The broiler chicken countdown says 6 more days, but I would ship these mutants off today if I could. They were weighing in at about 4.5-6 lbs last week, so I’m thinking we’re probably where we want to be now (6+ lbs) Unfortunately, despite having about 10 weeks to prepare for this moment, we are totally not ready to 1) truck 24 live chickens out and 2) store 24 processed birds once they’re finished. We don’t have a portable cage big enough to hold them all for the trip to the processor, so I think what we’ve decided to do is pull out the 12 biggest birds and take them down in various smaller cages. We’ll give the smaller ones a week or so more to grow and then take them down. I’m going to have to use the credit card to purchase a chest freezer because our house freezer is already full of the locally raised beef we got last month!
We ran out of food two weeks ago and had to start buying organic scratch grains from the local feed store to supplement and it has been costing us a fortune! The birds are terrible food wasters, and a lot of money went down the toilet because of that. We will have to improve our feeders for the next batch so we don’t end up with piles of expensive crumble all over the ground every day. Very frustrating! We are moving the tractor twice a day and they are going through about 4 gallons of water per day as well. Luckily the weather hasn’t been too hot, and they’re in a cool area because they could definitely be drinking more. The tractor is by no means cramped, but they are getting pretty feisty with one another AND getting feisty with me as well. I got quite a peck on the finger this morning while I was hanging the water font back up. Yep, it’s definitely time for them to move on to the next part of their journey.