Saturday, June 4, 2011

Raising Cornish Cross Chickens for Meat

Day 1 for me Day 2 for the Chicks:
Early morning phone call from our postmistress that the chicks have arrived. Picked them up and brought them home.

Each chick get individually taken out of the small cardboard box and little beaks gets dipped into water. It is important to make sure that they all drink well as they can be dehydrated. Soon, they begin drinking from the gallon waterer on their own. This year I am adding vitamins to the water called Broiler Booster. It is supposed to help your birds stay healthy without the aid of any medications. All 30 chicks look very healthy. I ordered them this year from Belt's Hatchery in Fresno, California.

They all run around my little homemade brooder area like pin-balls whizzing in a pin ball game. I use shavings for bedding. They find the organic chick starter and begin eating. In a couple of weeks I will switch them to a higher protein feed to help prevent leg problems and I will add some small cross boards or chicken wire to my handmade feeder to keep them from wasting feed by scratching it out and pooping on it.

I have a 250 watt red heat lamp hanging about 17 inches from the ground and they huddle underneath for warm before taking off for more food and water. For the first week the temperature should be about 95 degrees. Then each week I will raise the light up so that the temp. fall by about 5 degrees per week. The red light casts an eerie glow, but it is supposed to prevent the chicks from pecking each other.

Here is a short video of the chicks. If you look at the light fixture, you will see that it has bars across the bottom. This is to help prevent fire if was to fall into the bedding below.

To get an update on the birds at day 14 click HERE.

P.S.: Ever seen a steer nursing on a horse? Check it out.


  1. My hats off to you! If I raised those little cuties, there is NO way I could eat them. Even though we raise cattle, we never butcher our own. They go to the sale and some else can. And, I can't eat anything I have named. I'm just too soft....

  2. They are so cute! For now, I know they will grow up to be less than cute and fuzzy, which makes them easier to eat :)

  3. Gun Diva you are so right. They grow up kind of ugly and gross, they just eat and poop. Even if I didn't butcher them (I've tried) they die at about 12 to 16 weeks old.


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