Broiler update and our first harvest for a seasonal pie

What a lovely weekend that was!  Forget the ticks and black flies… and mosquitoes… it was a wonderful weekend for some work and play.  

rhode island red free range running on pasture

We “broke ground” on our new chicken coop by digging out and leveling earth for the blocks that will support the structure.  We are still fine tuning the plans, but it looks like our hens will have a lot of fun stumps and rocks to work with in a new expanded run, which we will use mainly during the early spring when predators are most daring.

Whenever we do work outdoors, our hens hang out with us.  When we dig or rake anything, new earth and bugs and plants are exposed, so it’s no wonder they “flock” our way.  While moving a pile of old lumber, we discovered a salamander, and let me tell you, chickens don’t just like eating worms…

The broilers are doing very well.  We’ve expanded their brooder space and have been slowly cooling it off by backing off the heat lamps every couple of days.  We’ve also hit the two week mark, and have begun restricting their feed to a “twelve on, twelve off” routine, which means we allow them access to food for twelve hours, and then take the food away for the next twelve.  This has been proven to have no effect on their quality of meat and actually helps prevent common health issues. In just a couple more weeks we will introduce them to pasture and will shift to two thirty minute feedings a day, which will really get them into the foraging spirit!  Very excited!

a broiler chicken around 3 weeks old
a broiler from last year being introduced to pasture

And perhaps the most exciting event from the past week: we harvested rhubarb and made a pie!!!!  It’s a big deal, people.  The first pie of the year.  And it was good.

freshly harvested rhubarb

assembling a rhubarb pie

rhubarb pie with no strawberries

Need other ideas for how to use rhubarb? Skip the Strawberries and Try These 7 Wonderful Rhubarb TreatS (Including the recipe for this pie)!

I am going to do my best to not eat the rest of this pie for breakfast.  So difficult.

Have a great week!