Last minute gifts for self-sufficient folks

There is still time to throw together a thoughtful and unique gift for the folks on your list who want to get back to basics and be more self-sufficient.  We threw together 3 lists of items you could easily assemble into a gift basket that will be talked about for the whole year.  We have actually used all of these items for years to make our own maple syrup and raise chickens.  These are legit. Continue reading “Last minute gifts for self-sufficient folks”

Fencing Tips to Keep Your Chickens Safe from Predators

Chickens need space to move around and forage in order to provide the healthiest eggs and meat, but as we’ve learned there is a trade-off in giving these plump, docile birds unrestricted freedom: predators.  For the chickens we raise for meat we have always been more careful and use fencing (for heritage breeds) and chicken tractors (for cornish x) to keep predators out.  Our meat birds do not have a traditional, solid wood “coop” and thus their living space needs to be secure through the dark summer nights when those sharp toothed sly beasts lurk with large appetites.  We’ve learned a few tricks along the way and since we’re about to put up a lot more fencing to keep the free range hens safe I think this is a great opportunity to review the tricks and best practices for chicken security measures.   Continue reading “Fencing Tips to Keep Your Chickens Safe from Predators”

Free Range Chicken

Is Organic Meat Really Better?

Chicken and other livestock raised for meat qualifies for USDA Organic certification if it meets the following guidelines: all feed consumed by the animal needs to be 100% organic from early in life, they must never receive any antibiotics, hormones, or other treatments, and they must have access to the outdoors on untreated, organic land with sunlight and shelter available (source).  From my research and experience, it would seem that organic practices alone don’t ensure the meat is tastier or even more nutritious than non-organic.  So what is the difference? Continue reading “Is Organic Meat Really Better?”

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”