- Beth Tharp
Chasing Chickens 🐓
Updated: Sep 12, 2021
Greetings from the farm!
We have been fielding a lot of requests for chicken lately. I am glad to report that we will have chicken available early October. For the last several weeks I have been working with our kids to raise a batch of 150 meat chickens, and they are scheduled to be processed October 1. Contact Us if you would like to reserve yours as we already have a list started!
I have been involved in raising livestock all of my life, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I raised my first batch of meat chickens. It has been a fun adventure to experiment with over the past several years. I have learned a lot!
Raising chickens on pasture has a couple of benefits. First, chickens have access to fresh bugs and plant vegetation when moved daily. Second, their manure, which is very high in nitrogen, serves as a natural fertilizer source for our pasture grasses when moved daily. Check out the video below to see how we raise chickens on pasture.
But let me be honest too…
-Chicken growth seems to be very weather dependent. When I started these chickens on pasture at a couple weeks of age it rained, and rained, and rained. Although I ensured they had a dry place to be in their chicken tractors, this constant rain seemed to set their growth back significantly compared to some other groups I’ve raised.
-We then experienced a very hot summer season. Although they had constant shade, they were hot! And resultingly did not eat well until I moved them in our cool block barn under the fans.
-Raising chickens on pasture is a very labor intensive. As you can see in the video, it takes a bit to move the chicken tractors daily and haul fresh feed and water to them twice a day. -I have spent more time than I like to admit chasing chickens when I don’t have an extra set of hands. It really gets almost comical as this video shows. Thankfully I typically have good helpers that use a broom to ‘shoo’ the chickens to the front of the tractor while moving, but unfortunately did not this day.
Due to the early wet conditions and extreme heat we have experienced, these chickens will have spent approximately half of their time in chicken tractors and the other half in our cool, dry barn with deep natural bedding under fans. As always they have consumed a high quality feed we make on the farm with our corn, soybean meal, oyster shells, and other nutrients to meet their specific dietary needs. As always, no antibiotics or growth promotents were added.
We are compiling a list of those who have interest in our chicken to be available early October. Let us know if you want us to reserve yours today!