Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Undercover Investigation at chick hatchery-Why we raise our own chicks...

A chick hatchery is generally a large company (sometimes a huge company) that hatches out chicks for farmers.  The first chicks we ever bought was from a hatchery, but the quality of the chicks was so poor that I swore never to purchase chicks from a hatchery again.  This undercover investigation recently revealed another good reason to not purchase chicks from a hatchery.  This video is of a hatchery for laying hens and shows what goes into the production of most of the eggs you purchase from the grocery store.  The laying hens who survive the hatchery don't leave to greener pastures either, but that's for a later post...
Before you watch this video, make sure you're sitting down and you haven't eaten.  Also, at the end it says that you should become a vegetarian or vegan.  I have no problem with this, but you should know that not all animals are raised cruelly.  For those of us who are carnivores, it's important to know that cruelty does occur, but that there are producers out there (like Flip Flop Ranch) where the animals live happy, healthy lives from beginning to end.  However, there are millions of animals out there who are being treated horribly and I felt it was important to let people know.  Please, please, please purchase your meat, eggs and milk from local farmers so that you know where your food is coming from, that it is healthy, and that it was raised cruelty-free.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dorking chicks

 I've searched the world over for Dorking chickens for months and months and months and finally found a breeder in Arizona about a month ago.  She shipped me out some fertile Dorking eggs and they're hatching as I type.
So why did I look for Dorkings so desperately?  With such a silly name why would anyone want one?  Dorkings are a very very rare bird and a very very old breed.  Dorkings were mentioned in writings as ancient as the time of Julius Caesar.  The Romans brought them to England when they took that country over and the Dorking really caught on there, especially in the town of-did you guess?-Dorking.  Hence the name.
But Dorkings aren't just a special breed because they're ancient and as rare as they are old.  They're special because they're also a fabulously tasty breed.  In a taste test, the Dorking won first place over many other breeds including the Rhode Island Red and Cornish X who tied for second.  Dorkings are famous for their moist breast meat and the texture of the breast and thigh meat.  One blogger who attended the Chicken Choosing taste test stated "This bird is known for its fine-textured, very white meat. It is also known to be docile, calm and adaptable. They are good foragers and would make a fine addition to most backyard or farmstead flocks."
The Dorkings also lay white eggs that won top marks in a small taste test and were described as having whites that were "airy, fluffy, and full of texture."