Thursday, February 23, 2012

Using Laying Hens for Meat - Hobby Farms

Using Laying Hens for Meat - Hobby Farms

I have a few older hens that have stopped laying and I need to learn to process them and to keep adding new hens each year.
My husband keeps mentioning about the "Hens that don't lay anymore". This is a task that I have avoided up until now.
I wonder if he will help me? LOL We have a few too many roosters too. I guess I need to do the same to them.....having so many roosters is really hard on the hens.( I have learned this.) We did get a bunch of new hens last spring (along with some unordered roosters) and this spring I am thinking I might let one of the broody hens sit on some eggs to see if we can get some new hens added this year. An earlier post I did shows how to tell if the eggs are hens or roosters.

Ok Susan, be brave! Your the one who wants to do this homesteading/farm life, raise your own, grow your own kinda lifestyle now.......It's better for you, remember!....It doesn't have any hormones or antibiotics or artificial fertilizers or weed killers or pesticides.....Your family really does not care either way, they would just as soon you go to the grocery store and buy the food we eat like I always have. grrrrrr

I am really struggling here getting my family on board with this whole homesteading thing.......We have plenty of land for growing our own food. We do live in a cold climate and that is a hindrance but it is still doable, I grow a huge garden (we expanded it last year). I can or freeze things like tomatoes, green beans, peas, corn, carrots,chili peppers, applesauce, pears, peaches, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, all for winter use. I have worked diligently on our food storage and have really done a good job putting up all our staples for cooking and baking.....I have bought up things when they went on sale and bought the large plastic buckets for storing things like wheat, sugar, flour brown sugar, powdered sugar, rice, brown rice, beans ect. I bought two cases of raw honey from a local bee keeper and I ordered a couple of gallons of fresh maple syrup from a maple farm back east.

 My husband had these storage cabinets put in a couple of years ago....I had to hold my ground for them but once he had them put in he could see the need and was pleased with them.

I also grow several herbs in the garden and dry them for cooking. Last year I did oregano and thyme, sage, and rosemary. I have really enjoyed using all of it in my cooking this winter. I have given some of it as gifts in gift baskets that I put together at Christmas time. My husband does like what I have done and is glad that I really don't have to go to the store for much other than fresh produce, milk, toilet paper, personal care products, laundry and cleaning supplies. I have joined a food co-op in our area called Bountiful Baskets and most of our fresh produce comes from there for $15 a week.

We have a really nice new chicken house (future post) that my husband had built for me last fall. We are getting around 18 eggs a day and some neighbors buy eggs from me, that does help with the cost of feed especially in the winter months when the chickens don't roam.

I could buy a milk cow and was going to but my husband is not on board with it. He thinks it will be too much work and responsibility and he has let me know that "HE" will not be milking it!..........I need to just be happy with what I have accomplished and with what we are able to do for ourselves. My personality is a gung hoe one though and I like to do everything 110%....... I would do the cow...make my own cheese and butter.....(I do make my own buttermilk and grind my own wheat) raise my own pig and beef (as long as I don't have to slaughter it) but what frustrates me is I sometimes think my family would be just as happy if we lived on pizza and fast food, sodas, candy............I am very thankful that we are able to have our beef and pork raised by some friends that raise them the way we would ourselves.

I know we live a live style that some only dream of and others wouldn't dream of! LOL The girls love having the horses and all the farm animals though and so do I.

Lord please help me to feel contentment in my life, give me wisdom to do the things you would have me to do, things that will improve our health and lifestyle yet help me to let go of the things that are not practical for us at this time in our lives.....I know that my ministry is here at my home taking care of my family and raising my two granddaughters. Please let your light shine through me Lord that my whole family will know that you are God and that they will all learn to love and serve you.

Funny how I can pray myself right out of being frustrated! :o)



Sue said...

Hi Susan I am so glad to be able to visit you again. I enjoyed this post so much. Oh! how i would love to be able to raise our own chickens for meat! but I am such a coward, I do remember when I was at my grandmothers seeing her go out to the hen house and grabbing a hen and us having it for dinner.
You have a well stocked pantry, too I really enjoy growing and preserving our vegetables, and herbs. DH is in the process of building us a green house, he says it's mine, I guess this means I will be doing the work. ~smile~
Hope you are well, I am feeling much better, thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.
I am looking forward to seeing your new hen house.

Paula said...

Wow~ those pantrys look great!