This year we are raising over 300 Freedom Ranger chickens free-range here on the farm, and they are almost ready to process! The chickens are getting big and we will start processing the end of July. They will be $4/lb and be sold only as whole birds. If anyone would like a fresh bird, before they are frozen, send us a message and we will let you know the date and time to stop on buy the farm to pick one up.
Hatching is in full swing here and we will have around two hatches a month. If you are interested in baby chickens or turkeys call or email us about availability.
Currently we have Golden Cuckoo Marans and Narragansett Turkeys hatching. The Marans are $5/per chick and the turkeys are $10/per chick.
I hope to have Partridge Rock chicks ($3.00/per chick) next month along with the marans, but I will have to see how they are laying. The cold weather has been hard on the birds and a lot of them are still not laying even with the longer days.
All birds sold as straight run.
Chicks, Pork, Piglets, and Hatching eggs!
THEY'RE OUT!!! Woohoo! Yesterday I finally moved all of the chicks from the basement out to the coop with the rest of the chickens. Normally it's a bad idea to just plop a bunch of unknown birds together, but I did it during the evening when everyone was getting ready to sleep. Dumpling fought a little bit with some of the hens, but our older rooster Zorro didn't even care, and let Dumpling take over as head rooster without a fight. Now tonight I will be cleaning up the basement so the furnace people can come and fix it - cause I think all the dust has gotten into the furnace and it needs a good cleaning. After that we will be setting up a bigger pen to put Flower in so I can keep and eye on her.
Yes, Flower is most definitely preggo and I'm a nervous mess over it. She is probably due within the next few weeks so I want to get her over to our house asap so she has time to settle in before she gives birth. The only place we have to put her that is quite and secure is our basement - I can't wait until we move and have a barn - basements are not built for this kind of use! As she gets bigger I grow more neurotic. I have a list of supplies that I need to get from Tractor Supply and I'm hoping that everything goes smooth so I don't have to call my veterinarian friend over in the middle of the night. For anyone else that is a first timer at this whole lambing thing here is the list of supplies I need.
Lube (i.e. Vaseline or you can buy the livestock stuff at TS, or KY if you have some lying around) ~ just incase the lamb gets stuck in the birthing canal.
Gloves ~ because it's gonna be messy - I have some regular gloves but I may need the ones that go up your arm just incase.
Iodine w/cup ~ to disinfect the umbilical cord area on the lamb.
Feeding Tube w/ syringe ~ just incase I need to force feed the lamb.
Electrolytes ~ another just incase the lamb is dehydrated.
Nutrient Drench ~ incase the lamb needs a pick me-up, it’s like a multi-vitamin.
Pritchard Nipples & Bottles ~ for feeding the lambs if Flower can't.
Colostrum ~ Just incase Flower doesn't or can't nurse.
Milk Replacer ~ If either I decided to put Flower back with the rest of the herd and keep the lamb(s) at the house, or if Flower can't or won't nurse.
Nugget is no more! We had to cull one of the little chicks about a week ago, I was afraid he was sick with something contagious but it turns out he was a victim of Nugget's aggressive behavior. So this past Saturday, even though he could have used a few more weeks to fatten up, we took Nugget out back and made him into, well, nuggets. I would have taken pictures but it was dark out and it was cold, so we were trying to get it done as fast as possible. But here is a picture of the final product. Look at all that nice, dark leg meat!
So last night I cooked up the bird and some potatoes, carrot and celery and tonight we are having chicken and dumplings. I use bisquick for the dumplings and they always turn out well. The trick with making the stew flavorful is to slowly cook the chicken (with listed seasoning), bones and all, until the meat falls right off, then remove the bird and debone. I then return the meat back into the pot and ad the vegetables. I added 2 bay leaves, some parsley, and a little rosemary for seasoning along with salt and pepper. The stew thickens a little because of the potatoes and dumplings, but I normally add a little flower dissolved in warm water to the mix prior to dropping the dumplings in to make it a little thicker.
We hope to build something like this for our chickens. It's the chicken coop at Cerridwen Farm in Poultney, VT which is run by Green Mountain College. P.S. This picture was taken by this guy, not me.
The two older chicks that were born in October are almost full grown and they are both rooster! Good thing is the little white one, that has been dubbed Nugget, is an evil little creature and I can't wait until he is big enough to eat! Plus, just a few days ago the little bastard started crowing and he crows more then his dad! Errr, so annoying!
On the other hand, Dumpling, the little black chick is a sweetie! He is so cuddly I might have a hard time butchering him. Dumpling is such a sweet little guy I bring him up into the living room at night and he watches TV with me and the dogs and cats. As you can see in the picture below. :) Although I don't think my cat Shiva is very happy that a chicken has taken over what is normally his spot on my lap.
So this week we switched the goats and sheep around. We have Ashes, Flower, Keera and Faye in one pen and Duncan, Ollie and Sophie in the other pen. We decided that because Faye is so tiny it might be dangerous to breed her with Ollie because he is so much bigger. We were going to breed Duncan with Flower, but Flower was getting to stressed when we put them together so there will be no little lambs this spring. The goats should kid out sometime in May *fingers crossed*.
Back at the house the chicks where escaping from their original brooder, so we took a baby pen and put a peg board over it to keep them in. I can't wait to get them out of the basement though, they made a HUGE mess running around. We have quite a few roosters, but all of them look like they will make a good diner after they grow out.
So far I have 19 chicks, 1 egg pipping and 2 eggs not doing a thing. All of the chicks look like Black Australorps, but I know at least a few of them are mixes.
Kayla lives with her family in South Dayton, NY. She along with her husband Jeff and daughter Tanner run a small farm raising all sorts of animals.