Processed my 23 remaining Cx's yesterday

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by WVDan44, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This was my first go 'round with meat birds. I processed mine at two days shy of 8 weeks old. They were very uniform in size except for two smaller birds that were just over 4 lbs. The 23 birds averaged 4.74 lbs. I couldn't wait to taste them so I roasted one for dinner tonight and as most of you know, there's nothing like the taste of homegrown chicken. I am really looking forward to getting another batch in the spring. I am thinking of doubling my order to 50 birds next time. There is plenty of quality pasture on my land with a good mix of white clover, and I've already received my Premier 1 electric net fencing, so I'm rarin' to go in Spring. I definitely think there is a market for them in my area, seeing as how a lot of my friends are anxious to have one of my birds, and there are lots of farmers markets in the area. Overall, we are very pleased and satisfied with our first efforts.
     
  2. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Congrats! And you are absolutely correct about 'home-grown' tasting so much better!
    I soooo want to get some cx's and try them out.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    So glad you had a success your first time around, Dan! [​IMG]
     
  4. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! Best advice I can give you is to decide how you want to raise them, consider how you can keep them safe from predators, and be as prepared as you can be when the chicks arrive. I would advise against keeping them in brooders in the house because they grow much too fast and you may find the amount of work to be daunting. I will never do that again! You should try some. It is a very rewarding project. I can't stop looking at them inside my freezer! Tonight our entire evening meal was from organic food grown right here on our land. I am one happy camper and one step closer to independence!
     
  5. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Beekissed! Thanks. Hey I owe a lot to you and your guidance. While I wasn't able to create your level of naturalness, I did as much as possible. Mine did spend full days in the field and I believe that their health and condition was a testament to that lifestyle. You were the greatest source of useful information i found anywhere. Thanks so much for your unselfish sharing and well wishes. You're the best!
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Now you have me blushing...... [​IMG] I'm so glad you could use the info! I think the fresh air and exercise really make a difference in the general health and meatiness of the finished product, don't you?

    I'm hoping to do another project in the spring but will be doing it without a broody hen, which may be a big learning experience for me. I'll be making a movable shelter from 2x4s and cattle panels and will be doing the free ranging mode once again.

    This time I'm going to make sure they get vinegar in their water each day, as I feel their increased metabolism and resulting thin and frequent stools can contribute to an electrolyte loss. That loss of precious eletrolytes and the state of chronic dehydration, as evidenced by the increased thirst, could be the reason so many people have fatalities in these chickens during increased stress and heat.

    I never had problems but I think that was due to the vinegar I did add whenever I thought to do so and that my birds were never stressed by heat or crowding and that they had adequate exercise to develop their heart and bone density.
     
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    I just processed my first CX the other day myself. I cared for them roughly the way beekissed describes though in a tractor. I didn't have many so it was relatively roomy for them. ACV in the water, check. Moved daily, or every other day when I got lazy. No huge buildup of poo. And one thing made me go, "huh." Their crops weren't full. In fact one was empty. At 10:00 in the morning, an empty crop and they had free choice feed 24/7, and plenty of grass to nibble on, which they did. So much for the "they'll do nothing but eat" statement. Mine did have a polish and a black sex link in there with them, maybe those chicks got them moving more? I don't know. They had a 1 foot high "cage" to jump on top of and it was funny watching those fat things try to get up there with the 2 others. Some actually made it haha. But at 8 weeks the heaviest dressed out to 5 pounds. They sure did dwarf that little polish pullet LOL but she still ruled over them all.

    Beautiful carcasses and I'm eating the first one tonight! Can't wait.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  8. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds about like my outcome. I had a few over 5 lbs. with an avg. of 4.74 which I was very happy with. After struggling with keeping them in brooders, and hauling them outside eveyday, I built a spacious structure with deep litter in a secure building and allowed them a ramp to go in and out. The most annoying part of that was the fact that they would not go back in at night without prodding from me. If I waited till after dark to go to them, most would be camped out up against the building on the concrete apron. I'd give 'em the boot and slowly they would ascend the ramp and go in for the night. In the morning, most would readily go out, but for five or six. I'd get my stick and poke 'em out the door. LOL Next time, I want to put another chicken with them to maybe teach them a few things.

    Next year, I will raise the poults in the same enclosure under roof, providing them access to the outside at a very early age. I will have shelters and sunscreens for them to get under. I did notice that care must be taken not to have the young featherless birds sunburn. They will be outside away from a heat source much earlier next time. Autumn can present its problems with ever decreasing temps, so I'm hoping Spring will have the opposite effect. Once out from under the heat light, they will be able to free range a large yard, protected by electric net fencing, but will not be allowed back into their brooder room. I get giddy thinking of the amount of work this will save. My only threat will then be from raptors. I plan on stringing old CDs above their yard on poles to help scare off any aerial attacks, and I do have a large kennel with six yappy jack russells in the area as well.

    I forgot all about the ACV! I will definitely add this to my list of next year's must haves. Mine got good, cold well water containing all the natural minerals, especially limestone. I think they thrived on it. I also tossed them garden scraps such as broccoli leaves, apple cores, etc. They did have large wet stools at times, and their water consumption was huge. I filled a 3.5 gallon waterer twice a day, and they generally completely emptied it each time.

    I'm really looking forward to my next go 'round with Cx. I am very pleased with Welp Hatchery and the quality of the birds I received.
     
  9. blueskylen

    blueskylen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Dan,

    i doubt that you will have any problems selling your extra CX. we live in northern wv and i let my family and neighbors know that i was going to raise a few meaties, and EVERYBODY
    wanted some. i raised 30 one year and 60 the next - way to many for me to keep up with! so i quietly "went out of business" this year and only raised 25 - perfect number for me and my family.

    it sound like you are taking all of the good advise that i found here and putting it to use, like so many of us do.

    Great Luck on your endeavor![​IMG]
     
  10. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds about right, Blue. Thanks for the encouragement. I have lots of projects in mind. I built an incubator and it works great. Now I need to put it to use. I wish you prosperity as well!
     

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