We hosted a visitor at our farm this past weekend...Flat Aggie! She's on a really long school field trip from the Midwest! I'll hush and let her give her report!
Hi! I'm Flat Aggie! You can call me Flat. Or Aggie. Or Flat Aggie. I'm on vacation in North Central Alabama at Miller Farms! As you can see, I'm standing in a chicken house with a lot of chickens! This farm raises broiler chickens for meat. There are four chicken houses on this farm. Each house is 43 'x 510' and holds around 33,000 chickens a piece. That's a lot of chickens!
I was lucky enough to visit the day they got day old baby chickens! The feed, water, ventilation, and heat in the chicken houses are all automated. These chickens will stay for 35 days and will be 4 lbs. when they leave.
Can you tell what I'm standing on? It's peanuts! The Millers also have 200 acres of peanuts.
On the left, you can see non inverted peanut vines. On the right, they have been inverted.
After the peanuts dry for a few days, they are ready to combine! A tractor pulls a peanut combine over the inverted peanuts. The peanuts are blown into the basket on top of the combine and the trash and vines are blown out the back.
Look, it snowed! No, I'm just kidding. I'm in a cotton field! Cotton is King on Miller Farms. They have 760 acres of it!
It's also harvest season for cotton! I'm standing on a cotton picker. Can you see me? These things are huge!
I even got to help the farmer drive! I should really keep my eyes on the rows though. The cotton picker grabs the cotton as it runs over the stalks. The cotton is then blown into the basket. From the basket, the cotton goes into the baler where it is rolled into a giant round bale of cotton and wrapped with plastic.
I look teeny tiny compared to these bales of cotton! One of these weigh 5,000 lbs. and has 4 bales of cotton in it. It is loaded onto a truck and taken to a cotton gin, where the seeds and trash are separated from the cotton.
I had a great time here in Alabama, and I learned some awesome facts before I left...
- The average American eats 85 lbs. of chicken in one year.
- The United States is the world's largest producer of poultry meat.
- There are enough peanuts in one acre to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches!
- It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12 oz jar of peanut butter.
- The average American eats over 6 lbs. of peanuts/peanut butter products in a year.
- One bale of cotton, which weighs 480 lbs., can produce 215 pairs of jeans, 690 bath towels, 3,085 diapers, or even 313,600 $100 bills.
- The seeds from the cotton plant can be used as animal feed, and the oil from the seeds can be used for cooking.