And now, we bring you the "Poultry Edition".
There are lots of exciting changes up ahead in regards to raising poultry. Here are some things that are in store for our farm in 2011.
Now Offering Heritage Breed Chicken
We are developing our very own breed of heritage breed chickens that will be a cross between a Freedom Ranger and New Hampshire Hen. We are hoping that the body carcass of the Freedom Ranger will blend will with the dual purpose attributes of the New Hampshire for carcass and egg laying production. This will help to replenish our stock by using our very own on-farm-hatchery.
With our on farm hatchery, we hope to replenish our layers and at least half of the meat birds that are raised on our farm. We will have the capability of hatching 1200 eggs a month whether it be chicken, ducks, or turkeys. Because of this, we will have hatchlings available most of the time for sale to those who want to start their own flock from pastured stock. Our hatchery is set-up and ready to go.
Ready to Lay Pullets
While constantly hatching new layers for our operation, we will have ready to lay pullets available at certain times throughout the year. A pullet is a hen that is about to start laying eggs. These will be 5 to 6 mos old pullets ready to produce for 18 to 24 months.
Increasing Egg Production
How many of you just read that and are now excited? We are going to try and increase the number of our layers. This will not only aid in our greater demand for eggs by our customers, but will also give us an overage of eggs so that we can hatch new batches of chicks each month.
A good friend of mine, Morgan Webber, is opening a store in the Heights that will be called “Revival Meats”. Our farm has established a very good relationship with them. They want us to produce duck each month for them. We will produce a little more than they want each month and offer the excess to our families. Hopefully this number will increase as the year goes on and the ducks gain interest.
We are going to start having duck eggs about mid year. We will be using Khaki Campbells which are the most prolific layer of any poultry breed. They should lay about 320 eggs per year. If you have never had a duck egg, then you have never had an egg. These will mainly be used by bakers, chefs, and upscale restaurants, but I sure hope that families will share in the richness of these eggs.
Revival Meats is also wanting to offer turkey in their store year round so we will also have a small amount of turkey available year round as well towards the end of 2011. We will be getting our first poults in February. Our first turkey's will be ready in 8 months. We will offer heritage breed turkeys this year for Thanksgiving and Christmas and will be taking reservations for these birds when it gets closer to the holidays.