Cornish rock cornish cross broiler on grassy lush pasture

Slowing down fast growing chicken to improve bird health and get better flavor

We raised two very different flocks of chicken this year. Both were raised on pasture in our chicken tractors, both were given organic feed to supplement that lush pasture, and both were the same breed from the same hatchery, the famously fast-growing Jumbo Cornish rock breed that makes the news a lot these days.  Everything we did was the same for each flock except for one thing: how much time they had access to food every day.   Continue reading “Slowing down fast growing chicken to improve bird health and get better flavor”

Farm letter: Welcome baby chicks

After much thought, calculation, and preparation, the broiler chicks have arrived. They are a feisty bunch,  with some being so bold that they charge and peck at our fingers.  This is what we want, though. Active birds.  Broilers have a reputation of being lazy and prone to health issues, so we do a lot to encourage activity in our birds.

Continue reading “Farm letter: Welcome baby chicks”

cornish cross breed chicken wings grilling

How many chickens will be eaten during the Super Bowl?

More chicken wings will be consumed during this year’s Super Bowl than ever before. And do you know who we have to thank for this? Chicken marketers? Clever food scientists developing addictive dipping sauces? Deep frying? No, sports fans, at the very core we have the Cornish Cross breed of chicken to thank.  Continue reading “How many chickens will be eaten during the Super Bowl?”

Differences Between Raising Heritage Chickens and Cornish Cross for Meat (Part 2 – Processing)

I don’t usually spend much time sharing the experience of processing chickens because usually people don’t think they want to hear it. But in the interest of sharing our observations, here goes!  This post will not contain any photos of actual processing.   Continue reading “Differences Between Raising Heritage Chickens and Cornish Cross for Meat (Part 2 – Processing)”

Rhode Island Red Broiler Chicken behind fence

Essential tips to improve broiler chicken survival rates

If you’ve ever ordered chicks, you might have noticed a statistic for the “survival rate” or “mortality rate” or something like that included with the description of the breed.  This rate is to give us an idea of how many chicks will actually survive long enough to process.  Typically people assume a 20% loss in the chickens they raise for meat, and thus make sure to order more chicks to overcome the inevitable deaths of birds that don’t reach market weight.  I saw one hatchery proudly stating their chicks had a 70% survival rate.  That’s 3 out of every 10 chickens dying!  We need to do as much as we can to improve these odds.  Continue reading “Essential tips to improve broiler chicken survival rates”

What is a Chicken Tractor? (with free chicken tractor plans)

So you’ve overcome the myths and misconceptions about raising chickens for meat and have decided you want to raise your own chickens for meat this summer.  Awesome! We’re totally with you!   You’ve browsed the catalogs, researched the breeds, and are ready to place an order.  But wait, where will you keep them as they grow?  A coop with a run will be a lot of work to clean, especially if you have a lot of chickens!  It’s time to think outside the box… or maybe inside one?   Continue reading “What is a Chicken Tractor? (with free chicken tractor plans)”

5 Common Misconceptions About Raising Chickens for Meat

It is nearly time for us to order the chicks for fryers and broilers, and I couldn’t be more excited.  The meat supply in the chest freezer is dwindling and I will rest easy knowing it is on its way to being replenished.  That’s right, we raise our own chickens (and if you’re local to Madison, NH, you can buy some from us, click here).  I know a lot of people out there think we’re nuts, but we’re here to set you straight.

Continue reading “5 Common Misconceptions About Raising Chickens for Meat”