Getting started. Why raise chickens? 0/3
Requirements (parts list) for raising chickens 0/4
Basic breed types and their characteristics 0/2
Purebred flock vs. assortment 0/1
Incubators and hatching chicks 0/3
When things go wrong and predators too! 0/5
Processing birds 0/4
Why You Should Eat Chickens from Your Flock
In a Nutshell…
If you raise chickens because you want to supply food for yourself and your family you need to learn to process them, so you can eat them. This is for the sake of efficiency. Keeping chickens costs money and one of the keys to self sufficiency is to make the best use of everything possible produced by those animals. Only by doing this can we justify the feed and time put into them.
All chickens grow old and come to the point that their egg production no longer justifies their feed. If left to age indefinitely, they will simply cost you money and work against your dreams of greater self sufficiency. Even if you give the birds away, at some point, most of them will end up in the pot. So, logically, since you paid for all that feed, you yourself ought to benefit from that investment.
Four More Reasons to Butcher Your Own Chickens
Raising Chickens Produces Extras
Statistically, Every Hatch of Chicks will be 1/2 Cockerels. No one needs that many roosters!
So, if you plan on hatching chicks, you are at least going to have extra roosters. Don’t waste them. Eat them!
Purposeful Breeding Produces Even More Extras
If you raise a pure breed, you’ll need to cull, in order to maintain the breed standard.
The only way to improve or even maintain a strain of birds is hatch more birds than needed and cull those which which are not up to the breed standard. Culling simply means that one removes the bird from the gene pool, however It’s impossible to find enough people wanting pet chickens, to keep up with the flow of culls you’ll encounter, so you might as well eat them!
Old Birds Are Good to Eat
Do not fall for the fallacy that old birds are no good to eat. They are fabulous eating if you cook them correctly!
Any breed of chicken can be eaten. Some breeds don’t get very large. Some that do grow to a large size take a long time to do so. Still, any healthy chicken can eaten. If you need to cull, then you might as well take advantage of it and get some good eating from the deal.