Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chick Day

I'm running a bit late today.  We were without power for awhile, and to add to the confusion, this was chick day.  For those who have never ordered from a hatchery, this is how they arrive...through the mail. All the way from Ohio to West Virginia. 

The ones on the right are turkeys. 
The ones on the left are New Hampshire Red laying hens.

Here's a little better image of the Broad Breasted Bronze Turkeys.  Cute!

and the New Hampshire Red Laying hens...Very Cute!

They shipped on Monday and arrived today, Wednesday. Now they've had water, they're eating and drinking and sleeping...

There is only one thing we and they have to worry about....this 75-inch fellow is
not far was on the front porch a couple of days ago when I took this picture, and though we haven't seen it since, we know it's not far away...the sounds of peeping, the smell of baby chicks.....irresistible attractions for a Black Snake.
But we'll be keeping an electric woven wire fence around the chick mobile at night, which should give any snake a real wake-up call.


  1. The chicks are adorable. The snake? Not so much. Heh.

  2. The chicks are so sweet but that snake - yuck. We've only had chicks by accident, when one of the hens would hide away on a nest and then appear. Chicks are a nuisance, half of them will be cockerels and they tend to die for a pastime. We did occasionaly let a broody hen sit on a clutch of eggs but then they are not always good mothers and we've ended up with a stinky box of chicks in the kitchen with the cats licking their lips. Despite early trials of eating our spare birds they are not meat birds and by the time we killed and cooked them they were far too tough. And I refused to have them 'hanging' for days to tenderise the meat.So it's just eggs for us, we're currently being overrun with eggs as I'm not baking cakes or eating cooked breakfasts.

  3. We are expecting chicks tomorrow or Saturday -- meat chickens which will be a new experiment for us.

    I love blacksnakes but they are hardwired to eat baby birds. Your electric fencing sounds like a good idea.

  4. Hi, everyone! Some comments "back." Ruta, I know what you mean by "tough" chickens, and "stinky" boxes of chicks! Over many years of raising chicks both for meat and for eggs, we've finally settled upon a method that nets mostly success without too much pain and sacrifice on our part.

    We raised chickens for meat (Vicki) last year and the prior year, but we have enough in the freezer right now, not to need any for meat this year. We were very successful. Lost only one, and raised them to heavy weight--6-8 lbs. CAUTIONERY NOTE FOR NEW POULTRY FOLKS: with the heavy breeds, the heavier they get, the more liable they are to die off suddenly. Since they gain weight at such a fast pace, their bodies cannot keep up. So, butcher within the timeframe suggested by the hatchery. We were lucky. The electric fencing is available from Premier1. Go to the following:

    I will put up a picture of our apparatus for raising the chicks, later today, when we move it outside. I'll also show you the "food" with which we supplement/grow the chickens.

    The chicks are sexed layers. (chickens are) The turkeys are "straight run" meaning either sex. I am raising them to sell as layers and they will not be eaten. Laying hens tend to be chicken-and-dumplings ONLY! The old phrase, as I recall my father referring to "stewing hens" as "store string and chewing gum...the more you chew, the more you get!

    So, if one is seeking to have tender chicken, better to order "broilers" which are bred for that purpose. One last note: keep them walking rather than penned up tight. We believe that was how our chickens survived the "weighty" issue. We had a yard that was large enough for them to exercise.which is where the Premier fencing comes ito play.

    More later today!

  5. We've ordered broilers called 'Freedom Rangers' (in France they're called Label Rouge.) They mature a little more slowly than the other broilers and are meant to be raised on grass. I'll be posting about our setup later.

  6. Just posted my blog, Vicki and the "incoming" brought your info about the breed of broilers you're doing this year. I truly look forward to reading more about them!! Our "set-up" is reasonably primitive, but has worked for us, now, for about four years. It's not pretty, but it does the trick! Also looking forward to seeing yours. We can always learn something out here JOTOLR~!!