Hello fellow backyard chicken farmers. My wife and two kids just moved into a new house on an established ranch in Nicasio, CA. We have a little yard, maybe a 1/4 fenced acre and we're backed up to two parks, a state and a national one. I just started a batch of 30 Dark Cornish chicks ordered from Welp Hatchery. 20 Males for meat and 10 females I plan on keeping for eggs and brooders. Hopefully I'll be adding more to the flock as we go through the meat. I'm starting this thread to document the process of the first round and to have a place to get advice. This is my second time raising a flock for meat. Two years ago I did a round of the Cornish x rock. Loved the meat but hated the experience and have decided to leave that breed up to the commercial farmers. I've decided this go round to go with the Dark Cornish because of their reputation for being hearty in the face of predators. I'm going to coop them up at night and let them roam the ranch and wherever else they end up going during the day. We still have yet to build a coop for them but I figure I have a couple of weeks to accomplish that. Right now they are in a wooden wine crate until they're old enough to be away from the heat lamp. I'll post pics as this adventure proceeds. Today the chicks are 6 days old.