Is it…Spring??

The Animal Whisperer announced today, at 7:17 am, that he was going to the store. 

The store?  At 7?  In disbelief, I watched him go.  What could he need from the store at this hour?  We do need coffee filters, though…maybe he’s just sick of using the homemade filters I rigged up.

I continue getting the kids ready for school.

About 7:37, 8 minutes before he needs to take the kids to school, he opens the door, and….Wow!  It must REALLY be almost spring!  Listen to those birds chirping!  It’s a beautiful, warming, sunny day, and as he tries to wriggle in through the crack in the door but not let in the onslaught of dogs under the age of 7 months in that are nosing their way past him.  I can hear the beautiful chirping, I almost leap outside to bask in the sound.

Spring!!!  At last!  That means gardening and long summer days are just around the corner!

One of my favorite things is to see my husband’s face when he is full of joy…after the sound, that’s the next thing I noticed.  His smile was huge, his eyes were smiling…and he was carrying…Spring? 

In a box.

He had gotten the call from the Post Office at 5 am, unbeknownst to me, that our package had arrived.  The package we’ve been anxiously awaiting, that was due yesterday…on President’s Day, when there’s no mail.

Somewhere around 37 live pios (pronounced:  pee-ohs) and 1 unfortunate dead pio.  That’s what we call them.  In Spanish, the sound baby chicks make is “pio, pio, pio”, and our 6-year-old started calling them pios a few years back. 

OK.  You’re right.  They make the same noise in any language…but, I guess you get my drift.

The white ones will be dinner in about 7 or 8 weeks…they are Cornish Cross birds that are bred for their meat and fast growth.  Their legs also break under the weight of their huge breasts when they get older.  We’ll see what we think of raising them, if we think they are able to live a “happy chicken life” before they hit the freezer.  If not, we’ll raise different meat birds next time.

For now, this is our first experience raising chickens strictly for meat.  We want to know where our meat comes from…and this seems to be the best way to do it.  I’ll keep you posted.

The others…are for eggs.  We need more of those.

And, these are two of my other favorite things…

Boy #1.

And, Boy #2.  Just before I shoo them out the door to school.

What a wonderful day!

–  The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  In about 7 or 8 weeks, we’ll need some help slaughtering dinner…any volunteeers?


About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Then I was an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life. Now, after moving to the country, I have embarked on life as a rural farmgirl, complete with my husband, the Animal Whisperer, man of exceptional knowledge and patience, two boys who are louder than my sister and I ever were, a herd of milking goats, and a flock of egg-laying chickens. Coyotes, mice, country dogs and prairie dogs are frequent visitors. Just 45 minutes north is Colorado Springs, the setting for our first six years in the goat world. Our family. Our city friends. Our introduction to cheesemaking. But we...and our growing farm and soon-to-be creamery...have set up shop down off of Highway 115 in Penrose, Colorado.
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11 Responses to Is it…Spring??

  1. Grant says:

    I’ll volunteer to help with “processing” too. And I’ll bring the coffee!

  2. I believe Cornish X can have just as good a life as any chicken can if you give them plenty of space and keep them clean. We use a tractored shed that can be moved around and portable chain link panels which work for just about the time the birds are ready to leave brooding lights. They can be agressive about feeding time and we use bread and old produce to scatter the flock so we can get in and fill the feeders. We use the recommended method of all the food they want for a day but none overnight so it is a bit like you’ve swam with piranna when you start in mornings. We did have a year with sudden death by heart attack when we let them get up to 10 weeks old. You can tell that’s the cause when they die flat on their backs feet up. Now we make sure it’s only 8 weeks.

  3. Melina says:

    Ah, spring in a box. I remember it well. Because I have dogs who like to eat chicks, and nowhere to keep them warm that isn’t dog-accessable, I have pre-ordered my chicks to be raised by someone else and then delivered at 6 weeks. I know, I’m supporting someone else’s farm life dreams, but I’ll still enjoy the teenagers when they get here.
    I raised Cornish cross once, and had a bit better luck than previously mentioned. I had them in a chicken tractor and raised them mostly on orchard grass and scratch. They did get obscenely fat and there was alot of excess to cut away from the carcass, but only one out of a dozen had leg issues. He went splay-legged at about 3 weeks but survived to be butchered later. If I had the room, I would do it again.

    • Good! I had a conversation with a gal a couple days ago and she strongly warned me against them, and recommended immediately cancel our order and get heirloom Freedom Rangers or Freedom Fliers or something like that, instead. (Sorry, Lena, I forgot to right it down…) She couldn’t STAND the Cornish Cross because of how sad their whole situation was…but the way you describe it, it sounds all right. We’ll see…and I know just where to look for you if we need any help. I did hear you volunteer…right?


  4. Mary Menz says:

    Okay…I volunteer for “processing day.”

  5. mom4truth says:

    Someone gave us some 6 month old Cornish crosses and they had to be the most vile things…ever! They were so fat and waddled around like chubbos at a buffet, making an ugly squawking sound as they went. Because they were so fat, their butts were all matted from laying on the ground. And they drooled like Rottweilers! And they were mean! Well, all but one. That fatty followed me everywhere. The others, though, they pecked and picked on my precious layers. We were told they were roosters, probably because of the ugly sound they made, but when we cut them open they all had eggs at various stages of development inside. Then…the meat near the breastbone was green! Yuck! We freaked out, and then learned that that is common on meat birds allowed to get too big. It’s simply a lack of oxygen to that portion of the muscle tissue (it’s called necrotic tissue). Everybody said, “Cut around it and go for it!” So, being the brave homesteaders we are, we went for it! Mmmmmm- tasty good meat! And we were eating well for some time with the size of those birds. Thanks, Truffle Shuffle, Fatty and Rump- finger lickin’ good.

    The moral of the story- kill them. And kill them early.

    Bon appetit.

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