Beyond gardening, I am raising chicken for the first time. In mid-May, I picked up 20 Cornish cross chicks from the local hatchery. One died a couple of weeks later, though I’m not sure why. I think it had internal issues, and seemed really lethargic.
We put the chicks in a whelping box in the utility room underneath the house. While those accommodations worked well for the first month, they quickly became way too stinky for the crawlspace.
At about 4 weeks, I built a pen for them out of some old wood we had hanging around. The pen isn’t pretty, but it’s cheap, keeps the rain out, and can easily be taken apart. When I put the chickens out, I was concerned they might be cold, as they hadn’t feathered out completely. However, they did fine, though I noticed that their food consumption went way up.
A few days ago, I had a friend help me move the pen onto fresh ground, but in the process we accidentally crushed one of the chicken’s feet. We decided this would be a good time to try out first homegrown chicken. It was delicious! It was definitely leaner that the chicken you get at the store, but in a good way. Still very tender. Here’s the recipe I used to BBQ it.
The rest will be in the freezer soon. Butchering and plucking will be a new experience for me, so we’ll see how it goes!