Remember these little guys?
Our first batch of Cornish Cross meat chickens is *almost* ready to be processed - we're going to do it slowly over the next couple of weekends (time is a luxury we don't have these days!)
It's definitely getting to be time for them to become food - they're barely walking around at all, just lugging themselves from food to water and back, and they look almost uncomfortable to be alive. Next year we're definitely doing Freedom Rangers instead - these crazy franken-birds are just too... gross. One of them broke their leg on Friday just by existing and being so fat, growing too much meat before its bones could catch up. We had BBQ chicken Saturday. It was delicious, but I want more natural meat birds next year! That being said, here's batch #2 of the Cornish Cross - they hatched last week:
They're cute when they're little...
The Broad Breasted White turkeys are the Cornish Cross equivalent in turkey breeds, but I like them MUCH better! They were cute as babies too:
But they're still cute as adults (for a turkey anyway, hehe)! And they act MUCH more naturally, actually eating the grass that's under their feet and going crazy when a bug crawls in for a tasty treat (I watched a juicy earthworm wiggle over the Cornish Cross' toes this morning, and they didn't even move from their grain stupor).
Those guys will be ready to be processed in about 5 weeks, and I can't wait! I LOOOOOOOVE turkey (almost as much as I love bacon). Our heritage breed Bourbon Red turkeys are timed to be ready for Thanksgiving, and they arrived from the hatchery last week:
They're ever so tiny and ever so cute! I lost 2 in the first night - turkeys are supposedly super fragile in comparison to chickens, so it wasn't unexpected (and the hatchery refunds any losses in the first 48hrs). Surprisingly all my Broad Breasted Whites are healthy and vigorous, didn't lose any. The rest of the Bourbon Reds seem to be doing well, all 13 of them!
Yesterday we also moved our replacement layers outside - the Easter Eggers and Speckled Sussex. Those are both dual-purpose breeds, meaning they're good for eggs or meat, so the girls will go to the coop and lay for me, while the boys will go to the freezer. Sadly I think they're almost all boys! I bought them "straight run" - un-sexed. But my 50-50 odds aren't looking too good. I might have 1 Easter Egger hen out of 10 birds. So much for more blue eggs!
(forgot to take a picture of them outside, so you get a cute baby pic instead)
In other news, I have a broody hen again this year:
That's Bufy's angry, fluffed-up, broody butt in the back of a nest box! She spent a whole week going from nest box to nest box, sitting on eggs in one on Monday, then moving over to another clutch laid by her flock-mates on Tuesday, then moving again to a new clutch on Wednesday. In other words, she has egg A.D.D. and is a horrible broody! She definitely lacks the commitment required to sit on the *SAME* clutch of eggs for a full month, so I've been just removing the eggs from underneath her every day. She's not giving up though, and as of yesterday, one of the blue-laced red wyandottes has decided to sit on eggs too. C'mon girls, as Dave says, we have ENOUGH CHICKENS!
We do not have enough Whittle photos though:
Jen & Dave Paul, owners & operators of Old Post Farm