Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Free Range Chickens!

All year I planned to grow out a batch of broiler chickens. The days, weeks and months flew by. Finally, I ordered them to arrive in late August, hoping to get them processed by Thanksgiving. They finally arrived the second week of September. The weather's been mild enough that they've done well. They went from the garage brooder to the chicken tractor (after the turkeys vacated), then to the "tent".

The "tent" got way too wet in our deluge earlier in the month, so they again got moved. At the same time, the pigs took over more and more of the barn, and I needed to put together the sheep breeding groups. (Everything is connected.) The Hilton was left for breeding groups, yet I had to keep them separated by something more than a wimpy hog panel fence. Chickens!!!

Yes, the chickens are now the buffer between Jack's and Kibble's breeding groups.
Here are a goodly portion of the 40 some "Red Broilers" and the legs of members of Kibbles group. I'm taking the photo from Jack's group's pen. There's a good 10 feet separating them. With crossed fingers and prayers, I hope that's enough.
We believe that chickens are healthier and taste better if they've had access to green grass, bugs, and those invisible elements that chickens always seem to find in the dirt. On the right edge of the photo, the chicken's yard is visible. Quite a few of the chickens are enjoying the sunshine and fresh vegetation.

Here's another view of their yard. It's enclosed by an electric net poultry fence - yet another double barrier between Jack and Kibbles.

The chickens are most of the way grown now, as shown by this young Roo. Just a few more weeks and they'll grace our table and freezer! So much better than grocery store chickens!

- Franna


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I guess we both love chicken(s), just in different ways!

Kathy said...

What useful creatures, eh? We grass-range our birds too, but I stopped growing them for our freezer when the place to have them processed closed - especially after doing 24 birds myself. that did it for me...I'm getting too old for all that plucking. LOL!

I hope that both you and dave have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Franna!

Tina said...

Free range home grown chicken. Wonderful eating. I'm glad you managed to fit them in this year.

Franna said...

Ah, Michelle, we have our layer/free range hen flock, too. Their main job is to eat bugs. The eggs are a bonus. They're Americauna, Speckled Sussex and Buff Orpingtons.

We have 3 processors within a couple hours drive. Hopefully they'll stay. Processing chickens is not my idea of a fun time. Now, raising them is fun, especially when they're cute little things. Ours are now to the point of attacking my pantlegs - time to GO!

- Franna