Monday, June 6, 2011

I should not be left unsupervised any sort of livestock show. Yesterday morning it was the Boston Poultry Expo. I just went to look, I swear. I was hoping to find that someone there raised a particular breed of dual-purpose chicken that I am interested in acquiring, a hard-to-find breed called Blue Orpington. Buff Orpingtons are everywhere, and Black Orpingtons are fairly common as well. Blues, however, were nowhere to be found. My intent was merely to make a connection and acquire some chicks or mature birds at a later date. Seeing no Blue Orpingtons in the show cages, I wandered on outside to the parking lot where there were birds for sale. Still no Blue Orpies. But, sticking out like sore thumb was one lone blue bantam Aracuana chick in a cage of ducklings. Sooooo, long story short, I bought it. And because you can't raise a chick alone, I got four Cornish Giant chicks too. Little chick blue is henceforth to be known as "Storm", because I don't know, or care, whether it is male or female. The Cornish chicks are named Potato, Carrot, Onion, and Gravy; and are destined to become dinner.

Cornish Giants are a purely meat bird, and if allowed to keep growing past slaughter weight they quickly reach a point where their legs and hearts cannot support their bodies for a normal chicken life. So they are frankenbirds, not what I envisioned raising on this here piece of earth but they're my first try at raising my own meat, and I hope it will help to know that if they are not slaughtered, their quality of life would be horrible. That's my theory, anyway. I'll let you know if it works out that way three months hence.

Here are the little fluffballs, comfortably ensconced in the brooder box:


  1. Stumbled upon your blog off of Jenna Woginrich's Cold Antler Farm. Loved your roll call post and love finding others journeys that I can follow along side my own into this wonderful thing we call homesteading. I know all about your chicken dilemma. My husband really wanted an Amerucana and I drove all over town looking for one and finally found it. Thankfully I already had 4 chicks back at home to keep him company or I would have ended up with more. I am interested to see how the meat birds go...hoping to jump into that experiment next year.

  2. But who will slaughter them??? I have issues. :-) xo

  3. @Nicole - Welcome! It's a long sloooow trip but progress is being made! Goal is to be able to feed myself from this land, within a 3-5 year time frame.

    @Movie - I will bring them to the people I bought them from to be slaughtered, aka "processed". I haven't learned how to do it myself - yet.

  4. Hey Darc
    going on a tangent from Erins question about chicken slaughtering - ask dad about how helpful he was when gramma Bud would ax a chicken for dinner. Dad would always wanna watch, and just when gram raised the ax, dad would reach down and pet the chicken .... we're lucky that gram has a good eye or our dad would be single handed.

  5. @dac - I've heard those stories, how he would try to wait until the last minute and say "there's a good chicken". That's why I haven't asked him to help me off them!