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Home Farming Raising Chickens

Raising Chickens

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White Plymouth Rock chickenWe plan on raising chickens, this summer. The first batch of about 16 birds will be all meat, all males, all White Plymouth Rock. I know, I know, there are some of you out there wondering why we aren't raising the new Cornish X chickens for meat. After all, they are "market ready" in about 6-7 weeks versus the 10 weeks for the breed we selected. In a nutshell, here is the answer - we want real chickens.

I have done a lot of research and I have watched videos of the Cornish X chickens, though I have never seen them live, in person. We raised chickens for a poultry processor, when I was a kid and we always had laying hens. I know how chickens act in confinement and when they free range. The videos I have seen on the Cornish X breed show them to be large, lumbering birds that don't move around much, nor bother to look for their own food. They can barely get out of their own way as they mateur. In fact, one person who had raised both a free range breed and the Cornish X breed said that she lost some of her free rangers to predators and moved her next batch, the Cornish X, closer to the barn. However, she lost more Cornish X than she did free rangers. Why? Not to predators, but to stupidity. The birds didn't get out of the way of lumbering cows and got trampled! This sort of clinched it for me, and I firmly decided to go with a more traditional breed for meat.

Rhode Island Red chickensThe second batch of birds we raise will be some White Rocks for meat with a couple Rhode Island Red hens and a couple of Barred Plymouth Rock hens with one Rhode Island Red rooster to keep over the winter for eggs and possible breeding next spring. I am really excited to be raising our own meat birds and hens for egg laying. I haven't had a good chicken to eat for many years and I miss the farm fresh eggs that my mom used to give me from her laying hens.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 10:59  

Newsflash

The windows are both trimmed out in Amanda's room! They might not be perfect, but certainly good enough for Camp Littlemore. Given the challenge of trimming around both drywall and pine wainscoting on one of the windows, I think we did a fairly decent job.