Chick Chick Chick

This year, we planned to fence off more of our land in order to have meat chickens.  With the news of our poultry being shipped to China for processing and then sent back to the U.S., we thought it prudent to try to raise the majority of our poultry ourselves.  We currently have 23 hens laying eggs, but they are about a year from being to old, and…….

 (caution: do not keep reading if you have a sensitivity to farm life!!!!!)

Well, our old hens are about ready for the freezer, and I have ordered 22 new hens.  We’ve been raising laying hens for four years now, and thankfully we’ve been quite successful.  This will be the first time raising Cornish Rock birds, apparently they mature in about 12 weeks, and are really good for meat. 

This is going to be awful hard though, these little chicks are absolutely adorable! 

After this order I feel very confident to review the hatchery we have ordered from three times.  I am not receiving anything from them, they probably do not even know I’m reviewing them, but our chicks have all been shipped well and have been in impeccable health.

Chicks in the mail?

I know!  It’s a funny thought to imagine getting chickens in the mail.

We order our chicks from Murray McMurray Hatchery.  I’m sure there are local people to buy from, but when we moved here, we didn’t know all of these wonderful local people.  Now, it’s just my thing to go bird shopping online =)

We ended up with forty birds, they threw in two for free!  Last time we got a free bird, it was quite hilarious looking, it had a wild Mohawk.  Sadly, it was one of only four chickens we’ve ever lost, it choked to death on a corn cob.  Those fluffy, cute yellow ones are our easter eggers, they are supposed to lay a beautiful array of colored eggs.  We shall see how they do, I also have a handful of Rhode Island Reds in there as well.  Our RIR’s have always been the best at laying, weathering the temps, and overall health. 

This is the first year that Zeke has been part of the baby chick arrivals.  He is a fan, he calls them dogs though.  Grace has spent a majority of her time telling them not to grow up and lay eggs, stay small and be cute. 

I hate to break it to her, but they turn into ugly teenager birds in just a few weeks….and then some of them will be dinner.  We have been trying to build a more self reliant existence for over four years, the eating of our animals is the hardest, but I will tell you that our kids truly value life.  In a world where people are shooting up malls, and it is nothing to bully people into suicide, our kids have learned the precious fragility and beauty of life and purpose in living.  We respect all living things, care for our animals well, and although they serve the purpose to nourish our family, we teach that you waste nothing………..ugh, even if it’s making broth from big ugly chicken feet…..

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