Sunday, June 5, 2011

Free Range Meat Birds

With the new goat area this year, we had enough space to try a free range our meat birds a bit longer.  We have had these birds since the beginning of March and they are doing beautiful.  Normally we raise them a bit longer (about 14 weeks or so) in our chicken tractors and they are able to be free ranged in there also, but there isn't as much room.  I think Jenna at Cold Antler Farm had a post about this a while ago.  She had one that missed butcher time (lucky duck..I mean chick:)) and lived happily for almost a year, maybe more.  I totally agree with her that when they are able to run free, they stay much healthier.  We have some beautiful birds with no problems like we have had in the past (pecking one another, unable to get around easily).  Normally meat birds legs will break from the strain, not pretty, but they just are designed that way.   Hubby and a buddy are building a plucker, hopefully we will test run it next weekend.  If all goes well, I will be placing an order for more birds!