Monday, June 18, 2012

The Chicken Report

So the Cornish X roasters have gone on their final destination and we have new babies in the brooder again.

First the new babies - 6 Black Sex-Link chicks. These girls are to replace some of our geriatric hens that while still being good bug eaters are not laying so much these days.  This set of chicks, about 2 weeks old , are very skittish and freak out every time someone is near. As if they've never seen a person before. I'm in their room at least twice  a day and usually more.  With our other chicks, they have become used to people fairly  soon.  Not all of them want to be to held but everyone clues into the fact that the people bring the food. Food bringers are generally popular around here.

The only calm chick in the bunch has leg problems and may not make it. She's got one leg that is bowed and on the other foot her toes are too long. I separated her from the others because they spent all their time standing on the poor thing. She has her own little apartment in the cat carrier with a seed heating mat to stay warm. She seems to eat and drink okay, but she won't put weight  on one leg. I'm hoping this is something she'll grow out. In the mean time she's becoming very tame. I spent a good deal of the weekend with her in my shirt pocket. She hates to be alone, and sits in her cage a yells. I'm hoping one of my Bantam hens would take an interest but they've been no help so far.

Now as to the Roasters:

Mom and I butchered them in two batches over Memorial weekend.  And by the time I was finished I was glad we hadn't gone for two dozen! It really wasn't too bad once we had everything set up and the system down.  So here's how the math worked out.

12 birds  @ $1.79 as chicks = $21.48
about 200 Lbs feed @ ~          $81.99  (consumed in 7 weeks!)
Finished weight =                    63.5 Lbs  in my freezer

So that's           =                   $ 1.62 per pound

The average dressed weight was 5.5 Lbs with a couple of roosters at 7 Lbs. I can't imagine what size they'd have been if we'd waited until 11 weeks like some poultry sites said to.  

As a side benefit for the cats, we saved the chicken organs.  Clyde begs and gets down right surly if he doesn't get his liver in the morning, but the other cats could care less. This seems to be the final victory in my campaign to win him over. He has become a lap cat and even slept a few nights with Mom. And his coat is so glossy!

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