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Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for April 16th, 2011

Turkey Tracks: First Freedom Rangers

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Turkey Tracks:  April 16, 2011

First Freedom Rangers

Here they are!

Our first Freedom Ranger chickens!

All 77 (75 plus two extras “in case”…) arrived at the Lincolnville, Maine, post office bright and early on Friday morning, April 15th.  Pete went to pick them up, and I met him at the house.  Margaret was there, too, as she was taking 15 of them.

As you can see, they are big, and lively.  There wasn’t a frail one in the bunch.

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Freedom Rangers are good layers and good meat birds.  We will have some of each.

Freedom Rangers DO NOT HAVE any Cornish chicken in them, which makes them unique for meat birds.  The market, as I discussed in Tipping Points 9 on meat chickens, settled on meat birds which are all, virtually, Cornish or Cornish crosses.  The Cornish breed grows to over 5 pounds in 6 weeks and has a HUGE white, tasteless breast–produced for a market that went crazy about fat-free meat.  These chickens grow so quickly and are so heavy that their bones and organs won’t support them.  They are Frankensteins.  Their flesh has no texture and melts in your mouth.  Their bones don’t have the minerals they should have, so bone broths made from these bones aren’t as healthy as they should be.

Last year we tried Silver Cross’s–a cross between a barred rock and a Cornish.  The meat texture was lovely–like chicken I remember growing up.  The taste–was wanting.

Freedom Rangers are the same bird as the French sell under their Red label–which is highly sought after in France for taste and texture.

We’ll let you know in about 3 months.  Meanwhile, on Howe Hill, we have one frozen chicken left in the freezer.

Written by louisaenright

April 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Turkey Tracks: Spring Peepers

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Turkey Tracks:  April 16, 2011

Spring Peepers

There are still a few patches of snow here and there, but the grass is greening up and bulbs are sprouting.   This past week, a clear herald of spring came:  the peepers started singing.

Peepers are tiny, tiny frogs with big, big voices.   They seem to live in wet lands, and we have one down the hill from us.  A little cold snap has silenced them for the past few days, but they’re stirring now.  I brought on the cold snap since I switched out my winter clothes for spring summer ones.  Unlike the peepers, I cannot crawl back into wherever it is that they winter.  Mud?

Here’s what they look like:

Here’s what they sound like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SM6leUVorY

Written by louisaenright

April 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm