We’ve been living on this small farm for 3 years now and we’ve tried our hand at some of the pioneering dreams from childhood. We planted an orchard, a strawberry patch, and a windmill. We’ve eaten a few meals grown entirely from our own land. We’ve composted. We’ve bon-fired. Two years ago, we began raising the 14 hens who are dedicated to keeping our omelets fluffy and Ryan’s co-workers stocked with eggs.
We think it’s time to try our hand at raising meat birds. Last year, Ryan took a butchering class through PASA and concluded that although it’s great to know how to de-feather and what-not a bird, it’s much much nicer to pay someone else to do it. I was a little worried when he came home from that course with bright eyes and heroic stories, so when he told me about the traveling butcher, I think I did fifty cartwheels. “Making a headless chicken” is not on my bucket list.
So our plan is to raise these little sweeties for 10 weeks on a free-range, sun-full, soy-free diet and then hire the local traveling butcher to fix us some chicken. We’ll stock our own freezer and sell the rest. (Our list of interested clients is almost full, but if you’re interested in purchasing a few delicious broilers, let me know.)
In my next post, I’ll let you see the “nursery” and let you know where we’re finding the best sources of soy-free feed. (Ryan’s making his own feed… the guy never fails to amaze me.)
As is true of most of our projects, we’ve discovered that chickens start adorably small, all snuggled into one little box. Truth be told, Ryan and I both confessed to asking ourselves “WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!” when it suddenly dawned on us that we have no idea how BIG 75 chickens will seem in 10 weeks. One thing’s for sure: they won’t be snuggling in that little box any more.
Enjoy your home,