Tuesday, February 5, 2013
So tasty. We had chicken the other night that we grew last summer from our own chicks we hatched. We raised Barred Rock chickens - used the females for layers and the males for meat. We raised Cornish Cross one year and I felt so sorry for them, they could barely move under their weight by the time they were old enough to process. So, I decided to go with a heritage breed. They were a lot smaller than the chickens you get in the store, oh but they were so tasty. I can't even describe the difference. They were rich in taste, instead of bland...like the difference in the taste of homegrown produce versus grocery store. And, I am sure, so much more healthy too! We butchered these Barred Rock chickens around 15 weeks. We raised a rooster once (that we first thought was a hen) out till he was big once and he was terribly tough. Not good for anything but soup. But, I think we butchered him more like 18-20 weeks. So, ours were fairly small (probably a little under 2 equal a store bought chicken). They were in a movable pen which we moved every day (about 16 roosters for a 10' square pen), not completely free range. But, they had lots of fresh grass, and could move about, but probably didn't get as much exercise as completely free range. They had lots of healthy yellow fat on them though from the fresh grass. It was successful, so, I think we'll try it again and see if we can do more next year. Here is a picture of our turkeys from last summer. They were tasty too.