Entries in Workshops (2)
Raising and Processing Pasture Raised Chickens on Any Scale
Saturday March 21, 2015 8a-4pm
Chickens are an iconic part of the family farmstead and have even evolved to be a popular and valuable part of suburban, urban and rural areas of Kansas City. Chickens have gained this status because they are immensely useful and important.
In this workshop, we will cover all the basics of raising chickens from brooding new chicks all the way to butchering and preparing them for meat. All topics will be taught hands-on with examples of what has worked on our farm along with plentiful anecdotes of things that haven't turned out so well. We will have birds in all stages of development, so you will get to see exactly what it could look like on your farm. We will give clear examples of how this can be managed at a working-farm scale like ours all the way down to the homestead minded person just keeping a flock for their family.
Topics will include:
- Choosing breeds of chicksand turkeys (meat birds and egg layers)
- Raising Turkeys on your farm - differences from chickens
- Brooding chicks and poults
- Feed rations, options, and schedules
- How, when, and why of pasture raising chickens and turkeys
- Raising egg layers on pasture
- Keeping Heritage Turkeys on Pasture
- Dealing with predators
- Humane slaughter; butchering; packaging
- Waste disposal
The class will be divided into two sessions. The morning session will be a hands-on chicken butchering workshop. Each person will have to the opportunity to learn each step of butchering a chicken and then be able to butcher their own heritage chicken to take home after class. You will get to see how to butcher using modern commercial equipment such as automatic scalders, dunkers and pluckers as well as how to do it with minimal equipment that you would have at your own home.
The afternoon session will include a hands-on tour of each step of the chicken raising journey as well as a guided tour of the farm seeing the brooder, the pasture pens, the egg mobile, electric netting, etc. We will also look at how turkeys fit into our farm's poultry operation. There will be a short"classroom" setting where we talk about the finances involved with raising poultry, marketing ideas, and the laws surrounding poultry in Kansas.
In-between the sessions there will be a full lunch with pasture raised meat from our farm where we will be able to sit down and talk farming with other lunatic farmers.
You may choose to attend either of the sessions individually or you may attend both sessions for the whole picture on pasture raised Poultry. If attending both sessions, the cost is $100, a savings of $25!
Morning Session - How to Butcher a Chicken (8-11am) $75
When finished, you will have the skills needed to butcher your own chicken in a humane and respectful way. In addition to learning the steps, you will complete the entire butchering process on an organic fed Heritage chicken that you will be able to take home to share with your family ($25 value).
Lunch (12-1) Included in the price of either session
Lunch will be served farm style with pasture raised meat from our farm. It will be a time to visit, get to know each other, share ideas and ask questions.
Afternoon Session - Raising Chicken for Meat and Eggs (1-4pm) $50
This portion of the class will be focused on learning how to raise healthy and productive chickens. We will start by learning all of the details for brooding your birds from newly hatched chicks. Then, we'll discuss the important factors for transitioning your birds to pasture and what differences exist if you are raising them for meat or eggs. You will get to see up close the different shelters we use for each and we will discuss construction details including what has worked and what has not worked in our farm experience. We will discuss how chickens fit within the overall structure of our farm's systems by cleaning up parasites behind the cattle and by intensively fertilizing targeted pasture areas. We will wrap-up with a classroom session where we will discuss marketing your products and local laws affecting the selling of your products.
This workshop will be outside so dress accordingly. Although you may be surprised at how clean you stay during the chicken butchering portion of the workshop, you may want to dress in layers so you can peel your top layer off when that portion of the workshop is done. Waterproof footwear is suggested for all participants.
To register for this class, please click here and fill out the form. The form will include directions for payment.
There are very limited spots available, so register early to ensure avaliability.