Monday, October 15, 2007

chicken tractor in the garden

This year I decided to try raising something a little different in my community garden plot, Cornish Cross broiler chickens. I've raised these before but not in my community garden plot. I got permission to do this and am calling it a pilot project. Hopefully next year other gardeners will join in also.
I started out with 13 female chicks, I brooded them in my garage for about 3 weeks. One suddenly died early on leaving an even dozen. At about 3 weeks I moved them into a 4 x 8 foot tractor in my garden in an area where the winter squash had been harvested. I butchered 3 of them at 26 days to see how they would be as Cornish game hens. They were about 1.5 lbs each and were quite good with a raspberry jam and balsamic vinegar glaze. The other 9 will be butchered shortly.

I often let the chickens out of the tractor while I'm in the garden or volunteering on the adjacent farm. Here you can see Kahlil acting as a good hawk deterrent while the chickens are busy helping eating grass and weeds and helping the soil fertility.

2 comments:

  1. VermontGal1:49 PM

    I'm also using a chicken tractor in my community garden plot in Vermont! Also experimental, but so far well-received.

    That is a great idea about doing meat birds at the garden plot. I am a little nervous about having my hens out there. I may try meat birds next year, too, although I have in mind to raise Buff Orpingtons.

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