The Meat Bird Chronicles and 4-H

I thought I was done with the meat bird posts but my 7-year-old daughter wants to raise more of them and I found a place to take them to in order to have them butchered so I wouldn’t have to spend so much time with that and with timing it all crazy and figuring out when I need to take them to who and when I need to butcher them and set up the whole boiling pot and stuff outside.  I did what I would like to be the final 2 hens today. There is one hen with Big Daddy the rooster and I may not bother with her for awhile we will see. Big Daddy is getting bigger and bigger though and one of the red broiler hens was 4 pounds and the other last Cornish Cross was only 2 pounds which I felt bad about because I should have just left her alone but she is eating food and is like 12 weeks old so I kind of didn’t want to wait any longer.  She is actually in the photo below which I hesitate about posting but my Dad is the one that doesn’t want to see the chickens that he is eating!  There’s been a fine line between economics and caring about the meat birds. I haven’t wanted to care about them. Normally you don’t have them this long but they ate and grew at different rates and then I let them free range all the time so they weren’t in a pen with their food all the time.  There needs to be a balance between free range and eating in a contained area I think.

Phase 2 of the meat birds will start soon and in addition to the chicks we purchase we will see if the rooster is able to be a rooster next month or so and then try to hatch eggs. Well I won’t hatch the eggs but you know.

My daughter is joining 4-H this week and although she is rather bored with the meetings (an adult talked the whole time before) she is looking forward to the meetings closer to the fair when they will teach her how to prep her ladies for show (a.k.a. give a chicken a bath). She missed the deadline for the fair for 4-H but she can still do open showing with hens which is totally fine. She has to be 8 to show meat birds which is what she wanted to do for a project but she can do it next year if she wants to. They have the age cut off at age 8 for a lot of things with the animals and also canning because of course you don’t want the younger kids boiling hot liquids, jams, etc.

I think she will show two hens but I have to look and see what the standard is for the Buff Orpington because our Chickaboo might actually be too big I am not sure. The Speckled Sussex is so pretty though and she really wants to show her. There is my accidental purchase of the Ancona Annie because I wanted a Cuckoo Maran for the darkest brown eggs but Annie will lay white eggs. She is really pretty though so it’s ok. They do have their own

personalities and pecking order as well as some are more tame and agreeable to being held than others no matter what you do. Annie has always been skittish and runs away but the Buff Orpington and the Barred Rock are more tame. They also say roosters are friendlier which I have found to be true. I can still usually pick up our rooster though he makes a fuss about it. I am keeping my fingers crossed he doesn’t crow before we can build a better coop for them that’s not in the garage since I don’t shut them in at night.

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