Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Chicks

The weather has been beautiful the last few days - perfect for the arrival of our spring broilers.  We got a batch of 100 Cornish Cross chickens from Purely Poultry, whom I've found to be very reliable and one of the best deals on broilers on a small scale.  We also get a discount because we're repeat customers.

Cute fuzz balls on arrival
Chickens and other poultry can be shipped when they are a day old because right before they hatch, they suck up the extra fluids in the egg and have enough protein, fat and water to last three days before they need replenishment.  This provides enough of a window to priority ship the birds to the farm.  The hatchery usually adds a couple extra birds because there are generally a couple birds that die during shipment.  Surprisingly, all 104 chicks survived the trip and were particularly perky, so we're off to a strong start with this batch.

Jayla loading chicks in the brooder
They spend two to three weeks in the brooder, then they're off to pasture where they supplement their diet with grass & bugs.  That should be just in time for the arrival of our Guineas and Muscovy Ducks, which will go through a similar process.

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