Well, it appears I may have jumped the gun a little again. Hee. Hee. Chez Misty and I decided this spring that we would raise some meat chickens this summer. She, tired of paying exorbitant prices for grass-fed chicken, and I wanting to be more self-sufficient began our journey last Friday. Both of us like the idea of knowing exactly what our meat eats. Smile. Who is this woman Kathleen? I don’t know her. She’s going to kill her own meat? I know. I’ve gone and finally lost it. I’m assured by my meat-raising friends that we can do it and we’ll be fabulously pleased by the taste.
So, here we go. I ordered some Americauna baby chicks (hens that will lay green eggs) and decided it would be foolish to not start raising the meat birds at the same time. So, not fully understanding the plan, Chez Misty and I decided we better act. If you know either of us, this is uncharacteristic. She and I are planners. Researchers. We must know everything perfectly before we start anything. Now we must scramble. Or at least bring our families together for dinner to organize ourselves.
So, here’s the plan:
Raise 25 Cornish Cross chickens (pray that very few die before slaughter date…Cornish Cross have a pretty high mortality rate)
Feed them organic grains (we’re buying our feed from Azure Standard)
Raise them inside for a few weeks, then move them outside to a traveling chicken coop that Misty’s husband is going to build.
The traveling coop will be moved daily to a fresh patch of pasture. Yes, we’ll be fertilizing our pasture. Yeah.
Visit a friend’s farm to view their slaughtering set up.
Invite some other veteran meat chicken raisers over to help with ‘the deed’. They’ve got a plucker they said we could borrow. Awesome!
Buy Joel Salatin’s “Pastured Poultry Profits”. Read it. Decide what else we should do.
And there you have it. I’m sure we still have big gaps in our plan. We’ll make mistakes, but we’ll learn a ton. Did I mention I love to learn new things? I’m currently devouring “You Can Farm”and “Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal” by Joe Salatin. I wish I had found him sooner in our farming adventure. I like his thinking. But that’s for another post.