I just pushed the button on our first order of meat chickens. We have eaten the odd rooster here and there but have not made the plunge and ordered a lot of meat chickens yet but this is the year. We are going with Red Ranger chickens which grow a little slower than regular meat chickens; they free range better and their legs don’t suffer under their own weight as is common in some other meat bird breeds. Once they are about 5 weeks old they are going to move from the barn into a meat tractor we will move once to twice a day within the pasture areas. I am interested to calculate the true costs of raising organic meat chickens in this part of the country. Furthermore, we aren’t buying the feed by the ton in an agricultural co-op but by the 50lb bag at feed stores like most small farms do so feed costs are even a bit higher. We plan to do two lots of 15 meat chickens this year. The first chicks should be arriving the week of April 20 so we’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, I am happy to report Rooster #2 is back in the coop and although he is still hiding I see he is managing to get a bite to eat (and I presume a drink as well). More single digit temperatures are predicted overnight almost every night for the next ten days. So the heat lamp will be on in the chicken coop, Jake’s heated mat should arrive tomorrow, and I will be here inside planning for the season ahead.