Monday, October 18, 2010

New Scale!

I just got a new digital scale for weighing our eggs & our chickens! It'll weigh in grams or ounces & it goes up to 11 pounds! I found it on Amazon for less than $20!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cornish X - Bravo Group - Hatch Date October 13, 2010

Found a place that will ship fewer than 25 minimum on baby chicks! Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Mt. Healthy, OH.

Placed order for 15 Cornish Cross Cockerels.
At 2.50/chick & 8.00 Shipping = $45.50
Which actually makes it $3.03 per chick.

However, upon picking the little fuzzy-butts up from the USPS, Mt. Healthy actually sent me 17!

Which brings my per chick cost down to $2.68 each.

These babies were hatched on October 13, 2010. So today, they are 2 days old.

We are feeding these little guys Orscheln's 22% Gamebird Starter/Grower. I'll double check but I think after tax it was $11.12 for a 40 lb bag.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cornish X - Alpha Group ~4 1/2 weeks old

Pictures taken 10-03-2010. Not very good shots, but you can see the size changing.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cornish X - Alpha Group ~3-4 weeks

Today we switched our Alpha Group to 16% All Purpose Poultry Crumbles (maintenance ration). This is what we plan to feed them from their 4th week (which starts today) through to butchering.

On chilly days we do supplement with cracked corn for a little more energy to help maintain their body heat better.

Picture is from 09/20/2010, approximately 2 days shy of 3 weeks.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Broiler Pen!

I designed this broiler pen based on one used by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms in VA, and pictured in Chicken Coops book by Storey Publishing. Fabulous book!

We built it in 2 days & I still need to do the actual cost calculations.
It is 8'x8'x24". It has 1 - 4'x4' "house" in 1 quadrant. The roof of the "house" part is a hinged lid & there is also a lid on the quadrant of the yard diagonal from the "house".

We just used chicken wire because we had a large portion of that on hand. For it to last longer and if you have a significant predator problem, you should use something more substantial like woven wire with 2" x 2" or 2" x 4" holes. We also used very thin OSB (only $5.77 at Lowe's for a 4'x8' sheet) for the house part & 2"x2"x8' for the whole construction so it would be as lightweight as possible. We had lots of exterior stain/sealant already on hand, so we did not buy treated wood. We may very well regret that in the future, we'll just have to wait & see.

In calculating our total cost of bird + feed for the final calculations of table bird pricing, we will not be counting any housing we build as it can be re-used and re-used indefinitely.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Alpha Group - TSC - Hatchery Unknown & estimated Hatch Date 09/01/2010

Yesterday we saw these guys for sale at Tractor Supply. So Royce ran over for me and picked up 10.
They were straight run (we believe), $1.89 each.

There are several health concerns regarding these fast growing Cornish X birds. Due to such rapid growth they can develop heart attacks & leg problems, among other things.

One thing we are doing to attempt to prevent these problems is feeding a much lower protein feed than most typical meat chicken growers.

We started our Alpha Group on 18% Chick Starter/Grower from Orscheln's. A 40 lb. bag was $8.34.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Broiler Weights & Feed Requirements Chart

Typical Broiler Body Weights and Feed Requirements
Avg Daily
Daily Intake
Cum. Intake
Avg Daily
Daily Intake
Cum. Intake

Chart courtesy of Purely Poultry.