Archives for posts with tag: cute

Last Wednesday we went and picked up 26 little yellow balls of fluff from Miller Hatchery in Westlock. They’re a new breed this year called Western Rustics, which are supposed to be a hardier, slower growing meat bird than the standard Cornish. Sounds good to us. Here are a couple pics from the first day:

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On average they were about 50g and very active from the start, until, like most baby critters, they ran out of gas all at once and had a nap.

I’m happy to report that now at one week, all 26 are still alive and chirping.  Average weight is about 92g.  I’m very pleased, since with Cornish I would have had to pick up at least one dead bird by now!  Much less poop production too, which is nice.

Here’s a picture of one today:

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As you can see, they’re already starting to get wing and tail feathers.  Part of me wonders if they might not have been a couple of days old when we picked them up, since with our Cornish and Orpingtons they didn’t really start to feather out til week 2.  They’re also already doing their little puffed-chest boxing matches as they work out who’s in charge.

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image Starting over with a heritage breed – Blue Orpingtons! These ones are already one week old. image After a fair amount of research, Orpingtons were my breed of choice for an egg laying flock. Cold hardy, good mothers, good producers, not bad for meat, generally friendly. image image They take longer to maturity than Cornish of course, but they also have WAY fewer health problems. I’ve heard of hens producing for up to 12 years.

We were super lucky and found a lady breeding them in our area.

Let them out of the mini cardboard brooder into the larger 8×8 area last night. There was some flustered panic at first but they seem to have gotten over it and are starting to spread out a bit.
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This morning around 10am I took away the feeder, with plans to return it at 7pm for 3 hours. I scattered a bunch of feed though the bedding and have been pleased to observe them going to look for it. I really want them to learn to forage, specially since it keeps them in better shape than just sleeping with their heads in the feeder. They won’t put on weight so fast, but for these birds that’s not such a bad thing.

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Experimenting with elevating one of the waterers to see if it will help keep them from gunking it up so quickly.

Our poor dog is having fits outside the basement door. He’s extremely food motivated and these little guys look like an appy platter to him! He’s just going to have to learn to deal.

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Cute in a box arrived today.

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50 baby meat birds, in a brooder in our basement.

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Teddy playing with Yukon, the Husky/German Shepherd cross that belongs to our room-mates.

Brian playing with Teddy, our 110 lb Newfie/Lab cross.