Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fresh Air and Grass!

It's been a quick trip from the 1st of March to now. It baffles me how these chickens can get from a couple of ounces 37 days ago to over 5lbs!

Until the second portable poultry pen (PPP) is finished, all 78 birds are inside this one. Note the wire along the bottom. This is hooked up to a solar-charged, battery energizer to deter predators. Jeff is moving the unit twice daily. We hope to have the other PPP commissioned this week.

Processing day is rapidly approaching!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Leveled Off

Well, the original group of Cornish Rocks have leveled off on their massive weight gain. A majority of the birds are between 1.5 - 2.0 lbs. The first Buff's are steadily growing but at a much normal pace.

Everyone is interested in the oddball bird our vendor threw into the mix of the second batch of Buff's. It has been dubbed "Speckles" for now; later possibly chicken enchiladas or something...

We hope to get these first birds in the field after next week. They should be feathered out completely and ready to eat bugs and grass!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Gaining weight

The Cornish Rocks are living up to their reputation as a production meat bird. They are averaging 3/4oz per day of weight gain while the Buff Orpingtons are much slower at 1/4oz per day.

We've lost a total of three birds so far so our current inventory is 51 Cornish Rocks and 5 Buff Orpingtons. The addition of a second heat lamp has the chicks spread evenly throughout the Chick Containment Module (CCM). Water consumption is about a gallon a day so far.

The kids really enjoy seeing them. Nothing but smiles!

Monday, March 3, 2008

More on the way and putting on weight

After a head count (including one that didn't make it), we found that our flock was short. A quick call to our poultry supplier was made and they are stepping up with another shipment. It seemed we were shorted 20 of our Buff Orpingtons. The remainder should arrive this coming weekend.

The pic shows what they looked like upon their arrival Saturday.

These little things are amazing! The Cornish Rocks are visibly larger and have wing feathers already showing!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The "chicks" are in the mail

After many folks encouraging us to blog our endeavor, here it is! Welcome the first posting from Within Reach, A Neighborhood Farm! Our families are excited to have the first step in our farm realized.

Here is how the chicks came to Bainbridge Island:

Four days ago, on February 27th, I called the supplier to confirm our shipment of 50 Cornish Rocks and 25 Buff Orpingtons. They told me that the birds were shipping at the end of the week and we would get a call from the Post Office either Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday for pick up. Well, this afternoon (after both Jeff and I wore ourselves out on separate projects) Lisa comes home to a message on the machine notifying us that our chicks had arrived. The caller also let us know that "arrived" was at the USPS facility at SeaTac! We had planned on spending the afternoon building the brood structure in preparation for Sunday. So, we sprang into action and quickly developed a plan, cut up the materials for the housing, discussed the procedure, and went on our ways. Lisa, Aiden, and I jumped in the car and headed to the ferry. By 8:30pm, we had the new additions safely snuggled down in their new home.

It was amazing to see the little chicks take to water and food. These little creatures were just hatched and shipped on Friday, February 29th!

We hope you check back and watch us grow. I hope to have pictures up soon.