Hanging out for a roast chicken

Ever since we ‘rescued’ the chickens from a free-range farm, it has felt wrong to buy free-range chicken. Please don’t misunderstand, to those of you still buying chicken – please buy free range. It is definitely better than battery farmed. But not good enough for our liking. So we made a pact to only eat our own ‘free-range’ chicken. Knowing it has truly free ranged and had a good (if short) life was enough for us. But despite most websites making it look easy and positive, there are a few issues to  raising your own chickens.

Unless you are perfectly set up for it, raising your own meat chickens is a bit of hit and miss. We were doing reasonably well but with the move to the Hawke’s Bay we lost our rooster. No rooster means no baby chicks!! We managed to bring one lot of babies (and mum) with us, as well as some that we  call ‘teenagers’ (in behaviour as well as size). But after culling four of the chickens we now have to wait until the new rooster grows up and help us to produce some more baby chickens.