Time to get ready for chickens.
Or, more appropriately, broilers.
What started out as a simple, "Oh let's scale back and just raise 50 birds this year." Turned into, "We're thinking 100-200 chickens and some turkeys!"
Oh good gracious, we're nuts.
But we're doing it! Come to think of it, I'm not sure where this "we" is coming from... Seeing as I'm the one who takes care of the birds, keeps contact with customers (er, patrons), gets the details of butchering figured out, and makes sure that the whole thing doesn't suddenly collapse mid-way through the adventure.
But to keep in the spirit of "we", I shall now claim that I'm referring to "Me, Myself, and I". We make a pretty good trio. ;)
I'm looking forward to getting the little fluff balls, and seeing how many new customers we will get! I always love meeting new people who are of like mind! And as mentioned, yes, we are shooting for 100-200 chickens, and some turkeys. I don't know how many turkeys yet, but so far we have 5 reservations put down. I'll be implementing a lot of Joel Salatin's methods this year, but will also be implementing some of my own...
Buying feed is usually the biggest headache, but I am so grateful that we seem to have settled nicely with a feed mill that's a couple hours south from us. Their prices are a lifesaver, and are allowing us to competitively price our organic chickens at $2.80 per lb. And the feed itself is organic, locally grown, no soy, no corn, and no GMO's. Our birds grew great on this feed last year, so we will use it again this year!
And frankly, I'm excited to try the turkeys out. A lot of folks tell me just how horrible their turkeys were, but then other folks say how they just loved their turkey's sweet temperaments. So I guess we'll find out which side of the fence I'm on. Hehe. I've never raised turkeys before, but have always wanted to, so I made an executive decision that we (see, there's that "we" again) are going to offer Thanksgiving birds this year! I briefly thought about raising a heritage breed, but to be honest, I'm very wary of them. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for conserving rare breeds! But you have to remember that I used to work at a slaughter house, and we had SO many dark feathered, and heritage turkeys come through that I soon disdained the very sight of them. Those birds are so hard to pluck that it's not even funny. I spent hours with a small, metal picker, trying to get every last little black feather off of those birds, and then for all that trouble, the heritage breeds only weighed out to 6-10 lbs. If I have to work that hard, can it please be something like a 40 pounder? Sheesh. So I'm being naughty, and raising the Broad Breasted Whites. Big, white, gorgeously easy to dress, tasty birds. Maybe someday I'll raise some heritage breeds, but not this year... Not this year.
Is anyone else raising chickens and/or turkeys for meat this year?
Oh, and if you're in our neck of the woods (Willamette Valley, OR) and you're interested in some down-right good food, you can see our Craigslist ad for our chickens and turkeys by clicking HERE.