Chicks are like seed packets–a sign, in the dark drear of winter, that spring isn’t too far away!
These aren’t my new chicks, of course. That’s a remembrance from past chicks. (That is, in fact, my first little layer flock from back in 2008.) I’ve got a couple dozen layer hens right now, so no new girls this year. They set a record yesterday, by the way. Thirteen eggs. A baker’s dozen! They’re laying better every day. My new girls are mostly Golden-Laced Wyandottes, about a dozen of them, plus a handful of game hens. My older girls haven’t been laying this winter. They’re mostly Araucanas. I got a blue egg yesterday, which was the first sign of (laying) life from the old girls! They’re starting to lay again!
But back to the new chicks. I’ve got my first chicken processing workshop of the year coming up on Saturday, April 30. Today I ordered the chicks for the workshop day. I ordered 35 jumbo Cornish roos, for March shipping. I’m very excited about this hands-on workshop where I can share with people how to raise and process your own fresh pasture-raised meat. Raising chickens for eggs and meat is one of the simplest, least-expensive, and least-intensive ways to grow your own food, natural and healthy. I’ve been raising chickens now for eight years. (Hard to believe!) As much as I love my cows and goats and other animals, if I was forced to choose one barn yard animal and had to give up all the rest, I would choose chickens. They do more, give more, make more than any other animal on the farm in the least amount of space, time, and money. I never thought I would be able to butcher chickens, but several years ago–picking up yet another package of plastic-wrapped factory-farmed chicken at the store–I knew something wasn’t right about that. I could raise chickens for the table myself, healthier and with better lives than those factory-farmed chickens. Even in a backyard, you can raise chickens! I want pasture-raised chickens on my table, not factory-farmed chickens. If you want to try it, too, come join us at the workshop, learn how, hands-on, and take home your own fresh chicken!
Get all the details about the Chicken Processing Workshop day here.
This is one of the things I was going to start this year, but my life kind of took a hiccup and I haven’t gotten around to getting a freezer, and there is no use for me to start meat chickens without a freezer to put the finished project in. If I stay, I will continue to look for that freezer, if I don’t stay then it will be grocery store chicken for me…UGH!
On February 4, 2016 at 6:46 pm
Jersey Lady says:
Yay on the meat chickens project. We do 25 Cornish crosses each year. We get them early so they are done by the time the weather gets hot. They go from chick to dressing out over 6 pounds in 8 weeks. Beautiful white meat. We have Amish close enough to do the processing in their small commercial processing place. These chickens are pretty dumb. They mostly just eat and poop. We make them go outside on the grass and in the sunshine but they really don’t forage much at all. So, not as fun as our layers, but they sure do provide great return on not a lot of work and not very long in time. Best of luck with your latest venture.
On February 5, 2016 at 1:09 pm
I’m not sure I could kill a chicken but I approve of the idea. My Granny used to talk about killing them and plucking them when I was little. My grandparents had a chicken yard in the back back of their house in San Antonio. I live in the ‘burbs of Dallas. We’re not zoned for chickens. Some people are trying to change that. If the ordinance gets changed i would like a few chickens for eggs.
On February 5, 2016 at 1:17 pm
When I was very young I had to help my step-father process some chickens, it was very difficult for me and I don’t think I could do it again. I am very fussy about the chicken I purchase, I stay with brands that I know,we have an Amish brand at our super market that I usually stay with.
On February 8, 2016 at 9:23 am
Baby chicks were the best time of the year. They were so cute and cuddly. I loved it when my mom ordered chickens.
Of course, I wasn’t invited to her dressing party!! Thank goodness!!!
That’s why I want to come to your workshop. But I’m not sure I could eat my chicken after I get it home!!! It would be like eating your pet pig. I’m funny like that.
On February 8, 2016 at 9:02 pm
I would love to learn that skill. I live too far away to come, but I’ve got a rooster I will gladly donate to your workshop! I think I’m gonna have to shoot him, because he attacks me most every day.
On February 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm
Ooooo, I SO wish I could afford to hop on over to that workshop! I just can’t do the deed on my own; someone who knows what they are doing has to be by my elbow. If my children were starving then I’d be motivated to just wing it, but butchering ain’t happening otherwise. :chicken:
On February 15, 2016 at 12:06 pm