The concept of getting the meat birds seemed like a good one. In theory.
Raise fresh pasture fed chicken for our freezer. How hard could it be? I now had almost 9 months of chicken experience under my belt, and had successfully raised 3 baby chicks. Surely it wasn't that much different.
Well it was.
The Meat Birds aka. The Meaties are eating machines. I have never watched a chicken eat so enthusiastically. We feed them a protein pellet, in addition to the pasture on which they graze.
Allowing them to graze on pasture was a feat in itself. The challenge being that the fox family is still routinely visiting the farm to see what there is for supper.
Voila! The chicken tractor. A large hoop cage on wheels which we can drag around the pasture, providing the birds with a fresh patch of grass and greens several times a day.
Like locusts they eat the grasses down to nothing within hours.
It's remarkable to see really, lush green Timothy grass riddled with dandelion leaves and clover reduced to a pile of mud. On which the fat white birds laze about in the sunshine.
They can be quite ferocious with their appetite, and will peck at your hands when you duck in to change the water. I often have to remind myself that chickens are omnivores, and would not hesitate to enjoy carnage like a turkey vulture if given the opportunity.
This morning as I watched them bask in the sun, all I could think was "a few more weeks...just a few more weeks".