Day old meat chicks
Growing your own chicken for meat at home is easier than you think.
Like layers for eggs, meat chickens do require daily maintenance - topping up feed, water, and cleaning or changing their bedding material.
However, unlike layers, chickens destined for the table are a commitment for as long or short a period as you like, generally before the roosters start crowing.
When to process your chickens is personal preference, but usually they can be done between 4 weeks (approximately 1.5kg) and 8 weeks (approximately 3-3.5kg).
Why grow your own chicken for meat at home?
The most important reason to grow your own meat is so that you know what goes into it. Ideally we would grow all the meat that we consume, but that is
not practical... a city block does not have room to grow a cow or a pig. But there is usually enough room for chickens, who have a modest space requirement.
Another reason is to have the pleasure of contributing to your own diet. Most people's lifestyles now circulate around offices, computers and paperwork.
They have no opportunity to get back to nature, and their 'fresh' food comes from the supermarket, with all the preservatives that go into helping the product remain useable for longer.
There is a demand for organic and free range products, but they are expensive, and what you are actually buying may not be exactly what you think you are buying.
For instance, 'free range' does not mean that the animals roam where they please 24/7. Especially for animals like chickens,
who are relatively defenceless against their many predators, allowing them to roam at will would be virtually impossible to maintain.
Free range chickens are securely housed during the night when predators are generally most active, and are allowed to roam in a fenced area during daylight.
Many people enjoy raising their own chicken, and I believe everyone should do it at least once, to provide an insight into where that meat in the
supermarket actually comes from.
These birds are Arbor Acres, a commercial broiler. They are quick-growing, and in optimum conditions can average 2kg in 6 weeks.
They are not injected with any hormones and need to be in a breeze-free environment under heat for their first 3-4 weeks.
They are $3.50 each, with 10% discount for orders of over 100. There is no minimum order.
Chicks can be collected by arrangement, or transported to a freight depot in most areas of Victoria for an additional fee.
The next incubation will not begin until I have the numbers to bring eggs in.
Incubations are generally commenced around March-April and July-August, to try and avoid the birds growing out in extreme heat or cold.
Pre-incubation orders are required.
To order, or for more information, call Leonora on 0415 305 323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address is not always checked regularly, so if you
don't receive a timely response it would be worth sending a text.
Changes last made: February 2015.