Thursday, September 15, 2011

Freedom!

We moved the broilers this weekend! They are six weeks old now and no longer need any heat. We had been turning the light off during the day anyway since it was in the 80's but it had been getting a little chilly at night so we were hesitant to move them out of the brooder box. But they are old enough now and were definitely ready to move on. (It was getting a little crowded in there.) I think it's wonderful that they have access to the sun and fresh air and all the bugs they can dig up. Most chickens purchased from the grocery store are raised in little tiny living quarters with never the glimpse of the sun or the opportunity to take in fresh air. It's sad really. It's been a lot of work caring for these birds, BUT, there is satisfaction knowing that the food we are going to eat was humanely raised, kept clean, and was given freedom to be... well... chickens.






Even though in a few weeks time, we will process these guys and they will fill our freezer and feed our family for the next few months, there's no reason why they shouldn't have a happy, enjoyable life.



Micah still needs to add fence to two of them.

And how cool are these chicken tractors? Micah is so handy, dandy. We move them every other day. They scratch up the grass looking for insects until it's completely brown. And I mean completely brown. And the paint job is awesome right? (Ahem, done by yours truly). You know how I like to paint everything outside 'barn red' with white trim. It's an addiction really.


Micah, being the nice guy that he is, took 6 roosters off a co-worker's mother's hands. One of her hens hatched some chicks and they just happened to be mostly roosters. They were fighting and causing trouble on her farm, so Micah brought them here.

Because we need 6 more roosters.

And I hope you picked up on that sarcasm.

Because I'm laying it on pretty thick.



The pretty rooster we thought we'd keep.

Moving on, they are contained in a pen away from our flock because if you know anything about chickens, you know you only need one rooster for about 10 hens.  Anymore than that and they fight and it's stressful on the birds.We tried adding one of the roosters to our mix, a really pretty white one with long flowing tail feathers (we have 14 laying hens, so we thought it might work), but Sergeant would have nothing to do with that. He chased him all the way back to the pig pen, and the white rooster doesn't dare come back in the pasture until dusk when he runs to the coop.


Hangin' out in the pig pen!

We can't keep the roosters together forever, it's just not a good idea. They're mean too so feeding them and changing their water is a challenge. All this means that, unfortunately, they will be processed along with the broilers in a few weeks.

Here's to self sufficiency!

And it looks like I'm going to have lots of chicken to cook up over the next few months. :)

~ Sarah ~

1 comment:

  1. Love the chicken tractors... that what I need in the summer when I hatch out chicks. I have a small rabbit hutch turned tractor for them but need something bigger. You are gonna have lots of good fresh yummy chicken to eat :)

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