Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Creepy Meat Rampage

The other day I let the creepy meats out into the whole wide world. They were over come and freaked out. Then they went on a creepy meat rampage. They didn't go far but I think they felt like they were conquering a new world.

The guinea terrified the meats. And the one duckling.

I really needed to shovel out there pen. They were getting very very stinky. And creepy meat barn litter makes the best fertilizer. I'm positive my tomatoes next year will be ten feet tall.

This meat quickly became the king of the world. Kind of.

They all stuck pretty close to home. But at one point I heard a stampede and a lot of peeping so I went outside and found a passel of them had toddled around the garage and were in the front of the house looking for me. I scooted them back.

Unfortunately their foray into the whole wide world was short lived and they only got outside that one day. Either we weren't home, or it was too cold, or it actually rained so they have been basking in the glow of their secure home under the heat lamp.

The others just sat there amazed by the whole wide world.

This meat project is going really well. The first group is coming up on 7 weeks old. That's when some folks will butcher them all in one fell swoop. We think we need to wait another couple of weeks. Will they fall over from heart attacks? Nope. Not yet. The food value of getting much bigger meats is worth the wait - even tho it means buying some meat from the store. Or eating nothing but chicken and noodles - which I'm OK with also.

The only thing that grates on us is that this is the most expensive meat project we've had. Having two big groups of meats at one time means that we are burning thru the chick feed. Normally we'd only have one group - and we'd use our "low and slow" approach to not hurrying them along. But due to ineffective meat management we've been in a pickle.

My goal for the end of this week is to get the Turkey House shoveled out and cleaned up and move the first group of meats over there. Then they can have their own yard and come and go as they please. They will probably just hang out inside but at least they will not be stinking up the garage.

Happy Monday everyone! Have your creepy meats gone on a rampage?


PJ said...

Meat chicken question. Do you feed them chick food from beginning to end? Also do you keep them under a heat lamp the whole time?

Ohiofarmgirl said...

hey PJ! great to see you. Mostly. We feed Dumor 20% chick starter/grower for most of the time. Right now we are "hurrying" them along which means we are really pouring on the 20%. Normally, after they feather out we start putting them outside on grass, start mixing cracked corn with the 20% feed, and add milk also. Eventually we just will feed just corn and have them outside (probably at 2 months) and then start our rolling harvest (butcher a handful at a time not all at once). But everyone is different. There are volumes written about the "right" way to feed out meats. We just do what works for us.

After they have their feathers and can regulate their body temps we have the heat lamp on "as needed." however it's been really cold the last week so we have the lamp on them all the time. You really just have to watch them - if they start bunching up or huddling then they are cold and need the lamp - especially on cold nites. But during the summer when it's much warmer they don't need it. The weird thing about meats is that they dont have a lot of feathers so you really need to make sure they are warm enough. Winter meats always need more heat but we think it's easier to warm them up instead of cool them down. Note: we always use a red heat lamp and not a white one.

Linda said...

So far my meat chickens seem to be growing well. I have learned a lot from reading your blog and that is why I got them in the first place. Inspiration from you...lol. Mine will be 6 weeks old tomorrow. They sure are getting big.

I hope some of them will be ready at 8 weeks. They sure are going through the feed like crazy. I only have 16 but WOW can they pack it away.If all goes well I am going to do this again in the spring.

I will continue to check everyday if I can. Love this blog!!!


Ohiofarmgirl said...

Great work, Linda! Cant wait to hear about your results. Yay!
*gives hugs*

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