I would like to start off by introducing you to the newest members of our flock here on The Rural Side. Say “Hello” to 15 Cornish Cross chicks.Now that the introductions are over, I want to say that you shouldn’t get too cozy with these little guys and gals. In about eight weeks they will be heading off to the butcher to provide us with the first meat raised here. I picked them up at Tractor Supply today for a buck a chick, marked down because they are a little over a week old and not as cute as the other chicks anymore. They also had some other chicks for a dollar as well, but I don’t know if I want to add more egg layers to our flock yet. If I get the new coop started soon and find some steady customers to buy the eggs, I might get some more.
If you are wondering, no, Heather has not even touched these yet, except to carry the boxes out of the store. I should lock her out of the garage where their brooder is currently, but thats also where the rabbits are and she usually takes care of those. She has said that she doesn’t know if she can eat something we raise. She gets emotionally attached to any little creature she sees. However, she knows that the cornish cross is bred to be a quick grower, prone to leg issues and heart issues from growing so fast, and that it would be better to butcher them before they suffer. But to be safe, I want to keep her from holding them and I especially want to keep her from naming any!
I had planned on getting some Freedom Rangers or maybe a heritage breed that is good for meat this summer, which I still might if I get the new coop built soon (a common theme, I know). Freedom Rangers are a breed that are supposed to be better foragers. I would like to be able to have pasture raised chicken that aren’t completely reliant on me providing them food, instead eating bugs and grass for most of their diet. I’ve read that some people have been able to raise cornish cross that way but others say they haven’t had any success. My main reason for raising them on pasture is to cut cost. Compared to supermarket chicken, home raised chicken will probably be more expensive. That I am okay with because I know how my chickens will be raised, what feed they are given and how they are treated during their short time span on this earth. But wanting to be self sustainable here as well as frugal, having to buy a lot of food from the store doesn’t really work.