After living in town for the last 10 years we have jumped into chicken raising full force and determined to raise a good portion of our own meat. All those years growing up on the farm are coming in real handy right now!
The first group of chickens are ready to butcher. (Here are two of them) Can you believe these were tiny fuzz balls just 10 weeks ago? We chose Freedom Rangers for the first batch. We ended up with about 60 of these beauties to butcher. We live at an altitude of 5,000 feet and these were said to perform better than the Cornish Cross at this altitude. We lost over 10% of them. Of those that died a few had leg issues but most just keeled over at around 5-6 weeks of age. With this next batch we are going to add electrolytes to their water to see if that gets them over the major growth spurt of that time and gives a little extra boost for the weaker chickens that are likely to end up goners before their time.
For batch #2 we ordered 1/2 Red Ranger and 1/2 Cornish Cross. It was so sad……This batch came with 1/2 of them dead and we lost another 1/4 of them later on. They were put near something that was too warm and it wasn’t pretty when they arrived. We have about 50 that have survived but they have definitely not been as lively as most chicks. The company (Hoover Hatchery) graciously offered to replace the whole bunch with a new batch. Those that survived are growing so we will see how they continue to do. They are now 2 weeks old. The Red Rangers in this batch have had toe and leg issues much more so than the Cornish Crosses. It could just be because they came weakened to begin with. We’ll compare them to batch #3 as they grow. Here is batch #2………
Here’s batch #3 and my chicken farmer husband :). They just arrived today. We purchased half Red Rangers and half Cornish Cross again this time. The Red Rangers came with 12 dead and the Cornish Cross only had two dead. Everyone else was very perky and much more happy and energetic than the last batch.
And these are “Sam’s chickens”….although everybody loves them. These are strictly “fun chickens” that Sam wanted to buy and raise for himself. Some will lay brown eggs, some blue and some tiny. All will be fun!