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.

The four that were culled were ready to go (in more ways than one) but rather small, so it is two of them to a roasting dish! Still enough left to make a soup though, so nothing is wasted. The point of this post is to send the message that it is okay if you are not quite matching up to the amazing self sufficiency websites out there. The reality is often quite different from what is projected on the internet. Especially if you are trying to tackle self-sufficiency on all fronts. But every bit you do and every step you take, empowers you and makes a different for the planet. So keep at it and don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes and ask for advice.

In the meantime, we will continue to wait for our next  roast chicken …….