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Chicken Raisa?


RaisaB
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For those of you that have sent me messages asking if I have fallen off the face of the earth....no not really but I may have lost my mind.

I have started a new "project". We have a few acres in Broad Run VA that have been sitting empty for awhile. I had always thought of doing something agriculturally based out there, but after eating Label Rouge in NYC recently, I decided it would be poultry. Specifically, the same chickens they use for the Label Rouge program.

I will be using Polyface Farms' portable penning method. They will be moved to fresh pasture everyday. I am feeding them organic feed purchased from Nicks' Organic Farm in Buckeyetown MD. The pasture they are on has not seen chemicals in over 40 years if ever. If I had the inclination I would start the process to be certified organic but it is expensive and from reading and word of mouth, all these government regulations amount to not much....

My first set of 100 chicks arrive this week. They will be brooded at my home for about two weeks, then they will be placed in pasture. I will try to document my progress and pictures if anyone is interested.

Wish me luck?!! :lol:

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What a great idea! Best of luck with this project. Hope your chicks can handle the summer heat. Is Bev Eggleston going to process them for you?
That is still up in the air. Virginia has a wide range of laws concerning processing. I am trying to stay within their statutes even though I am exempt from many of them. I called another local chicken farm and asked them if I could help with processing some of their chickens. We will see how I feel after that! :lol:

I figure my first chicken will be ready for processing on or around 9/24. If I do it myself I will do it in batches starting at the 9 week interval and continuing on to 12 weeks. The earlier chickens I estimate will have a dressed weight of 3-4 lbs depending on whether they are cockerels or pullets, adding about 1/2 lb per week thereafter.

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I have come to the conclusion that chicken are swine not poultry. They eat anything and everything and don't stop. They eat and poop constantly!

The chickies are almost 3 weeks old and currently are eating about 12lbs of feed per day. they no longer look like chicks but little chickens.

Moving their pens daily is not the easiest as my husband reengineered EVERYTHING! My layers pen/coop is a mini Taj Mahal and probably weighs 800 lbs! What was he thinking? :lol: My first broiler pen is a little lighter but it still takes my 12 year old daughter and I to move it.

I also just ordered some Heritage turkeys, Blue Slate, Red Bourbons, Nargansetts.... I may have one or two ready for Christmas....Did anyone know the females should wear turkey saddles in order to prevent injury during mating?

Visit me at www.localharvest.org, I am listed as First Fruits Farm!

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Can someone in the restaurant business advise me on what they pay for an organic, heritage breed chicken if available? PM or email me pleaas. These are the exact same as the Label Rouge chickens. (Except they are pastured instead of air conditioned houses! They are USDA.

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