Time to Move the Broilers: Homesteading Basics

time to move the broilersFrom the weather reports, it looks like our rain might be moving onward, with sunny skies beginning this weekend. On several fronts, we're excited for this. The garden, while well-watered and drained, could use a boost of sun so we can finish the lettuce harvest and put in our tomatoes.

The pollen flow is strong, and flowering plants are beginning to blossom, but the bees are hive-bound waiting for drier weather. We needed to do the first check on the bees and it was time to move the broilers.

Yesterday, we had a break so a great deal got done around the homestead. We built our first brood box, and while in the workshop, the broilers who have been living there temporarily demonstrated their need to be moved to the summer coop.

Though we have our new layers in there, we figured it was better than having to round up chickens in the wood shop.

Time to Move the Broilers: Homesteading Basics

time to move broilers
Up till yesterday, the broilers were great company in the shop. Granted, they took up about a fifth of my floor space in there steel watering trough brooder, they weren't at a point where odor was a concern or were freaked out when the table saw was running.

But with age, they began to discover their wings and were hopping out to explore the shop. Leaving, of course, droppings everywhere.

If it was a perfect world, we would have held them back a few days until we could integrate the layer pullets with the rest of the egg flock, but I wasn't going to have chicken poop all over my work room floor.

One by one, they made the trip to summer coop. As long as we ensure they go inside at night, all will be well with the world. The pullets will integrate with the laying flock soon enough.

Introducing Pullets to a Flock

time to move broilersThe advice we've been given by the feed shop gurus is to wait until it is nighttime. Once the ladies have nestled in for the night, we will be introducing pullets to our flock. Now, this seems like a great homesteading basics idea, but that's not the only step.

There's a little flock block for distraction.

At the time of this post, we have 33 chickens on the homestead. In a few weeks, we will be preparing 15 of them for the freezer, and again, if the universe works in that direction, we will be sharing a post about that.

We love sharing our off-the-grid homesteading life with you all, and truly enjoy it when you add to the conversation. 

How is your late spring garden looking? Is it time to move your broilers? Don't forget to subscribe for more homesteading goodness!


Lisa Lombardo said…
They sure are messy, aren't they?! Mine have reached butcher weight and I am slowly, but surely processing them for our freezer. Because my back can't handle a long day of processing anymore, I am doing 2 or 3 birds a day. Not so overwhelming.

I have lettuce, spinach, mache, tat soi, peas, collards, kale, and onions all doing well in the garden and I just transplanted the broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts out a couple days ago. The crabapple tree smells amazing. :) Thanks for the update from your homestead!
Juliasdailytips said…
Thanks for sharing your article
We are just now looking to get some meat chickens for the year because we have been so busy with the egg layers, (40+ now), and that doesn't include the 12 we just incubated! However, meat chickens are next on the agenda as the freezer is getting a little skimpy!

Here in Central Florida we are in kind of a gardening lull as the heat is too much for most gardening veggies. We are however still producing tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn and tons of herbs. New gardening season goes in full force about July so we will be tending three 200 x 200 foot gardens then.

In the meantime we are going to try some permaculture gardening in the woods next to our tiny home.

Thanks for sharing an update on your homestead.
Nice. I have 13 chicks (or chicklets, as I am calling them this year) - at least 12 will be processed for the freezer. The 13th was hatched here - one hen went broody but this was the only egg to hatch, so I have no idea if this one is a he or a she. Since that last chick was the first bird to be hatched here - I rather hope I can save "her" as a layer. She does have a foot problem, so that may take precedence, anyway.

I do like your site here!
WT Abernathy said…
Wendie and I just had a conversation about the broilers, and we're going to hold off for a couple more weeks at least before harvesting. Last spring, we let them plump up quite a bit, and are still getting 3-4 meals from one bird. These I don't think we'll let get that big, especially if we go through with our plans to do a late summer broiler raise.
We haven't hatched our own yet, but think that when the birl]s move out we can give it a try-
Kathi said…
I had to laugh at the photo of the chick on the top of the brooder. There's always one, isn't there? It's time to move my bantams out of the mudroom for the same reason; there's a wire top on the brooder but they are strong enough now to push on it and move it.

We're featuring your post on this week's Simple Homestead hop - congratulations! We're looking forward to seeing what you share this week.
WT Abernathy said…
HI Kathi:)
Every. Single. Time:)
A wire top- I don't know why we didn't;t think of that. We use a cattle trough with shavings in it, and have just always marked the need to move them out when they could flap up to the rim- I think I'm going to try the wire next time. And by next time, I mean today, because Wendie and I are heading on a little road trip to pick up some Guinea Fowl. The ticks have made it important that we gain some control, and with the bees (and our sense of chemicals), pesticide spraying isn't an answer.