First poultry project

8 years 1 month ago #37645 by Hoppo
First poultry project was created by Hoppo
Hi All. Moved from Mount Eden to 2.5 in Coatesville about 2 years ago. Have completed many projects. Kids playground, Tree house, 8 big wicking beds, 3 wicking greenhouses, 15 fruit trees planted on clay and a couple of rows of berry sands! Gardens all tidies and weed matted and mulched to make it all easier.

The paddock has been full of friends Shetlands and alpacas keeping the grass down.

So - with my wicking beds and greenhouses in full flight I am producing enough veges and the fruit will come in time, but what I really want to do is grow our own chickens. I just like the idea of growing our own stuff. Inspired by River Cottage - I hate the idea of eating 30 day old force fed chooks. I want to eat 90 day old animals with brown meat and the necessary components to feed my kids brains (was it Omega 3's).

I am happy building the chook house and run, but I do not know if I have what it takes to 'harvest' them. I.e. actually chop off their heads. Does anyone know of a homekill in my area that will do this? Or should I just toughen up?

I am not getting chooks to save money so I really do not mind paying and of course, nobody in the family really eats eggs...

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8 years 1 month ago #487433 by igor
Replied by igor on topic First poultry project
Welcome aboard Hoppo.
Have a go yourself. It's easier than you might think. Little Mr 8 catches and kills most of ours then gives them to mum to process.

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8 years 1 month ago #487440 by seatil
Replied by seatil on topic First poultry project
Like Igor says, doing the deed yourself is easier than you think. The first time we had roosters ready for the pot I asked a friend of mine to come around and teach us what to do. We got a complete lesson covering everything from killing the chook, right through to having it oven ready.

Hubby has since done a few more, and also done some ducks (much the same, but they're a bugger to pluck). We use the broomstick method, which doesn't remove the head and you don't end up with blood everywhere.

Maybe there's something in your local area that would be willing to teach you. Otherwise, if you happen to be up in Whangarei when we've boys ready for the freezer we'd be more than happy to pass on our knowledge. (There should be some going into it over the next 1-3 months.)

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8 years 1 month ago #487467 by stephclark
Replied by stephclark on topic First poultry project
hi hoppo.. welcome to the neighbourhood... so you want to process your own chooks.. ok, where are you going to get them from?.. I ask this because a neighbour of mine does about 50-100 a year.. he starts with day old chicks ( ross or cobb ), but you will need a brooder for them..

I do the odd rooster that miss bantee hatches out, but they aren't realy worth the effort as they take a heck of a lot longer than 90days to get much bigger than a sparrow and theres only half a dozen or so a year..

if you are wanting to feed your family.. the ross or cobb day old chicks is the way to go.. sort out a good brooder and when they are feathered up they can roam around the lawn until ready for the pot...

oh and the commercial birds aren't force fed, they are just bred to pack on muscle from a high protein diet..
I had a cobb rooster completely free range and treated no differently than the other chooks and he ended up being 9kg at 6mths .. fed 15 people one xmas :D

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8 years 3 weeks ago #488012 by Hoppo
Replied by Hoppo on topic First poultry project
Thank you for your replies. I guess that I just have to toughen up. :)

Yes - the term force fed was inaccurate, but I do like the idea of the birds burning some of their energy off and growing some muscle.

Thank you for the tip re brooders and Ross or Cobb day olds. I need to do more research, but first I need to build he run.

Thanks again


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