Chick grit

It was Saturday morning, and our first batch of chicks were going to be arriving on Monday, and suddenly I’m hearing about chick grit. This is something you sprinkle on chick feed while they are being raised in a brooder and don’t have access to sandy dirt outside. The kids had gathered some fine sand down by the creek the day before, and Debbie had dried it out in the oven, but the results just looked like dirt, and the more I looked around on the internet for information about chick grit the more uncertain I became.

Not wanting to take a chance with our first chicks, I decided it would be best this time to go buy something commercial. Chris and I drove over to Goldenrod Feeds in South Fork, the Mennonite feed store. It was bustling, and they had lots of stuff, including chicken grit, but they were fresh out of chick grit. So we decided to drive into Liberty for some.

But since we were in South Fork, we drove up on the ridge and stopped to see Jerome. It was a beautiful sunny day, and he gave us a quick tour of the gardens to teach us a few more things. As we were about to move on I asked him what he knew about land for sale in the area, since a friend had asked me about it. He told me a few things, then asked if I wanted to see the best place he knew of. Of course I did, so we drove over to Merritt Ridge and saw a beautiful spot with a small but serviceable house, maybe five acres of good flat land for gardening and another ten of cleared hillside that would be fine for grazing animals. Jerome had considered buying it when he first came to the area; for awhile later the owner’s mother was staying there, but she just went into a nursing home recently and now they are looking to sell it again.

We then drove down the road a bit and visited with the owners, a very sweet and friendly older couple. They offered to supply us with a bunch of composted manure, so we may be back again. By then it was about 1pm, so we left, dropped Jerome at his place, then drove on to Liberty to the Southern States farm supply store. How quaint—it turns out that Southern States keeps old fashioned hours, closing at 1pm on Saturday. Fair enough; we decided to drive on to Campellsville and try the Tractor Supply store there. Well, they were open, but they didn’t have any chick grit. When I asked someone if she knew where we might get some, she said, “Well, not today.” I’m sure she was thinking of Southern States.

Finally we arrive home again, most of the day wasted. (Well, not really, we did pick up a heat lamp and thermometer for the brooder, both things we needed even worse than chicken grit.) I told Chris to call up Jacob Ellis, who would be coming over that evening for a guitar lesson, and ask him to bring some chick grit along if he had any. He called and left a message for Jacob, which somehow got scrambled in the telling; when Jacob’s dad Al brought him over, they had brought chicken feed along. Debbie told him that no, what we really needed was chick grit. Al looked at her kind of funny, and said “You mean like this stuff?”—and started kicking at the ground with his foot. Then he told her that she should just send the kids down to the creek and collect some sand to dry out.

We’re pretty sure there were a few chuckles at our expense that night at the Ellis house. But that’s fine with us.

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