Where to start
So, you have a few acres. You want to raise something animal like to feed your young family. Where do you start, you may be asking?
Chickens. Chickens are the gateway animal to all sorts of good eating, good stories, and interesting childhood experiences. Jim (7) and Frank(4) take care of the egg laying hens. These hens will stay around for 2-3 years and require food, water, and shelter but aren’t high maintenance. All our children have started with the hens. A bonus for the boys is that they find all the odd eggs first. The double yolkers are theirs! The egg the hen forgot to put a shell on (it happens). Theirs! Jim has even learned how to fry eggs so when he gets hungry, or just excited about a find, he can take care of business.
Rachel is our “mother hen” in the brooder. She takes care of all the incoming birds for the first month of their lives. Primarily she cares for the broiler, or meat, chicks, but later in the summer we add in turkeys and the replacement layers. Feeding and watering chicks is a job young kids can do with a bit of supervision. The perk of raising the meat chickens is that they are only around for 7-9 weeks. They lack the personality of the laying hens but are in and out fairly quickly. You can bring them to us to butcher, or do it yourself. Part of the Pastured Poultry class coming up in May is how to process your birds yourself. Anyone can do it!
Pastured Poultry classes give you all you need to embark on chicken raising, from cute chick to in the freezer. Classes run May 21-22, June 25-26, and July 23 (processing only). Contact us via e-mail or phone if you are interested in attending!