I ordered two batches of day-old chicks:
8 broilers, 4 red and 4 black, arrived May 3rd, from our local look-alike Tractor Supply/Agway but homegrown independent farm and pet store. These birds are destined for the dinner table, and are collectively named, “The Tasty Morsels”, so I don’t get any other ideas. On May 3rd, they were a day old. They don’t need to eat for 24-48 hours so they are shipped then. Although the 48 hour may be pushing it.
On May 7th, they started to develop feathers on their wings, little teensy things!
10 laying hens (currently at pullet stage) and one cockerel, arrived May 8th, from My Pet Chicken. Pullets become hens, cockerels become roosters. The rooster of course will never lay, but the feller will help protect the hens, because he sees them as his harem. I’ve already named him, The Sultan of Swing (bow to the band, Dire Straights…) Sultan for short. No, I don’t know which one he is.
As for these birds: this is the day after they arrived here — I figured not to pester them the first day with photography. They needed to settle in:
The first mistake: getting birds, the red broilers, that will have to be slaughtered in 12-14 weeks. That’s the heat of August. I could possibly push this date until September — they’re better than Cornish Crosses or even Red Rangers as far as being able to live with health. This was admittedly the only date the local store would bring in these birds, so I had no choice of dates being that I went through them to buy the chicks.
The broilers are also hybrids, which means if I want to breed my own birds down the road, these will not breed true. I have no such goal this first year, anyway. But I understand these guys (I didn’t know it when I ordered them) are, like the Cornish Cross, birds that have a lessened lifespan due to how they are bred. It’s simply not nearly as bad as the Cornish Cross — your supermarket stuffer is there at around 6 weeks of age. By that 3 month age, Cornish Cross will start developing broken leg bones trying to support those unnatural breasts.
Regards the coop below: it will be a mirror image. I want the windows facing east-southeast, with the coop end up towards my house, so I can run the electric more easily. This will be for the layers, the broilers will be in a chicken tractor. The layers will have a long and happy life, if I can keep the predators at bay (there will be electronet fencing to help.)
If I make any other mistakes, I’ll keep y’all posted. I’m sure there will be a learning curve, although I’ve been doing research all along.
At any rate, follow up pics of the layers, May 15th:
A silver-tipped Wyandotte. One of the three is male, won’t know which for awhile, which is fine, as neither will he. One of these three is also very tiny, but seems to be thriving as well as the others.
The lone golden-tipped Wyandotte. I think her name is Goldilocks.
A black Australorpe.
A buff Orpington.
And, a buckeye.
And, for completion, we return to the broilers, just to demonstrate how they’ve grown! They really know how to eat!