Thursday, September 12, 2013

Increasing Our Protein Options

  • so we have a freezer full of pork ..... yummmmmo.
  • we are getting more eggs than we know what to do with.
  • on the dam our calves contentedly eat grass and grow into what will be great beef for our table one day
  • most days i am cooking with at least one or two things from our property (unless of course the neighbours sheep and goat habitually get in and decimate your cauliflower, broccoli, peas, kohlrabi, etc..... you get the picture).

and this all makes my heart very happy.

but we need to close a loop on our need to buy in our protein .... gradually and when and how we can.  i'm happy to report we starting to seriously do just that.

we are finally hatching our own chickens.  meet our first four additions, future layer and three dinners (oops, roosters!).  how can i tell that at a day old?  well, that's a story for another day .... lets just say its in the breed you choose.
hellooooooo chickies!
our goal is to be raising enough chickens so that we can have one - two chicken meals a week.  so that means roughly three birds, which can't be processed until they are 4-5 months old.  gestation period is roughly 21 days, and we have a small incubator (9-12 eggs) with a roughly 70% fertility (our rooster is young his rate will increase dramatically in the next year), and the odd broody hen, we should do great. come the new year we should start having regular chicken meals on our sustainable table!

it is amazing how precise they can be as they are getting
ready to climb out of their shell!
welcome to the world!  the first home grown
JustEarth chook!
saying hello to #2!
hellooooooo broody mama!

btw ... if you have small children, it is a fascinating process to include them in.  candling the eggs from the get go to see if they are fertile .... checking progress, watching them hatch.  it is a great hands on education for our kiddos!

the next step will of course be ensuring that our animals pay their own way.  we need to be raising enough chicks and a plethora of eggs so we can sell these to the local community.  the proceeds from these sales will help cover feed costs and ensure the ongoing viability of this endeavour.

i wonder if i see turkeys, geese and ducks in our future?  i don't know!  would be a good way for the kids to earn some money and learn fiscal responsibility.  but..... in the meantime ...

we do what we can
where we are
with what we have.

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