Thursday, October 17, 2013

Raising the Meaties

We've had the new chicks for almost two weeks and I can't believe how fast they are growing! It's definitely been a learning experience for us. I did a lot of reading about raising chicks, but I think I underestimated some of the advice! Here are the top 7 things we have learned:

7. They eat....a lot
6. Temperature is very important with chicks, but it's pretty easy to tell if they're too hot or cold. We spent the first two days constantly adjusting the height of the heat lamp to make sure they were comfortable.
5. They drink a lot
4. Ventilation is key, but can be tricky. We opted to go with a large livestock bin with chicken wire over the top. This kept the heat in, but still allowed lots of air circulation.
3. They eat....a lot
2. They are very curious and at some point, they will try to leave the brooder. Bungee cords are excellent tools to hold the chicken wire on!
1. They eat....a lot

The new chicks shortly after we got them. I took us a while to get the temperature right. 

The second lesson we learned was these guys eat....and eat....and eat! It seems like every time we turn around the feeder is empty again. 

 This one poses for the camera! It's so cute! 

Soon, their feathers started coming in. It looks painful to me, but I guess they don't seem to mind. 

My husband can't resist picking them up and holding them. I keep telling him not to play with his food, but he doesn't listen! 

Yep, posing for the camera again! 

It's hard to believe how fast they are growing! 

See what I mean? I can't get a picture with the feeder full. They attack it as soon as we fill it up! 

I see you! 

In under two weeks, they have nearly tripled in size. That may have something to do with the constant eating! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

New Chicks!

So after we got through our first culling, we decided next year we would try raising meat birds. Well, next year came a little early. Rural King opened a new store nearby, so of course we had to check it out! After making our way down to the poultry care aisle, we saw baby chicks! I was able to walk past at first because the ones on the side were labeled as Ameraucanas, and we don't need any more layers right now. But then I saw the other bin, and they were Cornish Cross. After walking around getting together all the supplies we'd need for the little ones, we picked out eight to take home.

We found a large bin to keep them in for a couple of weeks and a heat lamp to keep them toasty.

The husband accidentally got the white light instead of the red, but it will work for now. 

We're still working on getting a coop for them, so for now they are staying in our spare room. Hard to believe, but in about five weeks, they will be fully grown and ready for the freezer!

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Reality of Raising Chickens

**Warning: This most contains pictures of processing a chicken. Proceed at your own risk!**

If you disagree with our choices to eat the birds we raise, please run away now-just like these guys.