Sunday, November 10, 2013

Update: Meat Birds

Update time! We finally got that stall organized and outfitted for the meat chicks. We used pallets to section off one side off it...

We used pallets because, well, that's what we had! It didn't require much of any construction other than nailing them to the stall walls to keep them steady. The middle one I can remove for cleaning and it also turns into a partition while I clean to keep them from taking off.

Getting big aren't they? After some trial and error and a sick chick that spent the night in my bathroom because she got squashed, I decided to feed them with more structure. Free choice was causing them to grow too fast so I feed them twice a day and let them run out in between feedings. The result is very lively and alert birds that don't lay around the feed dispenser all day. Yes, they are growing more slowly because of this but, I decided it was worth it in the long run because it's a more kind way to raise them. It won't be effecting my bottom line price per pound amount but it does push butchering time back about 2-3 weeks. We're looking at the first week of December right now as a rough estimate for butcher time.

Something I have learned when I switched to using shavings instead of straw: put the feeder/waterer up on a block of wood about 2-3 inches high. This keeps it from getting clogged with shavings the chicks like to scratch around. Ideally I would hang these but I don't have a good way of doing that at present time. In the official chicken coop we'll build at the house we will have a hanging set up.

Speaking of the house...

Footing forms are going up today! We have the inspection on Wednesday and then we are free to pour the concrete. Our ICF blocks should also be here Wednesday or Thursday this week and we will likely have the foundation walls up next week sometime. We are already getting snow showers here so we need to get this hole filled and covered up!

Til next time!

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