August 20, 2011

Peep Anarchy

The chicks are now 4 weeks old and they have outgrown the brooder house.  Every time we go in there, chicks are everywhere.  Layers are in the meat side and meat chicks are mixed in with the layers.  It's becoming hard to keep the meat chicks from running out of food and water because they are voracious eaters!  We bring them fresh grass every day.  This helps offset (albeit minimally) the amount of feed they're eating but it also gets them used to a grass diet which is what they'll be eating once they're in the pasture.

Every morning, the pen will be moved 12' to new grass
Greg has been working hard to build the 12' x 10' pasture pen. He's almost done and we should have the broiler chicks in the field on Monday.  The concept of the pen is pretty simplistic: give the birds fresh air, sunshine and fresh pasture every day.  They will receive as much sun and shade as they like, they'll be protected from predators and they'll eat fresh grass daily. Three quarters of the pen will have a metal roof and the remaining quarter will have a chicken wire roof.  We've used as much recycled materials as possible to cut down on costs and because, well, why not!

I weigh the chicks each Sunday to track their progress. I knew that the broilers would grow much faster than the layers, but wow are they growing fast!!


Broilers Layers
7-Aug   8 5/8 oz 4 1/2 oz
14-Aug   1 lb 6 1/4oz 6 5/8oz

I'm excited to see how much weight they've all gained in the past week. Any guesses on what they'll weigh?

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