I did it again!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by debir1966, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. debir1966

    debir1966 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2012
    Central Idaho
    We got 5 CX and 5 Black Broilers at the end of June, which we just processed the other day (all except one of the broiler roos I kept to see if I could use him over my DP hens to make some meatie chicks).

    I wanted more than 9 birds in the freezer because I would sincerely like to not ever have to buy chicken (if that is what you want to call it - water logged chicken maybe?) in the store again and our family eats at least 1 chicken a week.

    Sooo, I went ahead and just placed another order for 15 more CX! I didn't really want to raise more chicks this year, but felt I needed to.

    We didn't process the last batch until they were 10 1/2 weeks old and I am guestamating the CX were in the range of 7-9 pounds each, and were healthy, no leg problems, etc. I like that large of a chicken, but I don't want to go that long with this batch because it will be starting into pretty cold weather come November, so I am hoping they will be big enough by 8ish weeks.

    In the spring I plan to do another 25-30 in two separate batches - the reason for the smaller batches is I want to be able to process all the birds in one day and our last 9 took us 3 1/2 ours to do - but those black broilers were harder to to pluck clean than the CX were, so hopefully we can do 15 CX in the same amount of time (hey, I can dream, right? [​IMG])

    Anyone else raise chicks in colder weather? We are down to the mid-40's at night now and I use a Brinsea EcoGlow for heat. I will probably start the chicks in the house for the first 2 weeks then move them out to the coop (we have a little brooder/grow-out pen in there). I don't know if they EcoGlow will provide enough warmth, they say it is best above 50 degrees if I remember correctly.

    If I have to I can put them under a red-heat lamp as well as having the EcoGlow.

    I half think I am nuts for raising chicks this late in the year, but 9 chickens are not enough to get us through until the first spring batch will be ready.
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I usually hatch on New Years and it's much easier for us to raise chicks in the winter here rather than our hellish summers.

    Good for you and your processing skilz!!!! ... and for eating healthy!
     
  3. debir1966

    debir1966 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2012
    Central Idaho
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One packing peanut too!
    We have them outside in a trailer. It is getting down to about 48 at night so I may put a red heat lamp on them at night only. I think the EcoGlow is good to 50 degrees.
    They have all had a drink, but they found the food and water pretty quick on there own - and the EcoGlow LOL.
    I will be keeping track of costs for this batch since they will be raised solo (my others were raised with our laying hen chicks so I couldn't keep costs separate). I will be feeding them non-GMO food and hoping to process between 8-10 weeks.
     
  4. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Nope, you're not at all crazy - you've been bitten by the 'good food' bug. If you can raise your own, you know it's good food!

    I've got our 2nd batch for the year - 25 CX, now just about 4wks old. I too planned it so I can process in 'decent' weather. They had seriously outgrown their 4x4' brooder box and went outside in their tractor two nights ago. I had figured on putting them in their outdoor tractor at 3wks, but we had a cold snap (first soft frosts for the season) last week. This week it's down into the high 40's at night. Because they're older, I did not put out their EcoGlow with them. Last night it was 52 degrees - and they were all OUTSIDE of their little coopette - lying in a bunch on the ground. So I "wisely" herded them all into their coopette - and 5min later, they were all BACK out under the nearly full moon. Go figure! Everyone's fine this a.m., so it must not have done any adverse effects!

    I'm hoping to process these similar to our spring FR's - in batches of 4 or 5 birds, which is about 2hrs of "work" to set-up, process, clean-up and package everyone. That's something I can do after work. I'm figuring on a Halloween harvest. I too am planning on using 1 chx/week. Let's see if that happens, as they're so darn tasty!

    Good luck with yours!
     
  5. debir1966

    debir1966 Chillin' With My Peeps

    343
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    May 27, 2012
    Central Idaho
    I wish I had gotten these earlier, but I will know better next year. I want to do the spring batch when it is warm enough at night for them to be outside in the brooder with only the ecoglow for heat and the fall batch the same thing, so I am thinking end of march/april for spring which would put processing in June (before it gets TOO hot) and the fall batch first of september for processing in the first of November. I will be getting BBW turkeys with the spring batch, so they will be ready to ALL be butchered at the same time with the fall batch hopefully. This years turkeys are not all going to be big enough before Thanksgiving, I am crossing my fingers 1 of them will be LOL.
     

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