Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to Farming - The Meat Chickens Have Arrived!

We've raised several generations of laying hens, and got the wild hair to try raising some meat chickens.

We ordered 30 male Cornish Rock chicks from Welp Hatchery ( It was tough to get all males ASAP, but they were very accommodating when another order fell through.

The chicks finally arrived and seemed to be doing well after 2 days in a cardboard box shipping by Postage! They all were active and drinking on their own.

Then suddenly about 1-2 hours after arrival, half of them died. 15 of the birds were dead before night.

Another 3 birds died over the next 3 days... they would become listful and eventually would die.


The rest of the birds are all doing well. Active and HUNGRY! These little guys eat alot. They seem to like their digs in the pool, sunning under the lamp.

We talked with Welp Hatcheries, and they are sending 15 replacements in 2 days. The males aren't available until mid-September, so we're getting 15 female chicks.

They said it wasn't uncommon for them to die off from box stress... we hope that is what it was, just stress from shipping.

Little chicks are very fun to watch. They are so delicate and prone to dying, though, it is really a bit frustrating and sad for us. Welp Hatchery has been very good to work with and we will buy from them again.

The Cornish Cross hybrid are said to mature for butchering in 7-8 weeks! The birds have to be monitored so they don't eat too much and develop heart troubles, etc. Franken-birds! We're eager to see how they taste...

Always new adventures here in the Pacific NW! Stay tuned to see how this one turns out.