When the chaos dies down and you're sick of canned food, what will your long term plan be?

The True Cost of Raising Chickens for Meat – Year 3

Posted on June 26th, by Kathy in Becoming a Farmer. Comments Off on The True Cost of Raising Chickens for Meat – Year 3

For the last three years we’ve been raising meat chickens.  We’ve learned a lot.  The biggest lesson we’ve learned is how important the industrial food complex is to all of us.  This is the story of our three years as chicken farmers to serve as a warning to all our readers, and to help us all be more thankful for the people who grow our food for us.

Year Three (Read Year One  and Year Two)

By now it was clear that the bears had us beat when it came to providing chicken security.  So we decided that for year three, we would raise multiple, smaller batches in the pen with our egg-laying hens.  Our chicken enclosure is built of chain link fence cemented into the ground with a wooden frame and  a chicken wire roof.  They also have a hen house with a chicken-sized dog door where they can get out of the weather, and hide.  The bears had never tried to get in there, and the only invader we’d ever had was a giant, levitating bull snake that was after our eggs.  (Did you know that if you trap a snake in a feed tub, it will actually levitate up and … Read More »


The True Cost of Raising Chickens for Meat – Year Two

Posted on June 26th, by Kathy in Becoming a Farmer. 2 comments

For the last three years we’ve been raising meat chickens.  We’ve learned a lot.  The biggest lesson we’ve learned is how important the industrial food complex is to all of us.  This is the story of our three years as chicken farmers to serve as a warning to all our readers, and to help us all be more thankful for the people who grow our food for us.

Year Two (read Year One)

NEW HOUSING

We like to learn from our mistakes and make improvements as we go.  After reviewing what we disliked most about Year One, we decided the chicken tractor had to go.  There was something about bending over into a 2 foot high poop-filled enclosure that just didn’t work for us.  A hoop house would be just the ticket.  It would be tall enough that we could keep our noses as far as possible from the chicken poop, and light enough to easily drag around the pasture.  That way our chickens would have something fresh to eat or poop on, and the grass in the pasture wouldn’t die from too much poop in one spot.

We built a wooden frame out of 2x4s for the bottom, used the thick 6x6x6 wire … Read More »


The True Cost of Raising Chickens for Meat- Year 1

Posted on June 5th, by Kathy in Becoming a Farmer. 3 comments

For the last three years we’ve been raising meat chickens.  We’ve learned a lot.  The biggest lesson we’ve learned is how important the industrial food complex is to all of us.  This is the story of our three years as chicken farmers to serve as a warning to all our readers, and to help us all be more thankful for the people who grow our food for us.

Year One

March 2011

X@&K! PULLETS!
We buy 20 fast grow meat chicks.  Seven weeks later, when they should have been almost full-grown and ready for harvest, we discover, we were given the wrong birds.  They’re pullets.  (Your garden variety egg-laying chicken.) We load them in the cat carrier, take them back and start again.

How do we know our second batch is really fast growers?  A friend picks one up to cuddle it and it shoots a long stream of golden poop down her lace shirt.  At first we thought the golden coating of something smelly all over the bottom of their pen was a result of them spilling their water.  No, we learned that it was their poop and it only got worse by the day.

STENCH
About the time they are the size of softballs they … Read More »