This was a last minute decision, chick season being pretty well over. We picked up our new flock of 25 meat birds in Cambridge Narrows yesterday from somebody who had ordered too many from the Country Co-op. These little guys are Meat Kings, a White Rock x Cornish. They are the most common meat birds in New Brunswick. We would have preferred to continue with heritage breeds, but decided to go with this bird as they will grow quickly and be ready for processing around the end of September. We are providing them with organic, bought feed. I know there may be even healthier options, but I had to come to terms with the fact that I just don't have extra time for mixing up our own feed. We could also have gone with the much less expensive non-organic feed option, so this was a compromise of sorts. I am under the impression that the feed we have bought was grown locally, less than 300km from our home.
They will be inside under the brooder lamp for a few weeks, then we are going to pasture these fellows in a make-shift pen Oliver is building out of logs, branches, and fencing. He'll also put together a shelter from boards we have around the house. This whole assembly will be inexpensive and easily taken apart when we are through with it in a couple months.
Why are we doing this?
1. I need to know that I am feeding my children healthy wholesome food. When we grow our own, we know what has gone in to them and therefore exactly what is going in to us.
2. We know that we are providing these animals with comfortable living conditions and allowing them to fulfill their telos ~ their chicken nature. They will peck bugs in the sun; they will run and stretch their legs with dignity. By doing this, we are NOT supporting industrial farming practices.
Sometimes it is much easier not to worry about where our food comes from. This is not something I realized overnight. I am still in the midst of a long, eye opening, sometimes uncomfortable journey. To read more on this topic, check out this previous post. My Amazon store is almost ready to launch. I'll be featuring books about food that I have found helpful.
Where does your food come from? The grocery store? Grocery store organic? Local markets? Your own back yard? All of the above or somewhere else?