NPIP - National Poultry Improvement Program.
Getting NPIP certified has been on our 'To Do List' since we made poultry a major part of the farm's operation. It verifies that none of our birds have any of the common infectious diseases and allows us to sell live birds and ship hatching eggs anywhere in the country.
Every bird on the farm was tested today, from the oldest hen to the youngest quail chick and all got a clean bill of health!
Testing involves taking a sample of blood from each bird's wing vein. Which means catching each bird, flipping them on their back and keeping them still enough for the tester to get a blood sample. We (I, Rachel and the tester) did this over a hundred times today from full grown geese to week old quail. Oh, and in Michigan, you have to do this every year.
Just to give you the farmers perspective of why eggs or chickens cost so much. Today the testing materials cost $185. Another $50 for the Tester. $55 for Rachel. And $300 for just this year to get certified.
I'm dirty, got some chicken poop on my clothes and I made 'Blood Sisters' with a few hens today. But, I got to hold every single one of them today. feel their heart beat. Hear them breath. Some cuddled me back. Today was a good day.