Springing into Meat Chickens

Spring is here early. Time to take advantage of the great rain and moderate temperatures. After reviewing our 2023 results, I realized the food and dollars return for my labor in meat production is way higher then for gardening. As much as I have enjoyed gardening, it was becoming a bandwidth constraint and we’ll put it aside for this year.

Cornish Cross Chicks

That makes more sense in the context of expanding our meat production this year. Meat chickens are fast growing and space efficient. We bought 45 chicks and moved them into the brooder to stay warm.

Much cheeping

A bed of mulch, a heating tray, and food and water. So much food and water. Day 1 they were running through what our 3 week old birds did last spring. This Cornish cross variety grows as quickly as advertised.

Heat lamp for warmth

Joel Salatin describes this breed as race car chickens. They are probably the most populous bird in the world, with hundreds of millions hatched, grown and processed annually. Any chicken you buy at the store is this breed. They can’t reproduce because they grow so big so fast they will over weight and die before sexual maturity. I’m planning 8 weeks total to be make a 5.5lb bird.

Day 4, already moved to bigger brooder

Well Robert, why don’t you just buy Tyson birds from the store and save yourself all this hassle?

Good hands at work

Well, because we’re going to run them on grass. New patch of grass every day with unlimited food and water makes healthy and wholesome birds. We’ll be able to run a non-GMO feed and supplement their minerals along the way to further improve their health. Healthy birds make healthy meat, and the quality of the muscles, fats and collagen is much higher.

The only time the goats didn’t jump on top was this picture

One week in, seven to go. We’ll run some updates as we go and for the processing day in early May.