Our first batch of 9 Barred Rock chickens arrived via Murray McMurray Hatchery in the spring of 2004. Since then our flock has expanded to over 30 chickens, 7 ducks, 2 geese and 2 turkeys. (Not included are birds raised solely for meat) We are able to maintain our “keepers” for egg production, fly and weed control via natural reproduction. The surplus young roosters are then periodically slaughtered for sale throughout the winter months for use in soups and other dishes.
In addition to these year-round members of our farm, we also purchase additional meat birds from the same Hatchery. These include the Cornish X-Rock Hybrids & White Leghorns chickens, Peking Giant ducks and Chinese Geese. They are raised separately until about 8 weeks of age when the Cornish Hybrids are slaughtered. The remaining birds are allowed to go free range from there until we slaughter them in a staggered fashion beginning at 12 weeks up until 18 weeks of age. The geese and turkeys are allowed to continue to grow until November or December.
We normally purchase our turkey chicks, 6 at a time, from Adams Turkey Farm in Westford. These guys get HUGE!, Our first Tom turkey had a dressed weight of over 45lbs! We are now carefully to kill off the males earlier in the year, saving only the hens for Thanksgiving.