natural poultry improvement program. And most states require that for shipping or for moving chickens from from one state to another. I'm also a certified tester and so I can test farms in Indiana.

Jennifer Uren
Okay, so what does that involve?

Maria Graber
You take a sample of blood and mix it with an antigen. And then you give it two minutes and you look for what that looks like as you mixed it.

Jennifer Uren
You're kind of checking to make sure that the breeds are healthy and they're okay.

Maria Graber
You're specifically looking for glorium typhoid. And there's other diseases that chickens can have. Some states require a variant influenza is one that one that states require your your your flock to be tested free. I have not taken the steps to have my herd tested herd my flock of horses...chickens. They, yeah, so I may do that this year, because I've had interest from people in states that require AI testing. And, you know, there's an expense that's involved in in testing, having your flock tested. And so I may take the steps to have that done because I've had some interest in that. I haven't taken that haven't been tested before. So

Jennifer Uren
Okay, well, that's interesting. So okay, what is the scoop with where you store your eggs because I've obviously when I go the store, I buy them in the refrigerated section and I keep them in my refrigerator, but I have heard that you can keep them on the counter and they should last a long time. So what is the scoop and why do we refrigerate them?

Maria Graber
Okay, um, there isyou can keep them out farm fresh eggs. Like I I don't say that you have to refrigerate them. But there are are certain governmental regulations out there in and I like to follow those I sometimes sell at farmer's markets. Okay, we're at a farmers markets in Indiana, you're supposed to wash your eggs. And so if I wash the eggs, they go in the refrigerator. Hens produce a bloom, it's... when a hen lays an egg, it's kind of wet. That's a, that's a coating that goes over the egg and it actually helps to protect it. I've heard people talk about all kinds of different things about how long the eggs last on the counter and, and how long you can eat them. I haven't specifically sat down and tested them, I try to eat them within four to five weeks or pass them on to someone else. My, my biggest goal is to produce hatching eggs and chicks. But I'm always going to have extra eggs maybe I know there's a certain pen hasn't been producing fertile eggs. So you know, and I can only eat so many eggs a day. So...

Jennifer Uren
Right. Yes. And so um, you mentioned possums and raccoons earlier in the conversation but are, do you have predators? Is this whole, you know, image of the fox in the henhouse, is that kind of true? Do you have to watch out for certain animals? Or is it is that over exaggerated?

Maria Graber
No. Chickens are an animal of prey. They're not a predator. They're an animal prey and it's definitely a concern. I am blessed with a 60 by 30 year old chicken barn and I have set up other pens in it. So it was structured to keep predators out. So it's somewhat safe. I've had coons and opossums come in there before. Had a skunk in there once.

Jennifer Uren
I'm partial to skunks. I like those so

Maria Graber
I won't tell you what happened to him. That's that's another thing. I kind of like but we're talking about predator. I am a nurturer by heart. I'm not a hunter, and I'm not a killer. And it every time I have to eliminate a predator, it makes me sad. It's never an enjoyable process. And but yes, but we also have cats and the cats have cat food and that's a draw to opossums especially. But since we have Annetta here, I don't think they're around as much and I certainly don't see them very often like I did. So yeah, it makes me happy too because if they live in the woods good for them.

Jennifer Uren
Right? Yes, stay there.

Maria Graber
I think most people are familiar with like the wire dog pens and kennels. That you know you might have them in your house or whatever. They make different sizes of them and sometimes I use them for some of the chickens, they're not all in them, they're not all in them all the time. Last year, some kind of critters started being able to reach in and get them out of there. I used to have them out, you know, 24 hours a day in that little dog kennel, and I'd have several of them like sitting up next to each other, or whatever. And then sometimes during the day, I'd let them out to free range and then put them back in there at night. And then I even had them our one barn is really open, it needs a lot of work. It's an old barn, and it needs work. I had some of them set up in there. And some animal had gone in there last year, over the summertime and into late fall and actually, like killed some that were in there.

Jennifer Uren
Oh,

Maria Graber
We never caught what did that. It may have been a coyote, because it's certainly open enough that a coyote could get in there. And but I haven't had much of that in the main chicken barn. And so it just changes how I keep them. And then outside you know hawks are a problem, the fly down and grab 'em. I would say the Swedish Flower Hens once they've been outside enough to realize where the hiding spots are. They're pretty good about paying attention, the roosters will watch and sound an alarm and they will go hide if a bird comes around. I haven't had a lot of death by the birds. And I could keep talking. So if I'm telling too many stories, you can let me know.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, no, it's fascinating because you know, I, I grew up in the city. But you know, I've lived in neighborhoods that are open and have animals and right now the neighborhood we're in is situated in a prairie. So there's coyotes and owls and different things that come through. But I just think it's fascinating to, to know what you know, it's all natural, but what do you want to prevent and what do you want to encourage? And so I love I love hearing this. But if a man is listening now in his thinking, what this is fascinating, I'd love to start doing something with chickens, even just backyard chickens because I know that's, that's something that a lot of people in, in our area or suburban area, even like to do. What is something she should do first, before she even gets a chicken? What should she do to see if this is something that is a good fit?

Maria Graber
Um, you probably can get by with feeding them once a day, you probably don't have to feed him twice a day. So time. Um, it wouldn't be a twice a day undertaking. And deciding what breed that that works for for her goals would be probably the number one, the one number one thing but time. You know, what if you go on vacation? What if you want to go do something. That's also right up there to understand, you know, finding somebody to maybe come by and feed the chickens, if you're going to check on them. But deciding what breed works, because there's over 100 breeds, maybe more than that, that you can choose from. They're not all readily available. Some of them, you know. I think another thing to consider is, as far as what goals a person would have a mom would have for their chickens. You know, are her kids going to show them in 4-H? Is it going to be that she just wants her own eggs? Is it that you want to hatch eggs? You know, does she want a rooster? Can she have a rooster where she's at? If, if a man does not want a rooster, there are some breeds that can be sexed male or female right after hatching. Others you have to wait until they're older. And it's so you know, maybe it's not chicks that you want to buy first, maybe you want to buy pullets, which you know, two or three months old. Like the heritage breeds, they don't start laying until they're about maybe four and a half, but usually five or six months old. So there is you know, so do you want pullets? Do you want baby chicks? That's a decision to make. There is something to be said for raising the chicks from babies, you get to hold them to get to know them, they become more of a pet then when you get the older birds, but you don't learn to know them. I mean, it's not but with children. You know, there's something special about having baby chicks and raising them. Yeah, what kind of place you need to keep them to grow them until they're older, you're gonna need a different setup for chicks then you are for pullets so they need heat on them. They need to be secure from predators at any age. If you're keeping them outside, like a quick we talked about predators a little bit ago. And if I can go back to that, yeah, digging a if you're going to have chickens for a while outside and digging them a trench and putting a fence down to keep animals from moving under is helpful. And then you know, they don't have to be super warm. If there's snow, where they're at, they just need protection from the wind. Okay. And feed and, you know, warm bedding and that kind of thing.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah. So is this the kind of stuff that you teach people to do that you you can help people get started with?

Maria Graber
Right now I am focusing on teaching people about hatching chickens.

Jennifer Uren
Okay.

Maria Graber
And so that's kind of been my focus, I guess, in part, because that's where my passion is that I'm not sure where my audience is that but that's where my passions at, is the new life. And so I am. Yeah, that's my focus right now is to to, to hatch chicks. Um, but if anybody emails me, or reaches out on social media and asks me a question, or has a question, I'm happy to answer that. I also enjoy hearing what questions people have. Because with my background, I don't always know exactly what somebody wants to know about. So I appreciate those questions.

Jennifer Uren
Sure. Because what's intuitive to you, because you grew up doing it is new to somebody else. And it's hard to always see that.

Maria Graber
Yeah, I, I'm going to set my niece up can in another state to hatch her own, they have chickens, but to set her up to hatch her own chicks. And she was asking me some questions as I was talking to her. And it was like, the things that she didn't know at 12 years old. That was just comment to me. And she wanted to know what humidity was, you know, that, you know, And to me, that's been especially in our warm Indiana summers, like humidity and like, how do you you know, she doesn't live in Indiana. She doesn't deal with that.

Jennifer Uren
Right?

Maria Graber
Yeah. So it's, it's always good to hear what people's questions are.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah, that's always helpful. Well, our time is running to a close. This has been it's gone fast. This has been a great conversation. And one final question that I ask every guest as we wrap up, it's a little more lighthearted. But what is your favorite gadget?

Maria Graber
That is a little bit I don't do a lot of gadgets. Um, so it's a bit challenging for me to I suppose because I have an online side of my homesteading journey in business. Probably my smartphone and my laptop are the two that I use it I'm not sure if that fits under, under a gadget. Um, I don't use a lot of electronics.

Jennifer Uren
Okay, what is your...what's your favorite chicken tool? What's the one thing that you're like? This made my life so much easier I could never live without it.

Maria Graber
Well, if you're raising chickens, you need a heat source in the wintertime heat lamps, but they're scary because they can cause fires. I don't know that that's my favorite. I'm processing this question.

Jennifer Uren
Yeah.

Maria Graber
My I have a chicken waterer style that I really like.

Jennifer Uren
Okay

Maria Graber
The ice in the wintertime comes out of it. I have a lot of chicken pens, so I can't take heats every single pen to keep the water from freezing. Right? There's a certain style of chicken waterer that the ice comes out of easier and that they twist apart easier. And then you can also when you put the lid on you can guarantee that it's going to be on right because the tabs show up on the bottom Yeah, I have I wrote a blog post about it to share like why I like it and yeah, so I'd have to say that especially coming out of winter and that has been my favorite one lately.

Jennifer Uren
Well that's that's a great one because you know, it's a different world gadgets don't mean the same to everybody. So my gadgets are some are kitchen tools some are but whatever makes life easier. I'm all for it. So we'll be sure to post the link to that blog post in the in the show notes as well so people can see that. But Maria, how can people connect with you?

Maria Graber
I have a website at www.dontclipmywings.com on Instagram @CountryGirlheartbeatsfarm. And I have a Facebook farm page @CountryGirlheartbeatsfarm. And I'm also on Facebook as Maria Graber. And I am on LinkedIn as Maria Graber, I'm not on that platform as much. I have a Twitter account CD heartbeats farm. I'm not on that platform as much. And a YouTube channel, Country Girl heartbeats, er, CGheartbeatsfarm. CGHeartbeatsfarm on YouTube and I do post there regularly.

Jennifer Uren
Oh, good, good. That'll be very helpful resource. And you do have an offer to share with our moms that are listening. thing today, hatching checklist you want to tell us about that really briefly?

Maria Graber
Yes, it is all inclusive from picking out your incubator to how to take care of your chicks afterwards, after you've hatched them. It doesn't just talk about the hatching projects. process. And it is I mean, it is a checklist with a few spaces for notes. It kind of it takes you all the way through, like I said, from from the beginning to the end of the hatching process. There may be parts that apply to some people and parts that, you know that don't, but it's all inclusive for somebody that possibly has never done this before.

Jennifer Uren
Wonderful. Well, thank you. Oh, sorry. Go ahead.

Maria Graber
That's okay. Go ahead.

Jennifer Uren
Oh, I was just gonna say thank you so much for being with us today. It was it was fascinating. I learned a lot about chickens and I will look forward to hearing how other moms engage with you as they pursue their chicken interest as well. So thank you so much.

Maria Graber
You're welcome. It was great to to chat today.

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