Ever wondered about raising some of your own meat? We find the chickens we raise taste so much better than the watery chicken we have bought at the grocery store. Once we started raising a few birds every year, we got hooked on them. Filling the freezer is pretty easy and it only takes 8 weeks from start to finish. Now, almost every year we raise a few meat birds to enjoy all year around. We keep the largest two and have them at Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Since we try to raise about 85% of our own food here on our property, chickens are a no brainer. We already have hens for eggs; the hens earn their keep by cleaning up our compost and manure piles and eating bugs.
Most years, we order in about 25 chicks from an Alberta hatchery. We buy straight run, which means we order them unsexed. It doesn’t matter to us if they will be roosters on hens. We like having the choice of smaller and larger birds. For eight weeks they live here, first in our shop (toasty and warm) and then in their own room at the barn (spacious and clean).
During the day they are enjoying sunshine, bugs and lots of fresh air while they hang out in their fenced outdoor run. Evenings we lock them back into their attached room, safe from predators. Meat birds are easy to raise and provide us with a lot of manure enriched bedding from both their room and the run. We add this to the compost and manure piles. Once it decomposes, it becomes a fantastic fertilizer for our food gardens.
Want to learn about raising your own meat? The eBook includes everything from choosing which breed of chicks to order to setting up a homemade brooder to growing them out – everything you need to know is here. They can really grow out to 8 pounds in 8 weeks! Order your ebook at the link!