When a friend called and asked for help taking a few young chickens off her hands, how could I refuse? Give these ones a month or two and they’ll be ready for dinner. Right now they’re just too cute – see the chirpy chirp video – but they’ll get big. These are roosters, unwanted hatchlings from a farm that raises egg-laying hens.
They’re different from the last meat birds I raised. These are Light Sussex, a dual-purpose bird, so they won’t get as big, but they also won’t be as awkward either. The white rocks I had were very heavy on the front, so they looked a bit clumsy and uncomfortable. These light sussex are pretty spry so far. Some pics and info on the Sussex breed show a few different varieties (scroll down on the linked page for very cute chickie pics!). They may not have as much breast meat on them, but that’s ok because I like the dark meat anyway. Here’s my lunch today:
Dark chicken meat from the last batch of chickens in my backyard, mango, avocado, and other flavours. It’s not a very local salad, I know, but for me it’s more important to know that the meat is free of antibiotics, chemicals, hormones, etc. They were happy chickens allowed to scratch in the dirt and have space to live.
If you are interested in growing your own chicken in your kitchen garden, check out Backyard Chickens. It’s a very informative site that can probably answer most of your questions.