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  1. Malcolm, my hubby and I by choice live in a farming area of western New York because we wanted our children to be closer to nature. They joined the local 4-H clubs. When they were young we ordered baby chicks in the mail and kept them warm in side our home in a mesh playpen until they were old enough to transfer to a chicken coop. We purchased fertilized duck eggs from Amish farmers and followed directions to put them in a foam cooler, which had a little heater and cup of water inside to moisturize them. The kids had to check them daily and roll them. One day we opened our foam chest to find that one duck had pecked through its shell. We were very excited. I was not long before we had four baby ducks to put in the little creek on our land. Our son wanted to raise pigs in the worst of ways. He earned money by helping the farmer next door and he bought a young sow and male piglet and raised them. At the point they had babies, there were 13! I read your story with such interest. The farmers in our area are very careful to treat animals well. We have a couple next door who have a modern milking parlor and they milk 100 cows. They put in long days. They rise about 4:00 in the morning to get started and I often hear him on his tractor about 9:00 or 10:00 in the evening. They say it is very hard for them to hire help because the regulations for small business make that prohibitive. So I see that as one of the reasons we have lost so many small family farms.

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