Monday, May 17, 2010

New Arrivals

Well, we are officially starting our food production endeavors as of this morning!  The chicks have arrived!  This year to save time we ordered two specials from Murray Mc Murray Hatchery, the Barbecue Special (Straight run cornish x's or cornish roasters) and the Rainbow Layers Special (various breeds of chickens that lay colored eggs).  So, as of 8:23 this morning 51 little funny little feathery babies are living in our garage.

The Little Engineer wants to sell eggs this year so I got a dozen chicks for our family and a dozen chicks for his entrepreneurial endeavors.  Now, should we house all the hens together or separate them?

These are the meat chicks... they're born to eat and be eaten... these things grow so fast they're ready to butcher in 6-8 weeks... they really are bred to eat... they pretty much sleep, eat, and poop constantly...  This is not normal chicken behavior.  Normal chickens browse on grass, chase bugs, play roosting games, scratch, take dust baths, and can be trained to come when you call.  I don't enjoy raising the cornish x's at all.  They seem like something outside of the natural order, some sort of mutant monster out of a mad scientist's lab or something.  My sister wondered if eating animals bred for eating constantly has any effect on our own appetites?!  Why are we raising them?  I don't know... just because, I guess!

Here's our brooder set up:  not exactly high tech... it's packing boxes taped together in an oval shape and filled with hay!  It was virtually free and recycling cardboard to boot. The chicks seem warm and happy in their new temporary home.

A final shot of the cuties!


  1. I did this last year (same cornish X) and I feel the same way as you..they are strange birds! I called them frankenchickens. It is very satisfying raising your own meat though, isn't it?

  2. Oh, if I were you I would separate them..they are very very different types of birds. My layers are quite tame and sweet! Just my opinion!

  3. Hoorah for chickens!!!! We are hoping to get some soon. Have fun! :)

    Chrissy b.

  4. Thanks for the tip, Deb... we certainly can do you think we should separate the chicks in the brooder, too? We'll definitely put the meat birds by themselves in a chicken tractor, but I was actually trying to decide if I should keep the Little Engineers laying flock separate from the household flock...

  5. Aww, too cute! Though I suppose the cornish ones won't be very cute in 6-8 weeks. Tasty, though. :)