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Monday, June 05, 2006

More Pix of Chix

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 coming outside to hunt for bugs and greens. They especially love to eat ants and clover

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


Favorite Apron said...

Lucy - do you shut them in at night? We currently have ours in a pasture but close them into a shed at night cause I get sick of burying headless birds.

Lucy said...

We shut them in their tractors at night and have never lost one at night to any thing in 10+ years. It's during the day when they are out and we have not been around that we have had these losses.

And the count is 43 are alive. We know of 3 for sure that have been killed or died and figure the dogs got 5 that we did not see. but than again maybe a falcon or a hawk got one or more.