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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cornis X Chicks

I have to say I am not sure about these chicks. When we received the chicks 2 were dead. One was a layer and the other was a Cornish X. Three days later we had lost 8 of the Cornish X. And we have lost 2 since then.  I emailed Cackle Hatchery and they called me later the next day.  I can not say enough good things about Cackle. They have been wonderful during the whole process.  We have ordered chicks from other hatcheries and much fewer deaths, but the last chicks we ordered several of them had foot deformities and we got quite a few roosters in our order for layers. So we decided to go to a different hatchery.

The problems we are having with the Cornish X is apparently in their breeding. We did not know that they don't need to be as warm as other chicks do. Normal temps for chicks is around 100°. The person I spoke to at Cackle said to lower the temp to 90°. And to give them Sulfamed or Apple Cider vinegar. I chose the Apple Cider vinegar at 2 tbsp. per gallon of water.  After following her advice we have only lost 2 chicks. The Cornish X are not like any other chicks we have ever had. We haven't even had them a week yet and they have doubled in size. They pretty much eat and sleep. We are trying to slow their growth down a little and feed them 12 hours on and 12 hours off. Basically they do not have food overnight. They will just lay down in front of the feeder and eat. But as long as they aren't too hot they seem to be curious and more active.

The person I spoke to at Cackle said she had raised their red broilers and she really couldn't tell that much difference in the meat so I think next time we might try that. I understand that in this very crowded world there is a great need for fast, growing food. But I don't know if I want to deal with these chicks on a regular basis. It's not like we need something that grows that fast.

Again, I feel like Cackle has gone above and beyond to help us with these chicks. They have called multiple times to see how the chicks are doing. And offered to send us more chicks or a credit. I will gladly order from them again. Just maybe a different type of chicken.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Chicks Have Arrived!

The chicks have arrived! 75 of them.

Here they are after they have been put in the kiddie pool.  The lighter colored ones are the Cornish X.

All warm under the lights.

And this picture should be titled Dixie Chicks. Dixie is loving the babies!

It's always exciting when new animals arrive on the farm! I just hope she realizes that the cute little yellow one is food.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Planning & Doing

Now that Spring is finally here we are making plans and preparations on the farm. We have ordered 75 chicks from Cackle Hatchery. We ordered their Hungry Man special. This will be our first try at meat chickens. We decided to go ahead with the Cornish Cross and try to slow their growth a little. Everything we have read says since that is the meat we are used to, we will like it better. And since we are hoping to eventually sell the meat chickens we decided to stick with what people are used to. We will also get 25 brown egg layers with the order. This will give us more eggs to sell. The chickens will arrive on the 21st of April.

We have also ordered two packages of bees. Our bee hive has been empty since late fall. So we ordered bees for that hive and a new hive. We will pick up the bees on April 27th.  We are going to buy another hive on the 18th.

We are also looking into getting rabbits. Since the kids are staying with us Dixie has decided that she wants to raise rabbits.  The first 4-H rabbit club meeting that she can attend is the 21st of April. We want to have at least one rabbit ready for her by then.

Daniel and I also planted some potatoes. It is a bit early here for planting potatoes. But we thought we'd experiment with the barrel again. It has been warm enough here for them, so far.  I am afraid they might drown with all the rain we have been having.

Daniel also installed on of our rain barrels by the side of the house, and it is overflowing today. We have had over 3 inches of rain in the last two days.

I am making garden plans and once it is dry enough, hope to get some peas, lettuce and cabbage planted.

I am so glad Spring is here!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New Money Making Opportunity

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