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Peep Show

May 6, 2014

That joke just never gets old.

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Baby chicks!

We got our chicks yesterday, and they seem to be settling down in their greenhouse pen. This year we got 50 Pioneers, 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Delawares, and 2 Barred Rocks. Three died between shipping and last night, but I’m not sure which ones they were since 3/4 of the chicks look the same. I love watching them – they scurry around, fall asleep while standing, and peep peep peep.

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This is our first year of “serious” meat birds. Murray McMurray describes Pioneers as: “The Pioneer chicken is considered to be a dual purpose bird. It has one of the most unique feather color patterns we have ever seen. No two birds look alike! The hens lay large brown eggs and the males reach market weight in around 12 weeks. Grows faster and is heavier than the Red Ranger. Breast meat configuration is similar to the the Red Ranger, proportional to the dark meat, on a long keel. Live to dressed weight yield averages 70% – approximately 5 lbs.”

We originally wanted the Red Rangers (a version of the Freedom Ranger), but they were sold out through June. Even though Red Rangers and Pioneers are fast growing hybrids (like Cornish X), they are supposed to be better at foraging, and generally more chicken-y in nature. I originally wanted to do all Delaware chickens; this breed was supposedly the most common dual purpose bird before the Cornish X became THE meat bird. I’ve read that hatcheries routinely kill off heritage breed male chicks since people are primarily interested in egg layers, and I also like the idea of having a potentially self-sustaining flock. Heritage breeds take between 5 – 6 months to reach dress out weight though (or so I hear), and we got a late start with our order this year.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. sue permalink
    May 9, 2014 8:12 pm

    so many chickies and so cute!

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