My First Flock


In the Brooder
May 10, 2015
i started out with 28 cornish cross day old chicks. i lost one at about 4 weeks due to what i would guess was "flip". At this time i went from food available 24hrs to 12hrs on 12 hrs off. the other 27 are right at 9 weeks now and will be off to the processor on wednesday. they are eating machines. i ve gone through almost 16 50lb bags of starter grower feed.

one has developed leg/tendon issues and is slightly smaller but still gets around to the food and the water. she is on the right of the tray feeder below. i make sure i always leave at least a small feeder and waterer inside for her. i feed the others outside in a small run as often as the weather allows. another one developed a crop/digestive issue around 4 weeks. not sure what that is. shes quite a bit smaller and always has a very large and full crop. shes on the left of the tray feeder.

i also got 4 khaki campbells, a runner, and a pekin as day old chicks when i got my meat birds. my ducks are quite a bit messier than even the cornish cross. they will turn any ground the can get their bills at into a mud hole in no time! and seem to really enjoy emptying the waterers as quickly as they can! i really enjoy watching them and let them out as often as i can. they heard quite easily. i have a quarter acre pond about 75 yds from their coop/run. i have hearded them to the pond a dozen or so times, but as soon as i turn my back they run full speed back to the coop! hopefully with time they will get more accustomed to hanging out around the pond. i lost one of the khaki chicks early on. he never seemed to walk very well and crop stayed fulll as well. we brought him inside and tried to revive him(electrolytes, probiotics, nutradrench) and his own food and water. he lived for 2 weeks but with no improvement. gave him swim time 3 times a day for a few minutes, towards the end he would just swim in circles and use his wings to help him walk. that was enough of that suffering for me.

after the above birds were all settled in to the coop and done with the brooder, i decided to get some layers. I got 4 rhode island reds, 3 barred rocks, and 1 khaki campbell to replace the one that i lost on the first go around. i m afraid this duck wont ever turn into a duck and is going to stay a chicken for the rest of his life.... we will see. 2 weeks ago i thought he was feathered out enough and the temps were high enough that i could get him out of the pen where the layers and the single khaki have been living together and put him with the other ducks. well it didnt go very well, he walked around the layers pen where he just came from quacking and trying to get back in for about an hour. then i finally got him to go out in the run where the other ducks were. he didnt pay attention to them and they didnt pay attention to him. i thought over time he would adjust. i went back out that night to shut everybody up and check on the new khaki that was out witht he big birds. he was asleep with his head wedged inbetween the straw bails gettting as close to the layers as he could, and apparently he called to of the young layers out of their pen because they were asleep on top of him. at this time i put him back in the pen with the other young chickens and the two that flew out jumped back in. and thats where they all still are today.

I ve really enjoyed it so far. they are a little bit of work, but a lot of enjoyment. looking forward to some fresh meat and eggs.
I started off with 30 meaties this year and lost over half! I processed 12 a week ago and still have 4 left then i bought 11 meaties and lost one of those yesterday there only anout 3 weeks old. Not getting meat birds next year ill get dual purpose breeds meat birds are dumb and a waste of money. Its cheaper to buy chicken at the store! Lol
i ve heard quite a few very similar stories about the cornish cross birds. i must've gotten a good batch! the dual purpose would definately be a more normal chicken.

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