We have sold 16 chickens and without a lot of selling. Actually no direct selling at all. Local Harvest has been a great marketing tool so I have to give a call out to Localharvest.com.
We had one nice guy who lives in California who found us on Local Harvest and wanted to get 4 chickens to bring to a BBQ to his family that lives nearby. He is a cinematographer. How cool is that? We sold chickens to a guy from California!
We're getting down to were we have probably 15 or so left that are decent size- in the 2.5-3 lb range. They are selling for $4/lb. If you want to make the best darn chicken stock you've ever had in your life, then I'd recommend buying 2 of the smaller ones that are at 2 lbs and cook them up in a big pot and then freeze the stock in small containers so you can use it to cook vegetables in during the summer.
Now if you want even better stock, we'll also sell you the feet and necks for $5/lb and you should then add feet, necks with 1-2 whole carcasses and then that is really the best stock in the world. I'm not sure yet if all feet and necks is better or if you should do feet/necks/whole carcass. I've not done just feet and necks to compare. You have to get past what the pot looks like with chicken feet in it...... I was going to take a picture and decided against it.
And if you just want to roast chicken, the meat is just so tasty. We are going to be trying out different breeds of chickens over the summer. We didn't really like raising the cornish cross variety (this is the chicken you get 99% of the time when you eat chicken). But, they are really meaty and have lots of white meat. The flavor is pretty darn good but not as good as a slower growing breed. We then did White Rocks and some Barred Rocks and while we love the flavor of these, they have lots of dark meat and not a lot of white meat. And we all love our breast meat these days. But they make terrific soup and the reality is the white meat is a perfect portion size.
We are now trying out Color Rangers and they look to be a blend between the Cornish and the other slower heritage breeds. The only problem is that these chicks are really skittish and Mike witnessed one chick run around flop over and have a heart attack and die. He/she was stressed out from being moved from the first week brooding area to the 2-4 week area. We'll see how they do as they get older.
The next batch of chickens will be ready the 3rd week of July. We'll have the Color Rangers as well as another batch of Cornish Cross (we are going to try them again from a different hatchery).
Eggs are also still available though we have been running short on supply and those with an egg share are the priority and they also get priority on extras throughout the week. So until the next 150 hens start laying we'll be tight on supply, but please ask as we will give them out first come, first serve. When the other 150 start laying, we'll have plenty of eggs and you can all have as many as you'd like!
We visited our friends who have a farm up north of Taneytown this weekend and saw the eggs from the Marans and Welsummers. They are a wonderful chocolate color and just beautiful. We are getting some of those chicks this summer to add to the colorful collection of eggs we already have.