We are doing things a little differently this year. Due to a new summer commitment for our family (travel baseball), we only plan to raise one batch each of ducks, chickens, turkeys, and possibly geese. For some reason, it is difficult to find someone willing to take care of our birds twice a day, everyday, for no pay, while we are gone. ;) We are committed to raising our birds in as healthy a manner as possible, which includes moving their shelters once or twice a day, as well as constantly checking on feed & water, but we don't make enough profit to actually pay someone to help us accomplish that goal.
Therefore, we have sketched out a tentative schedule for the season that works around our schedule and limits total processing days for us. We have a limited number of shelters available for raising birds, and as soon as we reach that number of orders (on a first-come, first-served basis), we will be sold out for the year. So make sure to figure in how many birds you would like for an entire year as well as your freezer/storage capacity when placing your order(s). To reserve your birds, please fill out the appropriate form(s) on our Sales page or call us to place order and then mail us this form.
Sales Page order forms:
In addition, we are asking for a small deposit if reserving Thanksgiving turkeys. Our 8-year old son (who refers to himself as Turkey Boy) is in charge of about half of the turkeys we raise. He pays for the poults and the feed and takes care of them every day. Last year was a work-in-progress since the whole turkey thing was new to us, but now we have an idea of how long it will take heritage breed turkeys to grow out and we have a better understanding of how to process the turkeys. We will only raise turkeys for people who pay a $20 deposit, and customers will have a choice to buy heritage breed or the standard (white) turkeys. Heritage breed turkey poults are more expensive and take significantly longer to grow to a marketable size, hence the price difference.
If we get a broody hen this spring or decide to buy straight-run layer chicks, we will have a limited availability of "soup chickens," which are essentially the grown-out cockerels (roosters). Since the cockerels will likely be 4-5 months old at processing, the meat will be a bit tough, but full of flavor, and will tenderize if cooked long and slow (like how you would cook chuck roast). Also, cockerels have large drumsticks but little breast meat. These soup chickens are a great choice for making flavorful, pastured chicken broth. Please indicate in the survey below if you would have any interest in soup chickens and we will contact you if/when available.
We are also hoping to hatch out a handful of goslings this spring. While the geese have finally started mating, *we have not received a first egg yet. Also, goose eggs are notoriously difficult to incubate, so even if/when we get eggs, we aren't sure if we'll have successful hatches. If we do, we will either grow out the goslings to sell as a traditional Christmas goose, or we will simply sell the goslings to people wanting to raise their own geese. We are also contemplating adding quail and/or laying ducks to the farm. Please indicate on the survey below if you have any interest in geese or quail for meat or duck/quail eggs.
*UPDATE: We found our first 2 goose eggs about an hour after writing this blog post!
Feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns about these changes.