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Have you ever wondered about raising chickens for meat? We know from experience that the chicken is so much tastier than store bought. Also, it’s important to us that we know just that meat was raised. Almost every year we raise a few meat birds to put in our freezer. We even wrote an ebook about it – 8 Pounds in 8 Weeks: Raising Chicks for the Dinner Table.
Since we try to raise about 85% of our own food here on our property, chickens are a no brainer. We already have hens for eggs and they earn their keep here. They work cleaning up our compost and manure piles. We save money by letting them free range so they can eat bugs, worms and our grasses.
We love eating chicken and we order in about 25 chicks from a hatchery. For eight weeks they live here, first in our workshop (toasty and warm) and then in their own room at the barn (spacious and clean).
During the day they enjoy sunshine, bugs and lots of fresh air while they are in their fenced outdoor run. Evenings they are locked back into their attached room, safe from predators. We find meat birds very easy to raise. They provide us with a lot of delicious meat! And the used bedding from both their room and the run gets used as well. We add this to the compost and manure piles and once it has decomposed, it becomes a fantastic fertilizer for our food gardens.
Want to learn about raising your own meat? The eBook includes everything from choosing which breed of chicks to order to setting up a homemade brooder to growing them out – everything you need to know is here. They can really grow out to 8 pounds in 8 weeks!