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My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Gracey Larson!

Gracey Larson (Gracey, #3697) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Backyard Farmer Merit Badge!

“We just started raising our own flock of 12 chickens. We got them on Feb 12 (when this pic was taken). Since then, they have been healthy and growing like crazy. We just love them! We have 6 Tetras, 2 Brahmas, and 4 Rhode Island Reds.

My father has almost finished their coop and they will officially be outside as soon as it’s warm enough (since they’re not yet full grown) and as soon as the coop is done.

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Right now, we’re feeding them chick feed from the local farm shop, but as soon as they go outside, they’ll be feeding on insects and natural things in the yard. We are going to let them in the compost, in the garden to scratch, and eat all natural things, and we’ll be feeding them some kitchen scraps that they can have. It is going to be an almost 100% organic diet in a couple of weeks.

So far, all of the chicks are happy and healthy … we’ve learned so much about caring for them. I’ve done a lot of research and it sounds like they’ll be laying late this summer. Yay! Organic, farm-fresh eggs!”

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