Baxter just celebrated his 10 month birthday; can you guess his weight? He has turned out to be great at protecting the Freedom Rangers down in the nut grove but he is still not trustworthy with the sheep. No doubt he is protecting them, too, with his presence and imposing bark but he cannot be in the same field just yet. We tried that for a few weeks in the summer and he ended up chewing on “Brownie’s” legs. She is fine but he did leave abrasions that took some time to heal. His training continues and it is reasonable to let him reach adulthood before we expect his full instincts to kick in.
The freedom Rangers at 9 weeks and growing…..
Operation Drumstick Part III (ODS III) is underway with a breed of chicken called the Freedom Ranger. This active chicken forages well and plumps to broiler weight in about 11 weeks. We have about 70 in the nut grove ranging freely and supplemented with a 20% grow ration that is antibiotic and animal by-product free.
We feel strongly about not feeding any of our livestock medicated feed which makes it more challenging to source. The good news is that I think I finally found a locally sourced product that meets our specifications. As feed prices rise due to low 2012 corn yields (due to heat and drought throughout the west and mid-west) I am concerned where my feed dollar goes. If I have to pay a premium I want it to go to someone close to home…not Cargill.
The Freedom Rangers from ODS III will be harvested on Election Day in November so we should have whole chicken to last us through the winter until the cycle begins again in early spring. Consider a whole chicken for Thanksgiving! ~ Jeneen