Continuing look at living within our means.
The cost of eggs and chicken is skyrocketing in the stores. We’re happy to be ahead of this curve. We have fourteen one year old chickens, and just got twenty-seven more birds two weeks ago. The older birds are laying over a dozen eggs a day, and the new chicks are “straight run” – meaning that they are males and females.
We plan to keep two or three of the roosters, but the rest of the roos will be sent to freezer camp. Since these are all large breeds, we get large eggs in at least three different shades.
We learned our lesson about letting the birds free-range. Having lost all our birds to predators last year, all the birds are under wire and a large coop is nearly finished.
The younger birds are currently in a brooder tub in my office, and will go outside to a separate pen in the farmyard in a couple more weeks. There they will be away from the older birds, but all of them will be able to see and hear each other for a couple weeks. We hope this will limit the pecking order fuss. We’ll also mix the two groups after dark in the coop.
Then there are the rabbits. The cute factor is something to be considered. Rabbit meat is a great deal easier to process and can be self sustaining with minimal inputs.
I am growing a great deal more of the rabbit feed this year. The Three Sisters planting I did a week ago should go a long way towards deleting the feed bill this year.
The rabbit cages are getting some badly needed expansion and upgrades right now, and we plan to manage the breeding much more closely once the upgrades are done.