If you are looking for Willow Farm Apparel's T-shirts, please see the tab on the left labeled "Willow Farm Apparel". Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or requests. Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

chicken update

Okay... so the chickens I was thinking of doing... it turns out they take 4 months instead of 8-10 weeks... so we are looking to do Cornish Roasters instead. (the feed costs for 4 months would just be way too much, especially for our first time and so many birds) So here's what the Murray Mc Murray catalog says about the Cornish Roasters.
 "We sell them straight run only {meaning they are not sexed-we could get males and/or females} and recommend that you butcher the females as fryers and save the males as roasters. Fryers reach a dressed weight of 3-4 pounds in 8-9 weeks and the roasters will reach dressed weight of 8-9 lbs at 12 weeks, making them a mouth watering sight on Mom's kitchen table. "
Sooo... yikes, that means I have to really know what I am doing when I have help, because it looks like I'll have to do the Roasters (males) a couple weeks later on my own... So I had priced the $20 based on feed for 10 weeks... so let's say $14 for the fryers that will be 3-4 lbs and $25 for the Roasters? Tough part is, I won't know what we have until we have them and they've grown enough to show if they are male or female... so let me know what you'd prefer and if you are okay with either or not. (we can adjust what we will keep based on what is left)
Also...!!!! If you are interested in helping with the butchering let me know! =)

Non GMO free range chicken! $20

Okay, so after much research I have decided I need to get over it and learn how to butcher chickens! I want to be able to put the healthiest meat on the table for my family. (For those of you who know me well... this may be comical, since I am often found raiding candy and cookie jars like a child!...but that's just my weakness... my heart really wants to eat and provide what is best for myself and my family.) I have FINALLY found a contact for GMO-free and soy free chicken food! Yey! So our layers will be getting that now as well. There is just too much out there on the lack of information on GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) and the possible dangers. (the main modifications I am learning about have to do with scientifically creating seeds to either possess their own pesticide or making them be able to with stand a HUGE dosage of pesticide being applied to the plant...) I am reading more and more about it... but honestly, a lot of it is scientific jargen that is over my head... or just plain too difficult to focus on with two demanding kid-o's in the back ground... but reading over and over again how animals, when given the choice, will not eat the GMO corn, and will even walk through fields of it to get to the non-GMO stuff... that's all I need to know to know something isn't quite right about it all... The effects of what animals eat, get into what they produce as well... meat, eggs, milk, etc... so I want to raise chickens that I know will not only live happy lives, but will not have any of this junk in their meat or eggs.
 We have enlisted my friends husband to help us butcher the first ones... he regularly "dresses" (how funny that plucking feathers off is called "dressing") dear that he hunts and has done turkeys and wild bird game before, so he'll be a pro... or at least the only one there not gagging! I am so grateful to him for being willing to help teach us... and really excited to be able to undertake this adventure that means so much to me with a friend that I shared so much of my childhood adventures with.
So.... Memorial Day weekend looks like it may be the day! So I will need to order the chicks early next week... We have to order a minimum of 25 chicks for body warmth in the shipping... we certainly don't have room for 25 birds in the freezer (especially with all the meat we are about to get from our cows here shortly) so friends and family, you have first dibs if you want to buy one (or two or...) We expect them to be about 7-8 lb birds (about double what you see in the grocery store).  I have researched that for organically raised free range (ours will have a lot of time on pasture) the price around here is about $4.50 a pound... since this is our first time, and you are our friends and family, and we a really just trying to off set our expenses, we will happily raise and butcher one for you for $20 each. I need to know numbers by early next week. Don't hesitate to ask if you have questions. If you are interested let me know! How exciting! =)