A few pictures of the Rock Cornish Hens at 3 weeks old. They are half way through their short lives at this point and looking exactly as they should. So far we believe we have lost 2 birds due to our youngest dog, Nate, attacking them and killing one outright and injuring another that we nursed along for another 7 days before it succumbed to its injuries this past weekend.
The pullets inside their tractor under the brooder lamp. there is a feeder in this tractor due to a rain storm that we had earlier in the day. Normally we do not keep their feeders in the tractors so they have to go outside to eat and cannot eat all night long (which leads to heart attacks) but if it is raining than the feeders go inside
Of course we may have lost a few more as trying to count a pen of chicks is pretty much like herding cats-almost impossible to do. I have counted between 39 and 45, Eugene has gotten a count as high as 47. We may also lose a few to predators such as hawks, raccoons and snakes. I figure when we take them in to be processed we will know what we have.
It can be dangerous for a chicken to live on pasture but when I see how active and happy they are and taste the incredible meat they produce I feel it is more than worth it to take the risk of pasturing them vs either keeping them in chicken tractors or caging them