Friday, October 5, 2012

Farm Friday: Chick Update


If you follow along regularly, you'll remember last week I dropped the bomb that I am raising some chicks for meat.

With luck, you'll have collected yourself by now.

So I thought it would be a good time to give you an update.

In a nutshell, they are now two weeks old, and they're growing.

A lot.

They've gotten big enough that they seem crowded in the rabbit hutch make-shift brooder they started out in, and they're starting to fight a bit.

So now I keep them all in there at night, for safety, but in the morning, I let them roam around in the space surrounding the hutch.

They have a lot of room to run around and scratch and peck, and they still do a bit of fighting, but they seem happy.

I should also mention that when the company sent me the chicks I ordered, they also sent "filler chicks".

Filler chicks are layer breed males that the company throws into the boxes of smaller orders, for "warmth and packing". In other words, they are those plastic air bubbles or styrofoam peanuts.

I wasn't sure what to do with them, but I figure I'll just raise them for meat along with the others. They will take longer to mature to a decent weight, so they will go through more food, but then again, they were free, so maybe as far as cost goes, it will be a wash. They may not be as tender as the Cornish-Rocks, but I don't know. We'll see. From what I've seen from that awful video, if layer breed males are not used as packing peanuts, they are ground up (live) for God knows what.  Dog food, maybe?  So even though they'll still end up as meat by staying here, at least they're getting a chance to have a good - if short- life.


Here are a few pics of them I took yesterday....






Look at the gams!











I put a small log in the pen, and they were enjoying trying to sit on it.



























These colored ones are the layer-breed cockerels. They are spunky and fiesty, and will start fights with the Cornish-Rocks, though are no match in size.




































Anyway, so far so good. I'll keep you posted.

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In case you didn't know it, I'm like the queen of blog-hoppin' lately. It's kind of like square dancing but without the dated outfits, smelly gym, and elderly caller.

Here's the schedule I keep:
Monday: Homestead Revival's Barn Hop, The Chicken Chick's Clever Chicks, A Cat-Like Curiosity's Monday Mantras Link-Up, and @ Home Take 2's Mom's Monday Mingle
Tuesday: Heavenly Homemaker's Gratituesday,   Crafty Garden Mama's Tuesday Greens, and The Wrinkled Mommy's Tuesday Archive Link-Up
Wednesday: My Life and Kids Finding the Funny, Tilly's Nest's Down Home, and Crafty Spices Wordless Wednesday
Thursday: A Rural Journal's Rural Thursday Blog Hop, and Two In Diapers' Mommy Brain Mixer
Friday: Deborah Jean's Dandelion House's Farmgirl Friday, Fresh Eggs Daily's Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest,Little Becky Homecky's Fantabulous Friday, and Oh So Amelia's Friday Chaos
Saturday: Camera Critter's Life With Dogs Pet Blogger Hop and Country Momma Cooks Saturday Link-Up.

Since today is Friday, that means I'm linking today's post with Deborah Jean's Dandelion House's Farmgirl Friday, Fresh Eggs Daily's Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest, Little Becky Homecky's Fantabulous Friday, and my post "Mid-week Date of a 40-something House Frau" with Oh So Amelia's Friday Chaos.

Come join the fun!

46 comments:

  1. Layers are awesome stew birds, but be careful, sense they are both cockerels when they get bigger they will try to kill each other.
    Good job, all the chicks look vary healthy.
    Love,
    Neighgirl

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    1. They''re already fighting amongst each other quits a bit,Neighgirl. Nothing serious at this point, just a lot of posturing and flapping. Still, I'm concerned that it will become more serious. Is there an age that you would recommend for them? Thanks for your help!

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    2. For our broilers, we butcher them at around eight weeks. I would give your layers an extra two/three weeks, or as long as you can stand them. The big thing is to give them enough room, that they can both have their own territory. The longer that they can grow out, the better, I am assuming that you are going to have them as stew birds. If so, they don't have much meat, it is the stock that you really want out of them. In other words, the older the bird, the more fat, and the fat gives the stock it flavor.
      Neighgirl

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    3. Thanks, NeighGirl, that really helps. I'm pretty new to this, as you can tell! There are actually six of the "filler" cockarels. I'm thinking I may put them in with my layers, if the hens won't bother them. It's a huge pen, so they would have plenty of room, so they would probably fight less.

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  2. I learned something new today..never heard of filler chickens...

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    Replies
    1. Hey, maybe that's what they mean by "filler" meat, Deb!

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  3. Hi I just started following your blog but wanted to say those filler chicks won't eat nearly as much as the Cornish Rocks. If you have the ability to free range or move them to new grass frequently they should be able to forage for a lot of their food. They will grow much slower but depending on the breed they should reach a good size by 16-20 weeks old. Or if you can determine the breeds on them, you may be able to sell them to someone who needs a rooster over their hens.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, April. The more information the better! I may move them in with my layer hens soon.

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  4. This is so interesting! I would love to raise some meat birds, but I live in the city and my neighbors would not be too pleased if I had 25 chickens at a time. A friend who lives out in the country gave me a few of hers and they were delicious!

    I'll look forward to the rest of the story!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you could stop in, Bonnie. Yeah, I feel really fortunate to have the opportunity to try my hand at this. Hopefully all will go well...

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  5. Do the kids get attached to them? Just curious, cuz they sure are cute (the kids and the chicks, lol). :)

    I'm following you from the Friday Chaos blog hop!

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    1. Well, Idk. I've been trying to keep the kids away from them for the most part, but my youngest (13) has taken an interest in helping with them in the evenings. He knows what they're for, and I keep cautioning him, but like I said, Idk....

      Thanks for coming by!

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  6. Oh I love your blog! My dream is to have a farm one day! My husband grew up with goats and sheep and land to roam. I think it would be a wonderful childhood for our future children.

    Following you now, hope you can follow me back :)

    Claire @gypsyslowdown.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by, Claire. I do feel really fortunate to be living this lifestyle, and so glad the kids can have this as part of their childhood. It wasn't something I had growing up, but always wanted it. Off to check your blog out!

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  7. Oh they are so cute! I just butchered 25 this week. Sadly they they grow so fast they don't stay cute for long. Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, Emily, that's what I had heard about them. It still blows my mind how much they have grown/changed in just two weeks.

      Thanks so much for stopping in!

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  8. Those little chicks are too cute! I'm loving your blog too :o)

    xo, Meredith @www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Meredith! Glad you could visit. Love the name of your blog. You here from a hop? Off to check yours out...

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  9. Hey thank you so much for stopping by my blog Life in a Break Down - just popping over and following you back - I adore this post, one day I want to have myself a small holding, have lots of animals a long way away at the moment but one day :) x

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah, glad you could stop by. I hope it for you, too! Someday, right?

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  10. I love chicks! We have farms that has thousands of them(broilers and some native chickens as well) so I basically grew up being surrounded by them. Mom and dad are contract growers for a company here in the Philippines. :)
    love looking at the pics! :)


    hugs,
    Meg

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    Replies
    1. Glad to have you here, Meg. Glad you enjoyed the pics.

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  11. Well, hi, Anne from the funny farm. Nice to meet you We never heard of filler chicks before. But we don't actually live on a farm so we'd have a lot to learn to survive on one.

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  12. Woof! Woof! Golden Thanks for the info. We've seen chicks here but they move sooo fast n it hard to take good photos. Golden Thanks for sharing. Happy Blog HOP Saturday. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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    @ Jan: I never had either, Jan, and I've lived on a farm for some time now, so don't feel bad!

    @Sugar: Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. Oh my, I grew up raising young chicks which we used for eggs and as pets- i loved it so much I want to get some of my own now!

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  15. We have twenty some roosters, and we don't have a problem (much) with fighting, other than some sparring once in a while. Room is the thing... they all have room to have their own spaces, and not be on top of each other constantly. It's worked for us.

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    1. Why on earth do you have 20-some roosters? That is boggling my poor mind. Please explain!

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  16. They're cute! We just processed all of our meat birds last weekend - 42 of them. We sold half and kept the rest for ourselves.

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    Replies
    1. Good way to do it, Lisa! I might be trying that next summer.

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  17. Cute chicks ~ don't eat chicken now ~ if I ever raised them I could never eat them ~ great photos ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

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    1. Good for you, ArtMuse, for being a vegetarian! You're a better man than I...

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  18. They look great! Thank you for the update. I am enjoying your blog very much. Thank you so much for linking up to the hop each week.~Melissa

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! Glad to be part of your hop...

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  19. They grow so quickly, don't they? It astounds me every time I raise new chicks. I'm looking forward to their progress!

    Thank you for linking up at The Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy, thanks! You're right, it's CRAZY how fast they grow. Mine are 3 weeks now and I can't get over it. Thanks for doing the hop!

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  20. They are so cute! I have a friend that raises chickens. She has a great set up!

    http://theapels.blogspot.com/2012/10/hawk.html

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    1. You know, Alissa, I think that's half the fun of it -- figuring out their set-up, with runs and pens and coops and all. Fun stuff! Thanks so much for coming by!

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  21. Our kids never got attached as we taught them never to name anything we were going to butcher. Or if they wanted to, names like, Now, Later, Fried, Bacon, Sausage, those types. lol

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    1. Same here. No naming, and a minimum of handling. Gotta guard our hearts!

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  22. This is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

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  23. Thanks for visiting, Sanghamitra! Off to check yours out...

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  24. We actually raised meat birds one year and used them as layers, which they did quite successfully. Not sure why we didn't butcher them. I love that little area you have for them to romp around in.

    Thanks so much for sharing at Rural Thursdays, Anne.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! Hopefully we'll be able to do it when the day comes. I'd much rather my meat come from them than from the ones in the factory farms.

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  25. Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday! I hope you have more to share this week! Those chicks are so cute! My parents just got some and I am super envious.

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