Over the last two weeks, the chickens have settled into their new home on pasture and have continued to grow! We have slowly added more feeders as their appetites have increased, and now they are really moving through grain.The birds are starting to get close to their finished size, at least as far as their bones are concerned. With three weeks to go until slaughter, they still have time to put on more muscle and fat, but they are already starting to feel heavy in a very exciting way. It is so much fun to watch them on fresh ground; they are so eager to catch bugs and even munch on the grass!
This week, we were fortunate to pick up some free spent brewing grains from a local homebrewer in Hinesburg. The grains are mostly barley with a little bit of oats and wheat, leftovers from the beer making process. We can’t feed elusively spent grains (because the birds could develop a lysine deficiency), but we are mixing it in with their normal crumbles.
As a fun (crazy) side project, we also spent several hours breaking sod and planting a 30′ x 30′ patch of wheat! Last weekend at the Common Ground Country Fair in Maine, we went to a talk on heritage grains and left with a package of banatka, a heritage variety of winter wheat from the country of Georgia. So, being the over-eager farm kids that we are, we decided to plant it because it was free. We are very grateful to my parents, Jean and Briana, for the land and renting the bushhog and roto-tiller for us.