The Barnett’s are branching out and doing some new things that may interest you.
Our family will be raising meat chickens for sale this summer. We’ve kept a flock of laying hens since the spring of 2009. Last summer (2014) we raised meat and butchered chickens for our own use. (and they’ve been delicious!)
The standard American ‘meat chicken’ is the Cornish Cross. And, while tasty, they have a lot of health problems since they are bred to reach butchering size quickly. (about 8 weeks) They have a tendency to remain stationary and camp out at the feed bowls. If the feed is not taken away, they’ll eat themselves to death. Since they are bred for an abnormal abundance of breast meat, the Cornish X’s also are prone to leg problems, sometimes resulting in broken legs or weak muscles unable to hold them up. Instead, we will be raising Freedom Rangers. They are a 4 way cross of American and European heritage breeds. They are much more like ‘normal’ farm chickens. (and will even lay eggs if you let them reach maturity) They range and forage well, are very docile and gentle natured, but take longer to reach butchering size. (they dress
out at approximately 5-6 lbs, hens being smaller than roos, and are comparable to cornish x’s in size)
Our goal is to put the Rangers on pasture by 3 weeks (once they have their feathers in and temps are a bit warmer). We will over them what grass and sprouts we can while in the brooder. Hopefully we’ll be able to move their chicken tractor 1-2 times a day to give them fresh grass and bugs to avoid supplemental commercial feed. (I have read about good results with sprouted grains. We’ll give that a try.)
As a result, the meat will cost more than what you pay in the store for factory farmed meat and more than what you may typically pay for a farm raised commercially fed cornish x.
Currently, we’re thinking $3.50/lb (we’ve seen prices for similar birds run from $4.00-6.25 per pound). You can estimate that it’ll be near $20 per whole chicken. They’ll come double bagged and frozen.
You can pre-order now with a paypal deposit of $5 per bird. When they’re almost ready, we’ll send you a paypal invoice with the amount remaining.
paypal $ to jillcbarnett (at) gmail dot com
The first batch should be ready mid July.
Our second batch should be ready late August.
FOR SALE! We will have honey available from our bees this fall. Stay tuned for prices and info.
If you are interested in renting a hive for your property to help bee populations, help your garden flourish and get a share of the honey - please contact Bruce.