Tales from Liberty Farm
Our spare bedroom is quite the multi-purpose room. It’s an office, seed starter room, feed sack storage room, craft room, museum of empty Mountain Dew cans if I’ve been lazy, and right now it’s the place where we raise our baby chicks.
It only takes a few hours, however, and they’re happily running around and finding the food. They’re social little things, and the first one out always seems much happier once the second one hatches. They snuggle together for impromptu naps, literally falling down on top of each other and going to sleep.
In one tub we have 13 Cornish Cross chicks, which will get butchered mid-October and form the second half of our winter’s freezer chicken. True to form, all they do is eat. Well they poop, too; for some reason they have to do a little twerky butt shake dance first.
In the other tub, we have 9 layer chicks, some of which are most certainly roosters. I’m not sure how many because my chick sexing skills are on par with my ability to predict when my goats will kid. Which means, of course, they’re near non-existent.
I love the process of new life beginning. From the minute they push and struggle to open their egg, they’re fascinating little creatures. After they hatch, they generally pass out almost immediately, spent from the fight to get out. I’d imagine that it’s quite the shock to go from nice, warm little cocoon to wide open new world.
I have a favorite in every batch, and this one is no different. One of the chicks has feathered feet, and it is so adorable. These guys are all going to a nearby farm, and we are bartering for produce, which will get canned and put up for the winter.
Outside we have our regular layer flock, with two roosters and about 14 hens. Some of them are acting like welfare chickens though and not laying, so they’ll be food for Lobo and Lexi soon.
In another coop we have six more meat birds, who will get butchered in 3 more weeks. They’ll make up the first half of our winter chicken meat.
Everything is a cycle. New life comes, old life dies and is made into something that will nourish either us or our other animals. Speaking of nourishing, I am pretty anxious for Teddy the pig to go to the butcher too. He was supposed to go last week…but he didn’t want to. That’s a whole other story.
Find out how you can get survival chickens in your area too — even if you’re in the suburbs!