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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Raising chickens

My Nan always kept chickens and geese and pigs.  In fact the last pigs she had were when I was about 18 but the chickens she had right up until she went blind.  They were rehomed with my uncle apart from one who refused to go. They could not catch it and it used to come to the back door to be fed each day otherwise it was free ranging round the garden.  That is until I went.  Both my brother and I had been taught how to handle chickens from an early age and I remembered what my granddad had taught me.  I soon had the chicken in a pen ready for my Uncle to take which he did and the chicken led the rest of its natural life in the countryside at my uncles.

 I would love some chickens for the eggs.  I am not sure about the meat side and I will tell you why.

My nan had a flock of broilers that were past their best and needed despatching.  I was about 11 and my brother and I did not know what we were in for. It was our first exposure to the slaughter and processing side of animal husbandry. The men were despatching the chickens and us ladies were plucking and drawing them. The plucking fell to me. Although processing the chickens did not phase us too much eating them did and my brother and I had an uncanny sixth sense as to when it was one of Nan's chickens for tea and would no eat it - we just could not.  It did not help that the chickens were still flapping even though they were clearly dead.  It was at this time that we realised the goose in the Orchard would in turn go through the same process and be served for Christmas dinner. 

Its many Christmases ago that I last had goose.  OH has never had but will not give up his Turkey to try so I do not push it too much.

But chickens I would dearly love for the eggs not for the meat and that is predominantly what my Nan had them for. Home reared eggs are some of the best available no nasties and my Nan used to feed hers in the winter months with corn and also with a hot bran mash at night to keep them warm.  There was also a nesting box for each bird and plenty of hay stuffed in them.  They also had all the stalks from the cabbages, Brussel sprouts, etc and the excess leaves so nothing was really wasted.

One day - like the bees.

Hope you have a lovely day.  Its warm here already pre 7:00am.  I have to pottle off and get some blood tests done now.

Catch you later on.

Pattypan

x

2 comments:

  1. Nothing beats fresh eggs with proper golden yolks not wishy washy yellow from shops, we do raise for meat mainly the cockerels I ont have issues with it as I know it has been well reared with freedom to range outside, chicken is now a luxury meat for us and every bit is put to use.

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  2. I agree entirely Dawn home grown eggs are the best. We use a fair amount of chicken and I see your point specifically; its just a hurdle I need to personally get over and I think I will. I have always been taught that any animals welfare comes first especially if they are feeding you. Take care. Pattypanxx

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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)