November planning at the Homestead...

November planning at the Homestead...

Starting out a new month involves quite a bit of planning on the homestead! The further we get in our homesteading journey, the more we try to train ourselves to better plan, prepare and track our monthly plans and budget.

"Meat Chickies"

This will be our first month on the homestead with a FULL batch of Cornish Cross to be processed! We plan to begin processing the second weekend of this month which will put our batch at just about 8 weeks old!

Our current flock A of Cornish Cross chickens in their chicken tractor. (We have since decided that we will be switching to a chicken house method with mulch for the substrate to be used as compost after each batch of chickens.)

Since we are beginning our homestead journey, we are limited on resources. Finding the most efficient way possible to accomplish tasks with the resources we have is our greatest challenge. We plan to process our flock of 45 Cornish Cross chickens in batches of 15 or so. This will allow us to use the fridge space we have at our disposal for resting the chicken before we move the meat to our freezers! A detailed look at our plan for processing:

  • Process flock in batches of 15
    • Process birds and quarter the ones we intend to keep for our families meat supply (thus saving both fridge and freezer space).
    • Any chicken "orders" for friends and family we have will be filled at this time either in the form of whole or butchered birds.
    • Once we have finished all processing and butchering, the chicken frames will be used to make homemade chicken stock! The stock will be frozen in resealable containers for later use.
  • Once a batch of 15 has had 2-3 days to rest in the fridge, we will move the butchered meat to the freezer and process the next batch!

We are quite excited for this batch of chickens! We have processed four chickens already this year and are excited to break out our chicken plucker! This batch is a straight run of hens, as is batch B (still in brooders). I expect our 45 Cornish Cross to provide us with roughly 200-225lbs total processed carcass weight.

"Desired Items" (items we are either in need of or desire to purchase in the near future to facilitate our homestead. These are items we most likely do not have the money for currently and are praying that God will provide for them in some way if we are meant to get them.)

“Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him, and expect help from Him, He will never fail you.” 

― George Mueller

  • Incubator
  • Additional Freezer
  • Watering Cup gadgets for Bucket/PVC waterers for chicken house

We now have our flock of Silkie chickens laying fertile eggs! Along with our ISA Brown/Silkie cross fertile eggs we hope to start incubating and hatching chicks this month! A incubator was on our purchase list this week, however we had to redirect those funds to building our broiler chicken house. The "chicken tractor" method just was not working for us. I have seen some fantastic results using tractors, and I do enjoy the fresh grass factor! However, the tractor has its downfalls primarily the need for a larger expanse of grass than we expected to be effective and safe for the chickens due to our overly wet fall. With our crazy schedule the chicken house provides a cost effective, simpler and more controllable environment for the chickens.

We can't wait to update you on our month as we get closer to processing chickens (and a turkey 😱 soon also). We are also excited to see how God will teach us and provide for us this month. We have yet to have an instance where God has not provided for us since our move to NC (that moving story will come in a blog post at some point in the near future). We are greatly inspired by George Muller's great faith in God's ability to be near and to provide just exactly what we need but according to his plan and his timing! We're along for the ride and there's not a boring moment in His plan for us!

Until next time!

~ Jeremy Shenk

#ShenkedNCHomestead

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