Well, this backyard farm gig has gone well so far. My wife and I are really happy with the current results.
We have Cornish Cross, Rhode Islands, and Ameraucana chickens. In the video you can see how the Cornish Cross (white) chickens and the Rhode Island reds (red) are definitely different in size. We got them at Coastalwhen they were approximately 1 to 3 days old, and they have made it to five weeks. Today they moved before I could get a picture, but one of the Rhode Island Reds was sitting on top of one of the big Cornish Cross chickens… and the Cornish Cross did not seem to mind.
My wife and I have debated whether or not we should separate the meat chickens (Cornish) from the other chickens that we want because of the size difference. But everyone seems to be eating just fine and there are not pecking issues yet.
So, the Rhode Island Red and Cornish Cross chicks are approximately 4 weeks old. The Ameraucana chicks are approximately 3 weeks old. At what age do they stop being chicks and become chickens? I’m still new at this backyard farming gig. We had egg laying chickens last year, but they stopped laying. So this year we have a brand new batch (literally). The Cornish Cross are meat chickens that my wife wanted… and as a compromise I got egg laying chickens.
In addition to the chickens, we hope to have the garden planted within the next week.
So why do we have a backyard farm? I won’t speak for my wife… but I have the following reasons:
To have control over what antibiotics, if any, get fed to
To know what actually gets fed to the livestock– our eggs have dark yellow yolks, whereas the typical store bought egg is undernourished and has a pale yellow yolk.
To know what pesticides, if any, are used in my garden.
To know if the food is healthy or not… instead of depending on a hired hand to make the judgement 1000 miles away who may not care because he’s just getting a paycheck.
To know if the food was genetically modified.
To get out of the house and work instead of watching tv 12 hours a day. Being self sufficient is great!
To know there is not pink slime or other goodies added to enhance the final product.
As I look over these I notice I have a theme of controlling where my food comes from. Does that mean I’m a control freak? I don’t know.