Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Farm Show Notes: Chicks, ready for their close up

Hatchlings scamper around the chick display at the PA Farm Show.

If you’re mourning the loss of a PA Farm Show favorite—the duckling slide exhibit—don’t worry. There are some new yellow, feathery babies to ‘ooh’ and ‘aww’ at.

At the new Bell & Evans display, you can learn about the company and its products, while also seeing for yourself their chick hatching process.

“The chicks are really the star here,” Executive Vice President Margo Sechler said. “But it’s good to see consumers get excited about quality products.”

Bell and Evans is a local, family-owned company based in Fredericksburg (Lebanon County) that focuses on creating organic and antibiotic free products by using humane treatment towards their chickens throughout the entire process. This includes their work in the hatchery, at the near 150 family-owned Bell & Evans farms and all the way to the consumer’s table.

“We’ve always tried to be the pioneer and the leader in the industry,” Sechler said.

She explained that, as far as they know, they are the first company in the world with an organic hatchery. This means the eggs are not injected with antibiotics and the chicks have access to feed and water as soon as they are born rather than waiting a few days, as is common practice among other companies.

“You need to have a healthy environment that’s stress free,” Sechler said.

In the Bell & Evans Farm Show display, visitors can see the three-step process of the eggs resting in the incubator, the chicks hatching and the newborns toddling around and feeding. While visitors get a glimpse into the process, they are seeing only a fraction of it. Bell & Evans hatches over 1 million chicks each week.

“It’s adorable, I love it,” said Emily Myers of Reading. “We [Myers and her husband] want to have a farm someday, and it’s important to see the whole process.”

Not only does Bell & Evans let you see the beginning steps of the farming process, but they have plenty of the end result to taste at the Farm Show, as well. In the food court, they are serving their classic chicken tenders along with a new item, Parmesan-breaded chicken meatballs. All of their food items are organic.

“There is a big demand for organic,” Sechler said. “People are asking such great questions. They want to know where their food comes from.”

Their chicken products can be found all across the country in Whole Foods, Wegmans and Giant Food Stores.

The Bell & Evans PA Farm Show display is located behind the food court in the Expo Hall. For more information or to take the Bell & Evans virtual tour, visit

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