Friday, 30 March 2018

New chicks

During the week we collected another new batch of twenty, day old meat bird chicks. We’ll grow them on for about 12 weeks and then start dispatching them over the subsequent two weeks. This will go a long way to meeting our poultry meat requirements. 

They are an unnamed commercial hybrid. We’ve had Ross/Cobb, the standard bearer for commercial broilers, but found they grew too quickly. This resulted in some dropping dead for no apparent reason and others barely able to support themselves by their legs. The strain we have had of late are slower growing and free range in their run like normal chickens should.

Temporary home is in a circle of two
6' lengths of hard board bolted together
to form a circle. As they get bigger
I'll add another length of hardboard. 

Apart from having plenty of space they also have a varied diet which includes greens and mixed corn. We don’t, of course, inject with hormones or antibiotics to help them along. When we dispatch and process them we don’t wash them in chlorine nor inject them with water. Ours are a distinct improvement on the average supermarket bird. The meat is denser and actually tastes of chicken. When we last calculated the cost of raising meat birds it came to £2.44 per kilo (admittedly not including labour) but not bad for free range chicken if the economics of the process is considered important.


  1. Haven't eaten a decent chicken since we moved from the smallholding. Our home raised worked out much the same price (only less because it was years ago!) and even less if we were able to buy them at off heat age. which makes it harder to see how the new farm shop can charge £8 a kilo

  2. Yes, I saw the prices you quoted from the new farm shop. We sell a few of our chickens at ‘butchers’ prices’. I don’t think I could ask for £30 plus though!