July 2012 ex-vegan


Yesterday. Wow. It went really well, even though it was SUPER hot, we processed 48 chickens with our customers. At the end of the afternoon, we finally weighed one of our gorgeous birds, a smaller one. Over 8lbs. Schnikes!

I did the calculations and we started with 61 chicks and brought 55 of them to harvest, which is extraordinary. I’m feeling so grateful to those bubs, our customers and am so happy with our setup for raising them. They really were happy and healthy birds, and will taste amazing because they lived in the great outdoors in the sun, rain, & wind on pasture. We used electronet for their paddock, and put them into their chicken tractors at night. They got lots of exercise and had strong legs until the end. Their breasts were not a cake of matted on crap, like most broilers. We fed them on the other side of the paddock from where their night shelter was, so they actually ran over to eat. We fed them kale and other greens as chicks so they knew how to forage once they went into their paddock, and in their gizzards was plenty of grass as proof. And I’ll add that cooing and loving on these birds helps too. They started on 22% protein feed, certified organic from Cashton. Then they went onto an 18% certified organic grower feed also from cashton. Very expensive, but totally worth it as having such a high survival rate is unusual.


2 thoughts on “July 2012 ex-vegan

  1. Great post. Thanks for the from the heart description of transition from vegan to omnivore. My eldest daughter is vegetarian (has been for about a year). I found this initially perplexing, given that we raise our meat much as you do, and her main reason for becoming vegetarian was for ethical reasons (also for health reasons). Why, I asked, if that’s the case, don’t you just abstain from meat that’s not from our farm? And she pointed out how difficult that would be as a teenager (she was 18 when she made the switch) – willpower can be a fragile thing. It was safer and easier to just make the statement “I’m vegetarian” and people back off, stop encouraging you to take just a small piece, and for her to tell herself “no, don’t choose that – you’re vegetarian”. Quitting cold turkey, so to speak. She has known from the beginning that she will go back to eating meat like ours, but she wanted to establish some better eating habits first, and train herself not to eat unethical meat when out and about. The other day, we had a great discussion about it while she helped me process a number of my old laying hens – a job she found very difficult, but recognized as necessary and participated in with determination. Much of what you express in this post, about males, about raising methods, is very much in her thought process on the topic, and I know her participation with the layers the other day was her first step on the same path you took. Whether it will include liver or not, I don ‘t know :).

    1. Sounds like she is being true to her heart as she works through these thoughts and feelings, and how AWESOME she chose the vegetarian label as an easier answer for now, I really admire that! You are an excellent mom to be by her side, and rock on that she helped process the older layers meanwhile. I SO appreciate your comments and thoughts as you read, thank you!

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