Friday, August 8, 2008
We got the call this morning from the post office. Our chicks had arrived. There's about 30 in the picture. This year we ordered Colored Range Broilers from a new place we hadn't tried before: J.M. Hatchery, thanks to a tip from my friend, Embrace Create.
These are “meat birds”, which means that they should grow quickly and by November or so be ready for slaughter and our freezer. Last year, we had a terrible time. We had gotten Cornish Rock crosses and put them out on pasture in a portable coop that I rigged up with PVC and welded wire. But those chicks never got very fat. I thought perhaps they were getting too much exercise, but at the end of the summer, another friend said it was the grain we were feeding them, and that they had had the same problem.
So, this year, we are trying new chicks and the same grain. Doesn't seem logical, but there's no alternative provider of organic grain. Supposedly, they have changed the formulation, but we'll be watching more closely and won't be so willing to blame ourselves if the chicks stay scrawny.