Meat Chicken Chicks

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Meat Chicken ChicksIt’s that time of the year when the days are much cooler here in Michigan and the nights stay around 50 so it’s the perfect weather to raise a batch of Meat Chickens. Once a year at Grama Reds farm we buy 45 chicks, fatten them up, and send them to market. They’re just adorable at this stage but quickly become very plump and not so cute. Meat chickens are quick growing, if we leave their food down 24/7 it only takes 5 weeks to have a bird ready for the freezer. I always call a whole chicken in the store a pigeon because of how small they are. I’m used to our farm raised chickens that actually have meat on their bones. 

Meat Chicken ChicksThey will live in the water tanks for about 2 weeks, and once they’re mature enough to not need the heat lamps they’ll be let out into the coop. This year we are taking their food up at night so we’re planning on it taking about 7-8 weeks to get them to the size we like. It’s such an easy way to have fresh chickens all year long and know what they’ve been eating. The flavor is amazing and so much better than a store bought bird. 

Meat Chicken Chicks

Did you notice the blue powder on the birds? It’s just for marking purposes as to what type it is, and it brushes right off. As they grow I’ll be back to show you more pics. They’re so different from a laying chicken, you’ll be amazed how big their feet get and how meaty their legs are compared to a layer. 

Dawn

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Comments

  1. Lynell says

    They are so cute ! I can’t imagine caring for them and then butchering them ! I don’t think I could eat them after raising them.
    Born and raised city girl and proud of it. Buy my chicken all wrapped up in the store. And yes we did have chickens. I named a few and the eggs were lovely after they were washed ! LOL had one hen that come in my kitchen if door left open and lay her egg under my kitchen table. Another hen Henrietta would lay on my lap like a cat and loved being petted. I cried when she died.
    If I had been raised in the country I guess it would be different. Read your site daily . Love some of your ideas.

    • says

      Lynell luckily I don’t do the butchering I send them off for that. I love your chicken stories. Our laying hens follow us around like pets and you can pick them up and carry them. They are very spoiled they get fresh fruits and veggies every day as treats and they always look forward to it. Thank you for the following the blog!

  2. nana says

    So cute. I don’t think I could raise them then kill them for food. You are so awesome that you can do that. Maybe if I was brought up doing that I would have a different mind set.
    Thank you for showing what farm life is really like.

    • says

      Nana luckily I don’t do the butchering or it would never happen. I load them in the truck and a small hobby farm near me does it all. When I get them back they are bagged in frozen.

  3. says

    You are so right, Dawn. The flavor of home grown far surpasses what is in the store, and the texture is even different. There is also a comfort in knowing they have been humanely treated while being raised.

    • says

      Pam you are so right I hate to think about what a store bought chicken goes through.

    • says

      Carol, haha….I’m getting prepared for winter, we just put our beef in the freezer this week too.

  4. says

    I have never heard of meat chickens!! we had chickens growing up and Dad would cut their heads off and hang them on the clothesline to bleed out and then put them in boiling water and Mom would pull the feathers off and then Dad would butcher them. I know it sounds terrible but we had the best chicken and dumplings….Dad taught me how to cut up a chicken at a very early age…Maybe they were meat chickens!!!

    • says

      Jeanie you can tell the difference between a meat chicken and a layer. The meat chickens have really big feet and move like a turtle, they are very slow and pitiful looking. My gram used to do the same with chickens, those were such different times that I long for.

  5. Donna says

    I was raised in the country and we raised chickens for Tyson’s. We would have 80,000 chickens at a time. Way back then they didn’t use all the “medications” they do now and they tasted like chickens. Before we sold them my Dad would catch about 20 and Mom would butcher and put them in the freezer. We always had fresh chicken to eat. Now I have 4 big fat laying hens who very seldom lay me any eggs, but they are like my pets now. I would love to get some meat chickens , because there is nothing like fresh chicken. I really enjoy reading your blog 🙂

    • says

      Donna did you live in Michigan? There’s a huge Tyson plant south of me. I agree there’s nothing like home grown meat. We feed ours organically, they’re always clean, and treated humanely and that’s important to me.

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