Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Meat Chicken Decision

Well, after much debate...really too much debate.....we have decided to go ahead and try raising chickens for meat this spring. Even typing that gives me the shivers.

I am terrified. I wish I could say the husband is fully confident, but he is not. He is also terrified.

I'm not sure why it's so scary. We eat chicken. Lots of chicken. I love having animals around and am always plotting ways and reasons to get more.  Still, it was a hard decision to make.

It boiled down to this:

We eat chicken.

We would rather eat chicken that has been raised humanely and well.

It feels like an important thing to try, this raising of food that is not a vegetable.

That's really all we needed to know to click the button.

So, with much trepidation, I placed the order.

25 Rainbow Rangers from Meyer Hatchery. Plus, it looks like they are throwing a freebie in. So 26:).

They are due to arrive in early May so there is lots to do before then. We need to set up housing, figure out feeding, and sort out the brooding supplies. They will be arriving the same week as our layer chicks, on purpose. This way the kids will get to play and bond with chicks that will never be eaten. I think the layer chicks will brood inside and the meaties will brood in the garage.

Oh, and incidentally, I had mentioned that one of my kiddos was not on board with this. I finally got him to say why he didn't want meat chickens.

He doesn't like chicken.

Okay, I can work with that. I'm still terrified though! Part of me wants to dash to the phone and cancel the order. Part of me fears I may do just that, even if it means I am being, well, chicken.

Another part of me thinks this is a good step for our little backyard farm.  The next, good logical step.

At least a decision has been made!

Linking up with Homestead Barn Hop!


  1. You will do just fine!! I have raised over 100 cornish cross meat birds and while I was a little nervous my first go round, it was so worth it!! We raise ours on fermented feed and grain and I have to say that they are the most amazing tasting birds ever. I have never had any experience with the Rangers so hope you will keep us updated!! I have 75 CX chicks coming the 1st of April. :) Good luck to you and I found your blog from the Homestead Barn Hop.

  2. Thanks so much! It is so nice to hear from people that are actually doing it. For some reason, I know very few people in real life who raise animals for meat, so I am feeling like quite the odd-ball lately;). I will definitely update on our Ranger experience:)

  3. Kim - our birds are coming from Meyer next month. We'll have 6 layers and 10 meat birds...this will be our first time too. We've had people encourage us to send them out for slaughter; however, I think we are going to try the first time and if we hate it...then we'll send them out the next time. When are yours scheduled to arrive?

  4. They are coming the second week in May. I am not sure yet what we will do about processing, we have found someone very close by that does it though, so that makes me feel a little more confident about the whole thing!