Raising your own Roasting Chickens


8 Years
Mar 18, 2013
Mansfield, MA
Hi All just want to share some interesting info

I was looking through my emails and saw this info from GRIT magazine and is based on Homesteading.
It regards an event taking place in Freeport, ME on Raising your own roasting chickens.

What I want to know is if anyone from Massachusetts knows if there are any similar events or
workshops pertaining to this interest would be taking place in and around Massachusetts?

I have copied the address tag and info below. I want to go Saturday but it is such short notice, and
frankly I have a pool to close Saturday. This looks like a really cool workshop!!!!!

Event Title: Raise Your Own Roasting Chickens Sponsor: Wolfe's Neck Farm Email: Click here to contact Phone: 207-865-4469 Address: 184 Burnett Rd City: Freeport State / Province / Other: MAINE Zip / Postal Code: 04032 Category: Livestock-and-Poultry Start Date: 09/14/2013 End Date: 09/14/2013 Description: If you want to learn how to grow your own chicken for your dinner table this is a hands-on opportunity to gain the confidence and knowledge to do it on your own! You don't need a farm to begin raising your own meat birds. Whether you want to raise 5 chickens or 500, this class can get you started. This comprehensive one-day class will cover the basics of raising meat birds on small-scale pastured systems. In addition to hands-on activities, this course will use talks, handouts, a farm tour, Q & A sessions, and will culminate with the opportunity to process your own bird(s) to take home. Website: http://wolfesneckfarm.org/education/sustainable-living-classes.html

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homestead-education/event-listing.aspx?newsletter=1&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=GRIT%20eNews%20091313%20split%20A&utm_campaign=09.13.13%20Grit%20Weekly%20split%20A#ixzz2emaooMun
You might just consider jumping in and raising a few birds.

I can tell you that birds are much less expensive to learn on than other livestock. If you are a first timer with meat birds I would suggest the freedome raingers. I have tried the cornish cross and they are not for the beginners unless you can deal with a few losses along the way. I think it takes a little chicken savy to do well with the cornish x.

I'm buying some meat project birdds from a friend, so I hope to have a few meat birdsd for the freezer next year!! I love the taste of farm raised meat.
Thank you for your response. I am considering doing just that; jumping into it! I did this with my layers, and so far so good

Thanks for the suggestion about the freedom rangers. But is there a variety in particular you would recommend? I am interested in raising a bird that will reach about 7-9 lbs, dressed weight. I feed a family of 5. Two adults and three children under 18 yrs. I know we can eat 2/3's of a 7-8 lb chicken from the market in one sitting and still be able to use the left overs for other meal planning.

Also I need to find out about how to discard the waste that is produced while dressing our chickens. I suppose this is a question for my town officials.
Some people I have talked to say that I should be able to dispose of the waste in our regular weekly trash disposal pick up. Others recommend that I find a local butcher to do the job for a fee. But I want to learn how to do it !!

I have a chicken magazine from the editors of Hobby Farms Magazine I got last spring from Tractor Supply (hubby calls it a chicken porn magazine
). It is a very interesting resource that names Red and Black Rangers as good choices. I also learned that I can grow dual-purpose breed cockerels, such as Wyandottes, Plymouth Rocks and Orpingtons that are 6-8 months when eaten as roasters.
Problem is I am not sure that 2 dozen cockerels in my backyard would go over well with my neighbors.

Sounds like I need to do more research....

So maybe I don't need a work shop to figure it out, but to just listen to suggestions from BYC friends

I feed the waste back to the chickens. THey are omnivores and will benefit from all that protein that us modern folks donot eat. I recenly met some people that use everything from a sheep-- relaly everything. Made me rethink burying all the extras from the chicken processing. Most of it ispure protein.My chickens love it.

Most of the dual purpos breeds are far from roasters. Most of the hatchery lines are actually egg laying machines. A small slim package. On the homesteading and farming thread we try to identify the lines that are good meat lines.

ANd yes the bosy are loud and annoying. My spring hatched males are reminding me it is time to cull. Yellow House Farm just posted some pics of his dressed birds. though all ae over 12 months old. Look great as roasters.

You might go for the rangers and try them. YOu know they are designed to be a faster grwoth than most of the heritage lines, but are not the super muscled super fast growing cornish x. THere is another line too, a barred rock like bird with a funny name that is a meat bird-- might only be available in canada though.

The rangers have a thread or two to read.

I"m stopping the breeding of my hatchery birds because the roosters are not worth eating. Well they are, they just are a bog disappintment meat wise for all the effort to kill and clean. Taste good though.

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