Raising broilers from start to finish week 8

Stats at a glance Total Feed: ~175lb (edited) Total Mortality: 3 / 17 (~17% not great) This is the processing week. The chickens are looking to be ok sized, not as big as I had hoped, but I won’t really know until after we are done processing and weigh the carcasses.

Raising broilers from start to finish week 7

Stats at a glance Total Feed: ~125lb (edited) Total Mortality: 3 / 17 (~17% not great) As we come into the last week this run, I have been reflecting back on some decisions I made that I believe may have negatively impacted the growth rate, and overall health of this batch. The following are the things […]

Raising broilers from start to finish week 6

Stats at a glance Total Feed: ~100lb (edited) Total Mortality: 3 / 17 (~17% not great) Week 6 has been pretty uneventful, the birds are eating, growing (albeit not as much as I would like), and seem to be on track to process in 2 more weeks.

Announcing Barbell Farm’s Pastured Poultry Co-op

Our goal for 2021 is 500 chickens divided into 20 shares (25 chickens), each share would be priced at $24/chicken ($6/lb at an avg of 4lb/bird). That would basically cover the cost of the operation at 500 birds.

The pricing is $600/share half up from and then the rest (based on total weight) at each delivery (see schedule). So you could end up paying less but never more than $24/bird; better feed conversion means more food at a lower cost for everyone.

The whole operation will be local, chickens are hatched in Salinas, feed is grown and milled around Modesto, they will be raised in Courtland and slaughtered in Franklin.

Raising broilers from start to finish week 5

Stats at a glance Total Feed: 50lb Total Mortality: 3 / 17 (~17% not great) Week 5 should typically be pretty low key, with the birds just eating, drinking, and pooping, and their feathers starting to fill out the awkward spots. For me this week was a little rough. The birds get a little noisy […]

Raising broilers from start to finish week 4

Once again this week did not go quite as planned; it is colder and wetter than I expected, and I began to question how well the pallet coop and the chicks would fare being moved daily on grass, so I made the decision to stick with what I know, and raised them stationary in the […]

Raising broilers from start to finish week 3

What to expect…usually According to John Suscovich over the course of eight weeks with broilers you can expect: chicks arrive and start living in the brooder growing fast, chicks start to grow feathers see pasture for the first time (this is where we currently are) thriving on pasture benefitting the soil with their manure what […]

Raising broilers from start to finish week 2

Mortality We had no idea how lucky we had been, with the previous two rounds of chicks that we had raised through the brooder, until this past week when we lost 2 of our Cornish Cross chicks. The first was never able to stand up very well on its own, and each day it seemed […]

Raising broilers from start to finish week 1

It may sound like a cliché, but after watching countless documentaries about industrial agriculture, specifically industrial poultry, my partner, Brooke, and I decided that we could no longer support such a broken system that seemingly cares so little about the animals, the farmers, and the environment. A seemingly obvious option would be to go vegetarian, […]

Chicken Processing pt. II

For the past nine weeks, my mornings would start with stepping out the back door to be greeted by a cacophony of anxious, hungry, chirping from the 15 Cornish Cross chickens in the large domed coop that I built out pallets, PVC piping, tarps, and hardware cloth. Every morning I would wake up with the […]