Friday, March 11, 2011


For those who have read this blog for a couple years now, you've probably already realized that every year, I like to do a few "experiments".

Several years ago, the experiment was to grow rutabagas and Mangels for a food source for our pigs and chickens.

The following year, I experimented with using Buckwheat as chicken feed and a green manure. I needed to increase the fertility of the the Strawberry Bed.

Last year, the big experiment turned out to be keeping meat birds over Winter. I wasn't expecting to do that, but that is just what we ended up doing.

We kept 2 roosters and 6 hens, all Cornish Giants. Over the next few months, the pullets became hens when they started laying beautiful eggs. 

This Winter has been hard on our chicken population.  First what we think was a fox came calling and killed some of the Cornish Giant hens. They may have been targeted because they are larger and more cumbersome. My other laying hens can run pretty quick!

Then what we think may have been an owl got into the chicken coop and killed the remaining Cornish Giant Hen. Before that, the largest rooster kicked the bucket. Flat on his back, legs up in the air.

We are now down to 1 Cornish Giant rooster and 7 Red Sex Link laying hens.

Why am I telling you this? In the next day or so, I'll finally post about what the Experiment of 2011 seems to be.

What about you? Do you do experiments each year? Trials of certain veggies or flowers?

I usually try to find something to experiment that won't take a lot of my time - time becomes quite precious during the growing season around here. Sphere: Related Content


Karen said...

I'm guessing you are going to try hatching some cornish/sex link eggs.
I'm not organized enough to plan for experiments, they just 'happen'.

Jen said...

Are you trying to create your own meat chickens?

Cedar View Paint Horses said...

Don't I remember you writing about an incubator?

Rina ... also Chester or Daisysmum. said...

Hi Annie, I followed you post on keeping egg chickens and selling eggs to pay for their feed, with success. That lead me to raising 24 meat chooks of which I will be slaughtering the last 9 today. So far with success, average weight 2,800gr freezer space became a problem. Maybe only 12 birds next time, and not over our summer due to heat exhaustion, (lost 1 bird)I was thinking of saving one rooster and 2 hens but we have a orpington rooster who might not like it too much.
Sept/oct we are planning on getting 2 piglet and raising those for slaughter to make salami over winter. They should be 9 months old by then.
I have linked your blog as the best for "How Too's" in my last post.Have a great weekend Rina

Annie said...

Andy, your memory is better than mine!

If we are lucky, we will be able to raise our own meat birds as well as laying hens this way.

We will keep the pullets for layers and butcher the roosters after they get nice and plump.

I was hoping to get a seperate nesting box set up down at the Barn for that one broody hen and then just give her a bunch of eggs to sit on. Time is proving to be a problem for that tho....and with our setup it would not be that easy to just give her an area inside the existing coop. We should have planned that beter!

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