RicelandMeadows


Backyard Chicken … Yum!
July 4, 2013, 11:53 am
Filed under: July 2013
Chickens almost ready to go to freezer camp

Chickens almost ready to go to freezer camp

July 4, 2013

These chickens are doing great. We started out with 25 chicks and still have 22. The three we lost along the way is just part of the process sometimes. One got its head stuck in the wire somehow and died. The other two we lost were the result of our cold spring and them piling up on each other for warmth.

The 22 are almost ready to be butchered. They are approaching seven weeks old. They will dress out around 4 to 5 pounds. That is some nice meat I will tell you 😮

Butchering day will start early while it is still somewhat cool. Dressed birds will be cooled in ice water then packed in ice for 24 hours. I like them to go through rigor mortis before cuting and packaging for the freezer. I believe it makes them even more tender.

This is a pretty good way to raise over a hundred pounds of protein for your family in just seven weeks. It is fairly easy, but having the portable pens is the best way that I have found to raise them. The pen is moved each day allowing the birds access to new grass, ground and bugs. Their feeder is kept full, but the free ranging, keeps the birds content and clean. This year’s rains have made it a bit muddy at times, but that is the exception not the rule.

This pen can be pulled around a backyard and does not require a farm. The lawn, after the birds have passed over it, will not need fertilized for quite a while! It is not messy and should be considered by anyone wanting to raise part of their own food.

Move them daily, keep the water and feeders full and fresh. Watch them grow … and enjoy. Another blog will describe the butchering process so stay tuned. This pen for 25 birds is 8×8 feet and as high as a roll of chicken wire just to make it easy. I did build it a bit heavy to move…but no raccoons have broken into our pen either … They like chicken too!

 


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