This year we are trying something new, instead of buying Cornish Cross meat birds, we ordered 25 cockerels to raise until they start crowing. Yes, it will take a few more weeks, but I think the quality of meat will be better. Plus, they will forage for more of their food, rather than sitting next to the feeder and getting fat. :) Time will tell if it was a good move, but the price of the birds was too good to pass up for this frugal farmer! We ended up, with shipping, paying just over $.60 each for our birds. NOT bad, considering a typical meat bird is more than twice that. like I said, time will tell. It's a gamble we were willing to take. Having 25 birds in our freezer this winter will be a huge blessing! I've missed home grown chicken...we at the last of our last batch months ago.
Here they are in their brood cage. We converted an old rabbit hutch into a brooding cage. It's got two cages, we have a hen setting a clutch of eggs in the other cage...praying some hatch this weekend. :) It's our first attempt at this. So far, one egg has broken to reveal a nasty truth, an unfertilized egg. :(Stinky mess and one that will have to be cleaned up after the rest hatch (if they do).
Our garden has been less than stellar this year. Cold and wet weather this spring has contributed to the not so wonderful results. So far, all that has done even close to "well" are the potatoes, onions, beets (which I harvested half of this week and canned up 11 pints of pickled beets, froze several bags of beet tops too), peas and carrots. Here are my peas. I've harvested twice so far and ended up with a 1 quart container of peas. There are more out there to harvest today, perhaps another quart. :) I'll also be planting more beets, peas and carrots for a fall harvest. I've got to do something to redeem my sad garden.
Here is our lone tomato. So far, lots of blossoms, but only one lonely tomato has been brave enough to make an appearance. Won't go far, I'll be buying tomatoes to can this year. So frustrating! I also planted pole beans, they are doing OK, but not nearly as tall as they should be by now. Not sure what kind of harvest we'll get off of them this year. I am praying for an extended growing season, that would help! We have learned some lessons this year, however, so not all is lost. Yes, we'll end up with little to show for our efforts, but the knowledge we'll take into next years garden will hopefully make up for what we didn't harvest this year. Always learning, and trying to improve. :) That's what this is all about anyway, right?