Our laying hen chicks are now 9 weeks old and they are positively huge. It's time for them to fly the coop and move from the brooder to the outside world. No doubt they could have gone outside a month ago, but they're just so cute and funny -- I love having them around. But chickens weren't created to live in garages, no matter how luxurious the brooding suite. So, out they'll go sometime this week (when the coop is finished).
I want, immediately, to start a new project. Broiler hens. 8 weeks from hatch to dispatch. As much as I joke about naming calves "Jerky" and "Teriyaki," I think it would be rather difficult actually to kill, cook and eat something I've raised from day one. But the more I read and see about the disgusting conditions most chickens are raised in (salmonella outbreak, anyone?), and the grotesque ways in which they are slaughtered and processed, the more I want to break free from dependency on agri-business and raise my own meat.
If the 50 broiler trial works for us, we might even be able to develop a little local business out of it.
But let's not count our chickens before they... groan, nevermind.