"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Meat chicks

We are working to have a varied diet at hand, within seasonal limits. I like to be able to go to the freezer and be able to choose from a range of meats just as I like to be able to go to the veggie garden to eat a different selection of veggies most nights. Granted there must be a seasonal variation with vegetables and this is a good thing too as it whets the appetite for variety from the garden and brightens the diet. But where meat is concerned it is a chore indeed to eat a whole beef before a change in diet. To avoid this we try to keep production going and slaughter regularly to keep the freezer stocked with a variety of meats. At any one time I should be able to choose from beef, pork, chicken, duck, turkey, chevon or mutton.
So I intend to raise a batch of fifty meat chooks each year. I was originally intending to breed my own but it is much easier, and cheaper, to just buy the chicks wholesale. They are a meat bird natural crossbreed (We do not permit GMO on the Cloud farm!) and are raised on pure organic food. So what if they take a little longer to mature than the chemically fattened victims from the factory? Our birds taste better and grow at least as large.
They arrive by air freight as day old chicks. Day olds, for those who don't know, can be mailed about the place with impunity as long as they remain warm enough -for when they hatch the chicks still have a yolk sack in their stomach. This supplies them with everything they need for about forty eight hours. To try this with week old birds would almost certainly kill the lot.
So I drove down the mountain to Cairns and picked up a chirping box of chicks.
There I was confronted by a young girl of ten or so and her mother. The young lady was enchanted by the cute little chick but horrified that I intended to eat them. I enquired if the young lady ate chicken and she assured me she did. I then reminded her that all chickens started out as cute little chicks just like these, likewise the wool she wore came from a sheep that was once a lamb and the leather of her shoes came from a cow that was once a calf.
I suppose I am a bit of a bastard really...
Anyway, the chicks are currently in the brooder under a light to keep warm until they are old enough to go out to the fatteners pen. They sure are eating, drinking and growing well.

1 comment:

  1. Curious what the young lady said after your explanation, which makes complete sense to me!
    --Ivy Mae