Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chick Check, Week Four

Chicks at two days old:

Chicks at four weeks old (use the waterer as a size reference):

The Cornish crosses are growing, well, like Cornish crosses.  I figure that the remaining open bag of chick starter will last another two days; meaning that they will have gone though 175 lbs. of food.

I went a week before I cleaned out the stall this time & it was pretty bad.  The hay gets too matted too quickly and the chicks can't easily scratch around through the hay to help dry out the poop.  I put down more wasted hay because that was all we have right now, but I'm going to make a trip to the local cabinet maker and see if he has any sawdust  and shavings that I can have for the hauling.

I used to use sawdust for bedding, but most of it was too fine and it was leaving a pretty thick layer of dust on everything else in the barn.  I think I'll put half sawdust and half wasted hay down next time.  And by then, I should have the Cornish out in the chicken tractor so it won't get soiled as fast and I won't have to clean it every week with just the Barnyard Mutts in there.

I've also turned off the heat lamps.  Last night it got down to 40 degrees, and everyone was huddled in three or four groups, but otherwise perked right up when I opened the door.....expecting breakfast of course.

The Cornish are crazy nuts when I go to put the feed in there.  I have to swat them away from the food dish or it just gets poured on top of them.  The Barnyard Mutts just hang out on the sidelines until the initial mayhem has subsided, then make their way up to the feed trays. 

So far, no one seems to be lacking food, water or a space to nap uninterrupted (well, as far a chicken life goes) together in the barn. 

Four more weeks to go; we're already half way to butchering time.


  1. They are looking very good. It is amazing how fast they grow.

  2. They are growing so fast! Do you have uneaten / unused hay in your goat pens? I use the "extra" hay that we clean up from the pens for bedding hay, if it isn't too dirty. Our ducks are messy, like your meat birds are. We have to clean the duck palace often.

  3. gld, even though we've done this for several years, I'm always amazed at their growth rate.

    Mooberry, Yep, we used the wasted goat hay for bedding (goodness knows there is enough of it....stupid picky goats). We raised Pekin ducks one year and I vowed never to have ducks again because they were soooo messy. But they were soooooo tasty!!

  4. Wow, butchering time will be here before you know it!

  5. Big birds headed for the freezer! We raise dual purpose but might get some meat ones next go round. I never thought about using the wasted hay that way-our rabbits get it if it isn't yucky. Now I have another option!

  6. Yes, feeding the Cornish is taking your life into your own hands. The poop factor did improve once we dispatched of them. Poopin' machines!