Saturday 10 November 2012

Late Departures

Although we have officially sold out of grown birds,
there are two last orders to fill.
Five almost mature hens have been separated out for sale in the morning.
The only way to pick and choose is at night when the birds are roosting,
so it's important to plan ahead.

Surveying all of the birds, it looks as though the fox has been thinning the numbers.
Although we did sell quite a few chickens this fall, the flock looks surprisingly small.
It's a real drag to know that birds have gone missing without even having seen the fox for a while.
Still, there are birds left, and as long as we can produce fertile eggs,
we can hatch more chicks.

There will be one more sale after this and then we must keep the remaining pullets for our own flock replacements.
Even chicks are tricky for us right now as our older hens are producing few eggs,
and the new pullets have not yet fully matured.
There are lots of roosters available to choose from.
I expect to keep about six for ourselves as breeders.
The remaining males will go into the freezer as part of our Winter food supply.

I do find it hard to part with birds.
It's difficult to choose who goes and who stays.
This was our first year selling chickens and we did learn from the experience.
The demand outstripped our supply fairly quickly as most everyone wanted hens.
Also, I need to keep better track of ages since that gives the buyer the best idea of when birds will start laying.

Having kept well over 150 chickens this year, I also see why there is a perceived threshold of 100 birds after which point the work begins to add up.
The carrying capacity of the land the birds are on was also pushed to it's limit.
If we are going to expand there will need to be new land opened up and buildings added.

The best part of selling chickens is meeting the buyers.
Our birds are attracting folks not unlike ourselves
And considering our core objectives,
that is reason enough to carry on selling our birds.


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