Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Catchin" the Roosters

Life on a hobby farm is always busy.  We identify ourselves as "hobby farmers" because we don't rely on any part of our farm for our main income.  However, we do live on 39 acres, 30 of which are pasture.  We do have 3 seperate fenced areas for our animals to rotate on, in addition to open pasture we cut hay off each year.  So, it really isn't a "hobby" but a lifestyle choice.

I just came in from catching the roosters.  Tomorrow Al has off of work and our plans are to reduce our rooster population.  There are too many for the amount of hens.  Every year I let some of the hens set on their eggs and hatch out batches of chicks.  We love having little chicks in the summer.  So, when those little chicks grow up I have more hens to add to our flock and some roosters for butchering.  These are NOT the cornish cross meat type chickens.   The roosters we butcher will be for stew meat and soups.  Not all roosters end up like this - in the past I have given them away for free.  However, this year it didn't seem prudent for me just to give them away.  A part of herdsmanship is managing your flock and deciding which rooster has the genetics you want to pass on for this next year.

Our chickens are free range - we just let them roam around.  They go back to the chicken coop each night.  So, while I was out walking around making sure all of the hiding places were empty, I found some eggs behind the horse stall door.  I knew they were fresh ones, because my daughter cleans the stalls every day and they weren't in there yesterday.  So I filled my pockets with the eggs and went on the hunt for more roosters.  While I was climbing over the wooden horse fence, I felt a "pop" in my pocket....I forgot I put the eggs in there - what a mess.  Boy, are the yolks bright!  Super FRESH and they must be eating something good over there by the horses.

So tomorrow with be another day on the "hobby farm" - not too much hobby in butchering roosters...but, we will have about 30 chickens for the freezer.    

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