Our old hens went to the butcher last night. A guy butchers them at his farm & then sells them as stewing hens to private parties.
Best part, it will save on feed which is going up in price fast. Used to be around 19¢ a pound, but last purchase was 22¢. All this because of the widespread drought.
Our pullets are laying now. Some eggs are already up to large size.
I need to tell my girls about those other uses for chickens as they are not laying well. I recently rebuilt the "chicken side" of the barn and also introduced new pullets - ever since the egg production has fallen way off. The Ameraucanas and Minorcas are laying well but the brown egg layers are definitely not earning their keep!!
My hens have dropped off after a really productive spring and early summer. I think it if a combination of heat and the fact that my peacocks are molting and that, in the past, has meant the hens will molt soon.
I decided to put this here as being as mean as it could sound ,I was watching the round robin seed trading thread when the conversation went to a pet turkey named Frankie ,Frankie died this past week and I started to tell about ours Harry and Fred our one time turkeys.
I started to say we had pet turkeys also they made a good Thankgiving a while ago, Some on this thread sound more like the folk who are like my grandparents were.Unless we were raising a pet for sale later or food they would of looked at us like something had gone seriously wrong.
I did not say that of course about Frankie but had to follow with OOOOOOO ! that's mean isn't it. I must some meanness left after all.
In this day and time, raising your own meat is a very wise thing to do.
I bought half a beef last year, and they let it hang too long and ruined the taste of it. So this year, this man has been calling me on the phone trying to sell me the beef he raises. What I wanted was a beef raised on pasture grass. His are raised mainly on grains. Unfortunately most of the corn in this feed is probably GMO, which imho is unsafe. He is a high pressure kind of sales person and I almost gave in, but finally said, "No, I don't trust the grain".
People in Europe don't put up with this GMO food, I don't know why we have to! Legally they don't even have to mark it as GMO. California is having a vote on whether to label or not label. I pray they get a victory and maybe the rest of the country will follow suit. I won't hold my breath about it though.
The hen scratch I feed my chickens is probably GMO too.
I believe the GMO thing is about thge same concern as "organic". At our Farmers Market, out of the thousands of customers, we might have had a dozen or so that asked if we were organic. Nobody asked about GMO.
People come looking for fresh food!
Some of the organic rules are just plain dumb.
For example, 30 foot barrier between organic & non-organic crops. Who came up with this ? Not a person that has a horticulture degree. Anybody knows pollination & spray drift go farther than that.
Seed corn used to be raised around here & I think that other corn had to be at least 300 ft away, maybe more.
We haven't had mosquitoes here for the last number of years because of the spraying for aphids in soybeans. The spray goes everywhere.
Now to some of the chemicals allowed for organic.
Regular pesticides break down in a short time. Organic pesticides will remain on the fruit & in the environment forever. This was tested over a long period of time by a Professor at the U of Minnesota.