Meat Chicken Update: Week 1

Well, the meat chicks are doing well. All 12 are still alive and have made it to their 1 week birthday, which I’m counting as the day I got them. We finally got the chicks (and ducks) moved out of the laundry room (PRAISE!) and into the garage. The chicks are in one of our rabbit tractors, and it is SOOOOO much easier to keep them now that they are on a wire floor. They still have their heat lamp and we run a heater in there to benefit both chicks & ducks when it’s supposed to be below 50 at night.
About Wednesday or Thursday this week, right before we got them moved, I noticed that some of them looked “wet,” and one had some scabs on his shoulders. I have no idea what was wrong or why this happened, I thought maybe mites at first, but since they’ve been moved to the garage and put on wire they are clearing up and looking much better. They’ve all got their adult feathers coming in, and they are eating voraciously. Despite being the most hoggish and least tidy of any chicks I’ve ever raised (they’re just SLOBS), they are quite friendly and eat out of my hand whenever I offer a treat.
We only had one instance of pasty butt, and got that cleared up straight away. Otherwise, they’ve been fairly easy birds to keep. So far our investment is up to around $50 for initial purchase plus a bag of feed. I will weigh them at 4 weeks, then again at 8 weeks, and finally before & after butcher.
Hopefully it will warm up enough that we can move them outside in about 2-3 weeks, and into their finishing pen a week after that. I am anxious to see what their final weights end up being. I should have weighed them when I first got them, but I was busy and didn’t think much of it.

Also, since Spot has been offed, the chickens seem much more content. Pepper is taking his place as head roo and seems very happy about it. Fluff needs some girlfriends terribly. And our two crested cream legbars that remain (one was killed by our hound dog) are both cockerels 🙁 I swear no matter how hard I try, I can not come to get any blue egg layers. Ugh. Also, bred 3 does today: Sookie, Queenie, and Hymn; Faith wouldn’t cooperate, will try her again tomorrow. These will be our last litters of the season, hoping all goes well.

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