So, which came first—the chicken or the egg? Bring the Farm to You hopes people of all ages will discover the answer for themselves by watching the fascinating process of incubation and hatching up close. It’s all part of their incredibly popular chick hatching program, which provides a hands-on educational experience for schools, libraries, assisted living facilities, or even you in your own living room.
After spending over a decade as the education director of a local farm and ecological center, Christa Hein had interacted with countless groups who came for visits and field trips.
“We were frequently asked if we offered mobile programs where we would come to their location,” said Hein. “But we had a small staff with only two educators, so it just wasn’t feasible.”
At that point, though, an idea had already begun to take root, and in 2012, Hein decided to pair her desire for entrepreneurship with her passion for teaching others about agriculture. Thus, Bring the Farm to You was born.
“We started small, building as we went along, listening to what people were interested in and expanding our offerings,” Hein said.
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The company is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and continues to grow.
While they are known for many programs, including bee keeping and live farm animal visits, chick hatching is one of the company’s most sought-after experiences.
“It’s a three-week program,” explained Hein. “And it starts with a one-hour presentation that teaches all about chickens and chicks, and how to take care of the chicks after birth.”
Bring the Farm to You pre-incubates the eggs for a week prior to drop off, then delivers them along with a see-through automatic incubator, allowing people to watch the chicks hatch right in front of them. The company even includes a variety of unique chicken breeds–from Rhode Island Reds to Brahmas–so participants can experience a full range of builds and color morphs.
“We also provide a handmade wooden cage, brooder, food, water—everything they need,” Hein said. “Chicks stay with them for one week after they hatch, then we come and collect everything.”
When the pandemic shut down their scheduled live events, Bring the Farm to You decided to think outside the coop and offer chick hatching as an in-home experience. Families can request a program reservation online, and, once approved, all the needed supplies and information are delivered right to their door. The program has proven so successful that the company decided to continue this it, along with another Covid-inspired offering: Bunny Buddy.
“Families are able to bring a rabbit into their home for a week to have cuddles and companionship,” said Hein. “It’s a great way to help families decide if they are ready for a pet.”
Every week the Bring the Farm to You team loads up their trailers and travels across the state to share a wide variety of programs such as apple cidering, maple sugaring, and homesteading.
“Everybody is connected to their food and clothing, and we’re trying to make those connections tangible,” shared Hein. “Our goal is to help people appreciate the animals. We’re trying to bring a consciousness and education—show people how they can do some of these things themselves.”
“It’s totally feasible to raise chickens in your backyard, or make your own butter in your kitchen. We want to expose people to new ideas.”
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