Sophie : We are about a month into our new business venture – well if you can call raising meat chickens that. I am not sure that we will make enough money on them to even call it a business! Nonetheless, we are raising another round of 38 chicks. Some are already sold and some are for our own freezer.
We have never grown them out at then end of the season like this. Normally we buy them in the spring. It will be interesting to see if they grow out faster since they don’t have the heat to deal with. I am hoping that is the case. It seems that they literally grow overnight. We are hoping to butcher these at about 10 weeks. That puts us in the middle of November. We are hoping that the weather will still be mild enough that we won’t have to deal with cold hands or snow! Sunny 40 degree days without any wind would be ideal. We’ll see if we get that.
I am anxious to get some chickens in our freezer! Especially since our garden didn’t give us enough to can or freeze this year. I am feeling a bit nervous about our stocks of food. I suppose we can live on chicken and rice all winter if we have to.
Back in September we got in a batch of meat chicks. This is the first time that we have raised and butchered meat birds in the fall. We have learned some things along the way. I think that we can actually get them earlier. We were worried about the heat of summer in August. That is really a silly thing because chicks need it to be warm those first few weeks. Getting them earlier would also result in butchering earlier. Butchering at the end of November could be a bit chilly most years. I also think that it takes a bit more feed to get them to the weight we want them. I haven’t put the pencil to it yet but it’s my gut feeling. I just don’t feel like they gained as quickly. I know that we will try raising fall birds again as long as people want to buy them. We will just think about doing things a little differently.