Ron and I got up early this morning to butcher several chickens but woke up to rain. We need the rain but wanted to get the next group done. So now we will be butchering chickens on Saturday morning. Ron goes back to work tomorrow and doing it by myself would take forever. I would love to find a used chicken plucker and am running an ad on Craigslist looking for one. Not sure exactly how many we will be doing this time but for sure there will be 4 roosters and several hens. I think I will cut the meat from the bones and grind the chicken as we eat ground chicken and ground turkey instead of ground beef. Then I will put the bones in the roaster and use the broth to can and if there are any small pieces of chicken I will can that.
After we get the butchering done we will be moving some pullets to the cage of layers and move the 4 leghorn hens in with the leghorn rooster so we can get some pure breed leghorn eggs to hatch. Leghorns are the best layers and each hen lays about 6 eggs a week. I will leave them together for a couple of weeks and start collecting eggs to hatch the second week when I'm sure they are mating. This will mean that the new leghorns will start laying in the early spring. Out of the first 12 chickens I hatched I had one 1 rooster and so far the other 20-30 others are just getting old enough to start telling.
Of the 5 turkeys I have I'm sure we will be only butchering 1 for Thanksgiving and saving the rest for next years breeding and then will butcher the ones kept from this year and start a new breeding group every year. Turkeys are best if butchered before they are a year old or not more that 15 months . If older they get a little tough.
I've learned a lot this past year on chickens and turkeys and have done things I never thought I would do. It just goes to show your never to old to learn and I love learning new things.