Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Chicken Littles




With all that we've had going on of late, we were tardy in getting our fall broiler chicks ordered. I was sure I had completed this task in June but when the chicks never arrived it became clear I had only THOUGHT about ordering them; follow-through had been lacking. But finally, reordered, they arrived.





We like the Freedom Ranger breed. They grow well but not to the crazy Frankenbird size of the white Cornish or Plymouth Rock variety, which are ready for slaughter at 6 weeks. (But if you wait too long these poor creatures suffer bone deformities and heart failure from the rapid weight gain.) Instead, the Freedom Rangers take 9-12 weeks, but they do not suffer genetic abnormalities and their meat is very tasty. We will likely butcher them mid-October when the weather is cool outside and the bugs have died off.



This is a good thing as butchering chickens in the heat of summer is one sticky, smelly, sweaty event no one wants to attend.



In addition to organic broiler feed these bambinos will also be pulled about the yard in their protective hutch on wheels, allowing them to have fresh grass, bugs and worms. Not only are they efficient growers and great tasting, these little dead birds walking, are super freakin' cute.





21 comments:

  1. A really good organic, free range, roasted chicken, is a delight. I never buy anything else.

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    1. Ditto! We have a neighbor that raises for everyone around here. Lovely birds and we know exactly what they've eaten and how they've been cared for. Some day I hope to have the time to do my own.........

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    2. It's gotten to the point that we don't even order chicken anymore in a restaurant, the quality is so inferior. We have become real farm food snobs.

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  2. Only you could call them "dead birds walking" and get away with it. Super cute and lovely to waste time watching. I'd be a chook in your yard, lots of lovely bugs and weeds to eat.

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    1. Yes, I know Linda, my humor is always on the edge, but then again so is the entire human population. Cheep cheep.

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    2. Yes, I know Linda, my humor is always on the edge, but then again so is the entire human population. Cheep cheep.

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  3. This is something I'd like to do more in the future. Eating the Cockerell from my hatch of egg layers isn't as good as they grow too slowly and the LG meat can be really tough.

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    1. We understand Kev,we are always struggling with all the things we want to do, but never having enough time to do them. We would also like to raise rabbits for meat but the idea of killing them seems just a little bit tougher than butchering chickens. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I never had an Easter chicken bring me chocolate in the spring.

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    2. Rabbits are no problem for me to kill but we have a a lot of myxomatosis around at the moment so I'm sure they'd end up catching it and all the hard work would be for nothing. It's a shame as my butcher has already told me he'd buy them off me if I did it.

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  4. The best chicken we ever had was the one time we raised meat birds. However, it is harder and harder to find someone to process them. (We don't do it ourselves). I've not heard of the kind that you ordered. -Jenn

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    1. We do have a chicken processor near us but we always feel guilty about spending the money on that. Then when we are about halfway through butchering our own we start thinking about that option all over again. The resulting meat is lovely the cleanup however, not so much.

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  5. At this point you're probably glad that your MindMeld order function was on the fritz in June else raising chicks would have only added to your unexpected work load this summer. Now the timing seems most beneficial and you can enjoy those little dumpling sidekicks. I still have 'raise some chickens' on my bucket list (which is about as feasible as another one: 'having to choose between 2 well-qualified presidential candidates'). Oh well, a gal can dream. Looking forward to more cluck'n'stuff posts.

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    1. "Dumpling Sidekicks" Love that !! And frankly I'm sure you'll be able to raise chickens long before we'll ever have two quali fied presidential candidates.

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  6. Our last broilers for this year are now two and a half weeks old, heat has been reduced and next week they will be in their outside pen. We use a slow growing strain called Hubbards, slaughter is from 84 days onward. Like yourselves feed only on organic chick/ growers with plenty of grass and grubs, but we do have them processed for us, Simons hands are suffering from arthritis so it's better all round to get someone else to do them.,

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    1. I'm not familiar with that Hubbard breed I'll have to look it up, or rather, the next time I come to Ireland I'll just stuff a few of them in my suitcase. It won't be the first time I've brought back odd items.

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  7. Very cute, and they do grow quickly! I like having babies around, even though we've stopped having babies ourselves. ;)

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    1. One of the farm babies I miss most are the goats. They were absolutely adorable with their Boundless Energy. But after our own kids grew up we finally stopped raising the other kids. We couldn't keep any of them, human or animal,inside a fence.

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  8. Baby Anything is fun to have around! My mother tried to raise everything & anything on our small farm. We had Pheasant eggs & duck eggs under the old biddy hen. Mom kept her because she would sit on anyone's eggs & raise the babies. We had pigeons in the barn. We had goats, pigs & even an old sheep named George. And my mother decided one day to raise rabbits. Rabbit is very tasty but you don't get much meat from them - only breast & thighs. This makes them quite pricey to buy but fairly cheap to raise since they can have litters up to 20 bunnies several times a year. But, they're persnickety.
    they constantly eat - hay mostly but we picked a lot of greens & fresh clover. They fight. They will eat their young if stressed or disturbed. You have to be very aware of coccidiosis - especially bad in rabbits. And they cry like babies when injured or scared. Mom used to take us & leave home at butchering time. We thought that was peculiar at the time since we stayed home & helped when anything else was butchered.

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    1. I know! I butchered rabbits years ago and they scream when they see you walking into the house to get the knife. This year I think we'll a little wine in their water dish first.

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