Friday, June 13, 2014

Game Changers - 50 New Chickens!

Yesterday fifty Freedom Ranger chicks came from the Freedom Ranger Hatchery! I was expecting them this morning, and not yesterday afternoon so my schedule had to do some acrobatics, but I am happy to say all are doing well. It does take some adjusting, since that one little box from the post office basically doubled the animals in my care at the farm, but it is a happy adjustment. No part of me is nervous by addition.

I am also happy to share that the laying hens are now fully free ranging at 6 weeks. They are out in the hedges, chasing bugs and learning the way of the farm. The meat birds that were in the brooder in the barn are now in the small tractors on grass at the age of four weeks. The fifty new meaties are in the brooder, chirping away and enjoying their heatlamps and feed. I wanted to share this picture of Cornish Cross birds halfway to harvest and out on grass! It's a rare and special sight in these modern times! These are the same birds raised in commercial chicken houses.

I won't be keeping all of the Freedom Rangers. Ten are going to a neighbors farm, twenty are staying here, the other twenty will be bartered as a finished, fresh birds. Regardless of all their futures it is a really good feeling have so much happy and healthy food outside my front door. Chickens are so much more than grain-converters. They add their own energy to a homestead, turning backyards into living farms. They give you the courage to get those meat rabbits, try milking a goat, or buying that deep chest freezer. They are game changers.


Blogger Nancy po said...

Cute! I live on a city lot and we just expanded our 2 hens to 6, with 4 new pullets. We've converted our years to more food production, with 3 fruit trees, berries, etc. It all helps. I hope to move to a more rural area someday with more room, but it works for now...
Nancy @

June 13, 2014 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger sarah e blog said...

i wondered if you got jasper back up to par as a pulling pony..then could you barter his services for trades? i know you were looking to sell him, and although i understand the pros and cons, i wonder if the queen of barter ( as my kids call you ..happily:)) could find a way to put him to use for the farm in some small way,..theres gotta be some way to create jasper as farm usuage..something ...maybe?

June 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM  
OpenID celiaeboracum said...

You are so right! I am still grateful to that first order of chickens. They didn't just change the game, they changed the entire arena of my life!

June 13, 2014 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Sammy Q said...

So I have a question... Your free ranging hens never get lost? You don't worry about them at all? No matter what they always stick around?

June 13, 2014 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger laurie said...

I miss my chickens so much! I had to rehouse them last fall when I joined my husband on the road. We can see the difference because the mosquitoes are thicker than they've been in 5 years. I miss the sounds, the energy, being greeted by them when I'd go outside, having someone to feed veggie scraps to, and, of course, the eggs.

June 13, 2014 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Sammy: No, they do not get lost :) They range all day and return each night to their roost.

June 13, 2014 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Jasper is very useful! I'm just not using him much! There is a nice family in New Jersey who just aquired a farm that might buy him, waiting to hear on their decision.

June 13, 2014 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger aart said...

Lots more people are putting CX out to range these days and only feeding them 12 on and 12 off. If given the chance and the stimulation of other ranging chickens they do quite well. Much fewer leg problems and heart attack deaths.

Best Vibes for the Jasper sale

June 14, 2014 at 5:52 AM  
Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

great work! chickens are the gateway drug to farming....

June 14, 2014 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Montero said...

We order 30 day old Farm Ranger chicks every year, and that keeps two of us in chickens for a year, with the odd one or two bartered or gifted. Some years the Farm Rangers live up to their names and wander everywhere; other years we get a batch that are like lazy teenagers, nearly laying in their feeders most of the day. I'm interested if you find a difference in yours too?

June 16, 2014 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Tanya T said...

I do enjoy our chickens for the comedy and the wonderful eggs they provide. There were 12 on the farm when we moved here, 3 died over the winter, and we added 10 layers and 5 chicks and just recently lost 1 layer. Altogether we now have 23 which is more than enough eggs for our family of 4. We just started letting them out of the coop on the weekend. Being new to having chickens we were worried about predators and that they wouldn't come back. It's a whole new world for them! They haven't ventured much further than a few feet from the barn but they are getting braver each day. And of course we had our first raccoon sighting on the farm over the weekend as well. So we've decided to only let them out when we can babysit them. And we shoo them back in the coop before dusk. I know they are supposed to do this themselves but baby steps. These hens have some very protective parents!

June 16, 2014 at 10:14 AM  

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