14 February 2015

Chicken update 14 Feb 2015

I haven't done a chicken update post for a little while ... and there won't be too many pictures this morning as it is cold outside and the bird-brains are not posing for the camera at all.  It took me four tries to get an in-focus pic of Beardie.
Beardie, the Easter Egger cockerel at 15 weeks
As for the pullets in the tractor with him ... they had no interest at all in having their pics taken.  All four are doing just fine though - Penny, Darkie, Goldie, and Bright Eyes.  These five are the last of the Halloween chicks.

The Wyandotte "kids" I bought in Alachua County from Luanne are doing well also.  I separated the cockerels from the pullets, and have four boys (one a single-combed).  One of the cockerels is very noticeably larger than the other three, so I have named him Azar ... he is a "Big Boy!"  Yes, I know that in some areas Big Boy restaurants have a different name than Azar's, but those can be for future cockerels who are obviously faster-growing.  No pics of them or the five pullets, as they were hiding in the shadows.

The sorta-birthday chicks are also thriving, with the crew still in the brooder shed zipping around the tubs a bit too fast this morning to get anything but colored blurs in pics.  The Gold-Laced Wyandottes are getting in some very pretty feathers, while the red broilers are growing and growing and eating like gluttons.  Not quite like the Cornish-Rock broilers, but very close!  I brought thirteen of the most boisterous boys out of the shed the other day, and they are still adapting to their new surroundings ... there is still way too many blades of tender green grass.
13 boisterous and rowdy red broiler cockerels outside
The rest of the young chicks will be moving out of the shed in the next few days, as hubby has been building two new large triangle chick tractors.
new chick tractor in progress

new chick tractor up on sawhorses for finishing
I will move the Wyandotte cockerels and the rest of the red broiler cockerels out when the first is finished up (probably today!) which will leave the Wyandotte pullets and two or three broiler pullets in the shed.  I have very few pullets, and have called up Lynn to see how many she has.  I will happily trade her cockerels for the pullets just to have more of a choice in which to keep to hatch out half-broilers.

I slaughtered the last three cockerels from the Halloween assortment, and like the red cockerel these were mostly feathers and attitude.  I now have four carcasses to pull off the large meat for canning, then simmer down the rest with the giblets.  Hubby really likes how tender and flavorful the canned chicken meat come out, especially the dark meat.  I continued practicing the caponizing procedure on the already-deceased cockerels, and felt like a bull in the china shop for the first two.  I took a break, had a little more coffee and a cigarette, then went out to try a third time.  That one went a lot better than the earlier two, but I am still not feeling confident enough to practice on anything other than a carcass.  The learning curve is very steep for caponizing!  The good news is, I have plenty of red broiler cockerels coming up.

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