One of the 2009 class of broilers
Mike and the kids caught the 75 free-range broiler chickens we've been raising this summer, put them in the chicken crates he made, and took them to Ashby Minnesota to be butchered. The one in the picture skipped the trip to Ashby.
We've learned a lot about raising chickens and it shows! I hope you can see how yellow this bird is- a striking difference from last year's chicken.
This year we didn't use the portable chicken coop- moving it daily around the farmyard. We just let the chickens run wild. They were smarter, more interesting, less concentrated manure, and ate more diverse food. They showed instincts- like diving under a car or propane tank when a hawk flew over. We even lost fewer birds this year. And I think they are tastier... They were "finished off" on crab apples. The chickens just hung out eating apples all day long the last couple weeks.
We made old-fashioned fried chicken (dipped in eggs- then into our hand ground Big Stone County wheat) and it tasted divine as part of a traditional August farmhouse dinner- slice tomatoes and cucumbers, sweet corn, fried chicken, and cilantro tossed rice (okay- not traditional). Everything but the salt, pepper and rice was grown on our farm. Topped the meal off with some Black Current Wine (for me and Leona) and a Summit Pale Ale for Mike.
Enjoying the fruits of summer's labor...