Sunday, November 19, 2017

Tally of poultry sold/butchered in 2017

The yard has been mostly cleared of extra birds by this point.  It's time for the post where, for my records and to justify my hobby, I tally up the body count / birds sold for 2017.

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
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.

This year has been a nice mix of Cornish Cross/Ranger types and home bred birds.  It's been a wonderful learning experience.  Honestly I don't think I'll buy Ranger types next year because the home hatched chicks (with baby daddy Nigel the Brahma) ended up getting just as large as quickly. In fact, I kept back one of his daughters and she's been bigger than him for months. Which is huge.   It feels great to be breeding an acceptable table bird here and save buying them in.  Side note: Remember when we brought home Nigel?  I love that guy.  And he gets the job done; Here we remember the Epic Peep Hatch.

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.

Quail in the freezer/on the grill:
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!  


  1. Love this! Well done! you should feel a great sense of pride for producing so much food for your family! So tempted by quails, do you pluck those yourself? Roast them whole? Get much meat? what age do you kill them at? Housing? Hatch them at home? Fancy doing a guest post for me on my blog!?! I'm so interested in them! I'm going to share this on facebook as well (so long as that's okay?)

    1. Hey there Kev! Sure, share away. If you check out the link it will answer most of the housing/feeding/hatching questions. I skin them because they tear so dang easily and we mostly grill them. So tasty and easy! I would be so flattered to guest post, never done it before.