Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Baby Chicks!

The first of our baby chicks arrived this weekend. We ordered 8 Cornish Cross and 6 New Jersey Giants. The Cornish Cross we will raise as broilers, for about 7 weeks. The New Jersey Giants will go in a mobile pen (chicken tractor) to weed our garden. Later, I will replace some of our non-producing hens with these new hens.

The Cornish Cross is a fast developing, broad breasted meat type chicken. It is the standard meat bird and grows fast, ready to dress in seven weeks or sooner. The New Jersey Giant is a dual-purpose bird. It is a good egg layer and also averages 10 lbs., making it a good meat bird.

I culled the hens yesterday. To check for good layers, you hold the hen by her legs and feel for the pubic bones. In a good layer, you should be able to get 2 fingers between her pubic bones. Out of 28, I have 1 Barred Rock that has never laid an egg and three other hens that are not as good as I might like. The 1 hen we will butcher soon while the other 3 I will check again early in the summer.

Liam and me picking out our chicks.

I want that one Daddy!

Putting the chicks in our brooder box.

Keeping warm under the heat lamp. The white chicks are the Cornish Cross
and the black are the New Jersey Giants.

1 comment:

  1. We have "old" hens? When did that happen?