Sunday, February 26, 2012

Growing Chicks...and Projects!

4 week old Buff Orpington
They grow so fast! They are four weeks old this week and are starting to get a lot more feathers. They also outgrew their pen in the house and have now been moved into the barn.

I have a few projects I am hoping to get started on and share with you guys. One is a chicken tractor, once the weather calms down. It has been insanely windy these past few days! If I were to get out the chicken wire right now, it would probably fly away. I have the basic design in my head, now I just need to get the supplies.

Another project I want to work on is a more permanent brooder pen for the chicks, and the batch of meat birds I am planning on getting in a couple months. I moved the pullets into a large dog kennel which is working for the time being, but it tends to lose a lot of shavings. I will want something less messy for the next batch.

The project that DH and I have been pondering on lately is how we are going to fix the greenhouse. We had it mostly fixed a couple weeks ago. All of the panels were back in place, and ready to go...until this wretched wind kicked in! I think DH has a couple good ideas on how to keep them in place. Once we get that fixed I'll post some pics. Hopefully we get it done before I am ready to start seeds next month. (Which is approaching very fast!)

One project that I just briefly mentioned, is the meat birds. I have been wanting to butcher our own birds for a long time now. I have been tossing around the idea of Cornish Crosses. Their tendencies for so many health problems have been my main drawback. On one hand, I think if I get them, there's no way I can "chicken out" (no pun intended) and just keep them alive. It is very rare for them to live a quality life past butchering age.

On the other hand, my goal is sustainability, right? So why go into something that isn't sustainable? So in that instance, I have been considering just getting a batch of cockerels. Perhaps White Rocks or something similar. Either way, I really want to supply my family with fresh, homegrown, pasture-raised chicken. The stuff I get at the store turns my stomach.

What is your opinion on Cornish Crosses? Are they really some creepy mutant chicken, or simply a way to enjoy fresh homegrown chicken sooner?

This post is linked to:
Homestead Revival Barn Hop 51


  1. We have raised Cornish cross meat chickens and to tell you the truth, it's an inhumane way to raise chickens. They become very uncomfortable due to abnormal weight gain and end up sitting, even to eat, most of the time. They have heat problems and can have leg and breathing problems due to the weight, besides other health issues. You might want to check different chicken sites to find out what other options you have in raising meat chickens. We find that raising chickens just naturally for eggs with heirloom chickens and eating what chickens we don't need after our hens brood, works out.

  2. I also brood my chicks in a large dog crate. I find that using scrap pegboard strips (maybe 5" wide) around the bottom on two long sides and the back still lets in plenty of air, but keeps in the shavings, and when they're teeny tiny, the chicks themselves.