How to Stretch a Pasture-Raised Chicken PDF
When you buy your chicken, it is important to also get the neck and the feet.
Meal 1: De-breast chicken and use white meat in a meal such as chicken fried rice, pictured below.
Meal 2: Cut off thighs and legs and use dark meat in a meal, such as chicken salad, chicken burritos, or chicken pot pie.
Meal 3: Make chicken stock/broth from the remaining parts (body, neck, and peeled feet). If boiled down long enough, this should produce 14-15 cups of chicken stock/broth. The leftover meat from the body and neck can be combined with the meat to make chicken noodle soup or for another meal
Meal 4: Use the remainder of the chicken stock/broth as the base for any other meal, such as Potato soup or in a pasta dish that cooks the pasta in the broth. You can also drink the broth straight.
Chickens are a great first step to becoming self-sufficient. Here are 5 reasons to get them and why our Chicken Tractors are designed to fulfill each role.
- The most obvious reason to get chickens is for the fresh, tasty, and healthy eggs.
- Teaching your family about where food comes from – Each generation seems to get farther away from where their food comes from, which leads to a loss of awareness in what food is healthy. Your kids will know how eggs are produced. You can’t say that about processed food. We have included our boys as much as possible in taking care of the chickens: from feeding them scraps, to gathering eggs. One important design consideration this has led to is making sure that the chicken tractors can stand up to four boys! it’s taken a couple of iterations to get that part down.
- Peace of Mind – You know what is going into your eggs and how the chickens are treated. Buying “Cage free”, “Free Range”, or “Free Roaming” eggs doesn’t necessarily mean they are free to roam in the idyllic scene you might picture (Reference: Mother Earth News). Part of making sure your chickens get all the fresh greens they need is by moving them to fresh areas on a regular basis. Our chicken tractors are engineered to make them sturdy but mobile. The first chicken tractor I built weighs 150+ lbs. and feels like performing a deadlift every morning to move it. Not so with the new design.
- Chickens will eat your bugs, till your garden, and fertilize the soil – Chickens are omnivores and love eating bugs. The boys also love catching worms/bugs/slugs and feeding them to the chickens. Chickens also till up soil if left in the same place for very long. That kills weeds and incorporates their manure into the soil, which is rich in nitrogen. Our chicken tractors are designed with the “Square Foot Gardening” idea that the ideal garden bed is 4 feet wide. With 4-foot beds, a person only has to reach 2 feet from either side. During the summer, we move them around in the yard, so the chickens have fresh greens. During the winter, when there isn’t anything green to eat, the chicken tractor fits perfectly over our garden beds and can be left in place for longer periods of time in order to till the garden, kill weeds, and fertilize the garden.
- Entertainment/Low Maintenance Pets – Kids love watching and holding chickens. Each chicken has its own personality and place in its social group. Being able to move the chicken tractor, means that you can have a clean floor in the coop/run anytime you want. This makes the chickens more accessible to you or your children without having to deal with a mess.
Note: The chicken tractor in these photos is incomplete, and now has a blue metal roof like the one on our Services page.