One Hundred!

Now that all chickens are safely in the freezer, I can tell you. One hundred of them. I ordered 100, received 103. I lost 2 in the early stages, just general failure to thrive. Took 101 out to pasture. Lost 1 to an owl (I think – head missing, guts in a pile next to the body). For a grand total of 100 birds in the freezer. A death loss of 3%. The lowest death loss I’ve ever had was 20%. So finally, after 4 batches, I got it right.

And they had no leg problems at all, except for the one bird that presumably got attacked by an owl.

It was interesting that I only kept these birds 8 weeks instead of the usual 9, yet they averaged heavier than the other batches. Past averages were always 5.5 pounds. These averaged 6 pounds. 6 pounds (dressed!) in 8 weeks – amazing. Might have been the change in feed I made. Maybe it was just good weather for growing chickens, as another grower remarked today.

And even better, most of them are sold. We’re keeping 17 for ourselves to cook this winter. Have sold 50-some, leaving around 30 to sell.

Hope I didn’t jinx anything – the freezer could break down tonight or something!

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4 Responses to One Hundred!

  1. pablo says:

    When’s the cookout? Should I bring a pasta salad?

  2. That’s really great. How are you going to beat 3% next time though,tee,hee..

  3. Anonymous says:

    What did you feed them? I am about to order a batch of 30. I read your blog from time to time. Thanks for sharing your life on the farm. I find it interesting.

  4. Pablo – the cookout is whatever day you show up!HB2 – Maybe I should quit while I’m ahead?Anon – we just switched to having it ground at our local elevator using a Land O’ Lakes broiler ration and asking for it to be non-medicated. You can read about the ration at profilenutrition dot com. We used to use Sprout Meat Maker from Fleet Farm. But with the price of gas we decided to get it locally, plus we’ve done enough now to know how much feed we’ll need. The elevator has a minimum 500 pounds per order.They elevator feed was $1.50 a bag cheaper (because corn is cheap), but they ate more of it. 1750 pounds versus 1500 pounds for 100 birds in 8 weeks.

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