Another day @ the USDA

This week has been somewhat slow at work. It's literally the calm before the storm. June is one of our busiest months out of the year and with being 2 stats short, I'll be crazy busy for the entire month. When its slow, we like to get out of the office. Today we made a quick trip to Concord, NC and back (sorry Kels- didn't have time to stop)to visit Pilgrim Pride's chicken hatchery.

Whats a chicken hatchery? I'm glad you asked. Here's a little insight into the chicken world. A hatchery is a commercial facility where eggs are brought to hatch. So eggs come from NC farms and they are brought here.

From Office Field Trips

This facility can handle about 975,000 eggs at a time. These eggs are marked with the farm number and also which chicken house they came from so they know exactly where they came from.
From Office Field Trips

Eggs are then brought into a "setter". The eggs hang out in the setter for 19 days at about 96 degrees so the bird can develop. This is what the setter looks like. I like the name of the setter- "Chick Master".
From Office Field Trips

On day 19, they move into a "hatcher". They hang out in the hatcher for 2 days until they hatch out of their egg shells and then you get these.....

Aren't they cute?
From Office Field Trips

Once they are hatched, they then go through a conveyor belt and anything that isn't alive or hurt is taken out.
From Office Field Trips

Don't get attached. They are then brought to another farm where they are grown out to about 8 pounds in 8 weeks. And then they land on your plate.

Aren't you glad you got an agriculture lesson today???

I'm the official broiler stat in our office so it helps me to know how chickens are produced before I count them. North Carolina's #1 cash receipt is broilers. So this is big stuff.

So while I drove my co-workers 2.5 hours to Concord and then I drove 2.5 hours back to Raleigh, guess what they were doing.

From Office Field Trips

Yep, sleeping!
From Office Field Trips

Government workers!

Hope everyone has a good Memorial Day!

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