We decided to start with chickens because they are more cost effective for small land. There is a challenge with chickens though in that processing places are very few and far away. This meant we would have to process ourselves. My husband enjoys hunting for meat so it isn't completely foreign, but there is still a lot to learn.
Last year we purchased and processed 25 meat chickens and with some improvements and things Glenn researched we were ready to try it for real this year.
In August we bought 50 Freedom Ranger chickens. We chose Freedom Rangers because they don't grow as quickly as the typical broiler. Most meat chickens are ready to be butchered in 6 weeks. Freedom Rangers take about 10 weeks. Why would you pick slower growing broilers? It boils down to quality of life. The faster growing breeds have more trouble with their legs and have more heart problems. We wanted ours out on grass, eating bugs, and doing what normal chickens do.
We started out with an old water trough for the first day or two and then we moved them into the new brooder Glenn built.
Glenn, being the talented guy that he is, did some research and found some plans for making his own chicken plucker. He built it himself and I have to say after seeing it work, it was impressive.