Some homegrown birds: half Ranger half Brahma. Cute and yum in one package.
Chickens put in the freezer and on the table:
6 Cornish Cross
1 mean rooster
3 Red Ranger roosters
8 Ranger hens
4 home grown roosters
6 mini roos
28 chickens total. My dad also raised an additional 10 for us at his place. Some I butchered here, some I had the local place do because I skin birds and they will kill and pluck them beautifully for $3.50. I still have 4 "extra" roos running around the yard but probably won't get them done for another month or two.
A Ranger hen and a Brahma roo.
Sorry buddy, you're gonna be delicious.
1 Embden, sex unknown
1 lousy at his job Pekin drake.
The local place processed these both because I wanted them plucked, and Sturgen's will do it for $4.75 ( I tipped the woman mightily for doing the goose for me) Remember that morning when my ducks got massacred? Next year will be better.
23 from the first batch
23 from second batch
46 quail total
The quail were such a nice surprise. We LOVE cooking them and raising them. The plan is to fire up the incubator as soon as they start laying in the spring. It's my understanding that no one else local has a breeding group so I'm hoping to have a market for day-old chicks. You can learn about the costs of raising quail and how to butcher them here.
My numbers to over-winter:
Out in the yard I am down to:
7 hens and Nigel
3 geese (1 gander and 2 geese)
3 ducks (1 drake, 2 hens)
8 quail ( 1 roo, 7 hens)
Also the little group of free-livin' mostly feral chickens (1 bantam roo & 3 hens that I'll keep, along with 4 mini roos to butcher at some point) I don't really count these. Of course they're fed and watered but they also live in a tree for Pete's sake.
Which brings me to the birds sold:12 chicks from the epic peep hatch = $30
3 laying age quail $20
Extras from my Metzer's order:
2 runner drakes $30
2 Swedish ducklings $15
1 pr quail wings $5 ( I had dried a pair in borax to try it, it worked wonderfully)
I want to give a special thank you to Sturgin Poultry in Sandy Lake. They're a family owned place that operates seasonally. Wonderful to deal with, super nice people and they do a fantastic job with birds. Also a thank you to my dad for letting me use the mini van for some of the larger runs. There's only so many birds you can stuff into the back of a Honda.
Next up: it's time to update the seed inventory - the first catalog came last week!