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Meat birds

Thursday 8 August, 2013

by Rosemary at 9:20am in Poultry 6 comments Comments closed

Last weekend, we killed and cleaned this year’s batch of meat poultry. We bought 20 Ross Cobbs as day olds, raised them under a heat lamp for about four / five weeks then kept them on pasture until slaughter.

Ross CobbsPasture-raised Ross Cobbs.

We fed Marriages chick crumbs then grower pellets, with some mixed corn. At nine weeks old, they were an average of 3kg in weight dressed, ranging from 2.5kg to 4kg.

New pen for meat birds

Sunday 30 June, 2013

by Rosemary at 7:42pm in Poultry 4 comments Comments closed

We’ve raised a couple of batches of meat chickens every year for a few years now.

We usually buy two batches of 10 or 12 birds, one in April and one in August. This pretty much keeps us in poultry meat – actually, it DOES keep us in poultry meat because we don’t buy it elsewhere.

Until this year, the birds have been Hubbards, reared under a light for 3-4 weeks and then in a smallish pen that we move every day or so until it’s too small and then we give them a biggish temporary pen until they are slaughtered at 12-14 weeks. We fed chick crumbs until 6 weeks then grower pellets until they are ready to go, weighing 5-7lb oven ready weight.

Missing presumed dead

Sunday 23 December, 2012

by Rosemary at 5:06pm in Poultry 3 comments Comments closed

Our two young Welsummer cockerels are missing presumed dead ☹.

We have one cockerel from the first hatch left – he damaged his leg when he was young and has been named Hoppy ☺.

He was destined for the freezer when we killed the Hubbards a few weeks ago, but we mistook him for the one going to Louis’s Little Farm so he got a reprieve.

Now with the apparent demise of the other two, one of which was going to be our breeding cockerel, Hoppy has got a second reprieve – Dan’s renamed him Hoppy-go-lucky ☺

Some preparation for Winter

Monday 19 November, 2012

by Rosemary at 3:10pm in Poultry 3 comments Comments closed

We’ve had a pretty good spell of weather this month so far so we’ve been enjoying clearing down the vegetable garden in preparation for winter. All the carrots are lifted and stored as are the spuds, so on Saturday, it was time to clear out the chooks.

The latest batch of Hubbards have been free-ranging in the vegetable garden, along with some young Welsummers and their “mums” and the Orpingtons. More Welsummers and the Cream Crested Legbars have been living on the front lawn.

The aftermath of Forfar Poultry Sale

Sunday 26 August, 2012

by Rosemary at 8:34pm in Poultry 3 comments Comments closed

It’s been a wee while since I made any diary entries – the last one was made just before the last poultry sale at Forfar market. That’s because, since then, I’ve been tending my new poultry.

We have about 80 hybrids and odd and sods in the two laying flocks, but I thought it would be nice to have some pure breeds. So, birthday money clutched in my hot little hand, off I went to the sale.

We have had Cream Crested Legbars before and rather liked them. It is an attractive breed that lays blue eggs. I’d also been given a pair of CCLs (Columbus and Clara) for my birthday, and a cockerel really needs more than one hen, so they were on my list.

Poultry Sale at Forfar

Sunday 22 July, 2012

by Rosemary at 9:02pm in Poultry Comments closed

There's a poultry sale on at Forfar this week, so I'm going along with my birthday money. We've had hens since 2002 - started with three, now have 70 plus, mostly hybrids for eggs (Warrens, Black Rocks, Rhode Rocks with a sprinkling of others).

Recently, however, Dan and I have fancied having a few pure breeds as little breeding flocks. Our Black Orpington, Ruby, went broody three months ago so we set her on some Welsummer eggs and we have six eight-week old chicks (we think we have four hens and two cockerels) - so that's our first wee flock.

Egg sales

Sunday 6 May, 2012

by Rosemary at 6:05pm in Poultry 7 comments Comments closed

Since I've found the calculator on my iPhone and I was doing the egg money, I thought I'd do a few wee calculations.

Over the last two weeks, we've taken £141 in egg money - at £3 a dozen, that's 47 dozen or 564 eggs.

An 6-egg box is 7p, so that's a cost of £6.58, maximum, as we do re-use clean ones that are returned. At 125g pellets / day, each hen costs 34p per week in pellets to feed; for 80 hens, that's £53.20 for the fortnight. On top of that, there's mixed corn at £10 for the period; a bale of Hemcore at £12 as well.

Broody Orpington

Friday 4 May, 2012

by Rosemary at 9:44am in Poultry 4 comments Comments closed

Our Black Orpington has gone broody, so Dan picked up 13 Welsummer eggs from TAS's "cooped-up" on Wednesday night, so instead of two wee cream pullet eggs, she's now mum to 13 large, dark brown eggs. She doesn't seem to mind though smiley.

We haven't put eggs under a broody for a long time and I donated our incubator to a school project, so we're hoping that we'll get a half decent hatch.


Tuesday 3 April, 2012

by Rosemary at 8:04pm in Poultry 2 comments Comments closed

Picked up our ten Hubbard chicks today - feels like Easter

Orchard and hens

Sunday 25 September, 2011

by Rosemary at 3:19pm in Poultry 2 comments Comments closed

I read somewhere in a breed description of the Black Rock hen that she's "a great forager". If that means it's hard to keep her behind a fence, then it's very true. Our's are all over the place - a nice couple on bikes came in today to tell me one was over the other side of the road - actually, that was either Ada or Olive, one of the White Leghorns, but there was  Black Rock walking along the pavement as well. Worse still, they are laying all over the place.

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