Our freezer is full. The meat birds and one goose were brought to the mobile processing unit yesterday. Husband and I had to get up at 5:00 am to get the hens into some cages to bring them to the processor. With an hour's drive we were the first to arrive at 7:30am only to be met by a friend who was the second to arrive. It was quite a surprise running into her there as she drove into town from McBride - who would have thought we would have made the appointments on the same day.
The unit was interesting and full of stainless steel - since we were the first people there we got a tour! I was very happy to see on one of the signs "Make sure to treat the animals humanely"
Upon arriving home Husband went out to feed the geese and the gander promptly nailed him. He was bitten quite hard. I think the gander was afraid he was next in line for processing. Of course when I went out the gander was as gentle as usual with me (goose love).
I don't think that I mentioned that we sold all of the Americauna chicks that we hatched in the spring. Our intention was to keep them, but after having the Plymouth Barred Rock and discovering how calm they are, we decided that the flighty Americaunas are not our preferred breed. So, I placed an ad on Kijiji and sold them all for $10 a piece about 2 months ago and I am still getting inquiries from people wanting to buy them.
We have been in a quandry as to what to do with your old laying hens. I mentioned it to one of my clients and they said that they would take them even though they are already three years old. Once they build their henhouse I will deliver the hens and Lucky.
The Barred Rock are great and the rooster (the other 3 went to the processor) has begun crowing. It sounds so funny sort of like a muffled trumpet. We have one teeny tiny hen in the batch and she is about a quarter the size of the others, but she is tough as nails and is always the first to the food and water.
Tomorrow I will be cleaning out hen house and outside pens and moving the Barred Rock into the side where the old layers are to get them settled. The have not begun laying yet, but at least they will be in the side with the nest boxes. The old layers will go on the other side until my client's are ready to accept them - it shouldn't be a problem without the nest boxes as they are only laying 2-3 eggs a day with the darker days.
At the end of July the fox ate Donald our drake Khaki Campbell. The duck hens seemed so lost without him, so I began looking around for another drake. On Kijiji someone had advertised a FREE Khaki drake, but to get him I would also have to take a Mallard hen. They joined our flock at the end of September and seem to be doing very well. At took a liitle bit to get them acquainted with our existing hens, but they get along rather well now.
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