True free range
Hi, I'm new to this blogging lark and much too old to be even considering it but I'm going to have a rattle at it anyway.
I got a terrible attack of conscience buying a chicken fillet the other day and not being a woman of moderation I've decided to grow my own chicken. 20 day-old chicks are arriving today, God help me, and I thought I'd share the experience with you. I've worked out they should cost me around £5 a bird to raise which is pretty cheap for a big free-range bird. And I do mean free-range... not offered a bale of straw and a window! Have you ever seen a 'free-range' chicken farm? The birds don't want to go outside, not, as the farmers say, because they prefer the house. RUBBISH! They are afraid to go outside because it's just a big scary open space, not what a chicken wants at all. My chickens will be under willows and research has shown that birds raised in these conditions are more than 60% more likely to go outside and stay outside for longer.
What I relly want to do is start a large chicken farm, producing 500 birds a month that have been properly free-ranged under short-rotation coppice willow and fed whole grain natural food, but where oh where could I sell them???
Tesco's will offer me a couple of quid a bird and charge YOU a fortune. M&S? Again big business. Moy Park has the chicken industry sewn up here and want you to produce a minimum of about 20,000 birds if you join them! They lend you the money for the shed which, guess what, needs to be replaced by the time it's paid off.
I don't want to rear 20,000 birds, I want to offer a happily reared chicken which has had a decent contented natural life for the price of a small roast. I don't think thats too much to ask, I really don't. I came to this site in the hope of meeting like minded people who may have advice?
So, come on guys, are my chicken-farmer dreams poppycock? Am I a headless chicken? Is anyone out there????
I'll post tomorrow, hopefully with pics of the little darlings.