Remember our Cornish cuties that started out in the basement as little chicks? That was just 8 weeks ago. Here they were at that stage. They are incredibly soft and cuddly and plump at this age . . .
Baby Cornish don’t stay baby-faced for long! We moved them into the stock tank in the garage when they outgrew their basement box. We could still carry them all in one box at that age.
It didn’t take many weeks for the chicks to outgrow the stock tank, and since they were fully feathered out, (and thus not too delicate to withstand cool nights and hot days), we moved them (via wagon) to their PVC-and-chicken-wire enclosure outside.
We had to step up our vigilance, setting up TWO (count ’em, two) live traps, after the first night when something sneaky reached underneath their enclosure and scooped one out. We caught a whole slew of varmints, the first one probably being the original culprit.
I tell you, I can set up that live trap in my sleep (and often have). I have to clip it closed during the day. I was catching too many of my flock of chickens in it.
We haven’t lost another chicken (knock on wood!) since, although now at their size . . . I would be surprised if anything but the biggest varmint around could wrestle one down.
Take a look.
For comparison’s sake, here’s a picture of little Mack holding one of the Americauna chicks that we purchased at the same time that we purchased the Cornish. This is a pullet and will be part of next year’s flock of layers. She’ll take a while to grow up, though, obviously, before she’ll be providing lovely blue eggs for our breakfast table. Look at those bitty little blue-gray feet! Cute.
And here’s little Mack (below) holding one of the Cornish chickens. Both of these chicks are about 8 weeks old. The Americauna probably weighs less than a pound, and the Cornish is well over 5 pounds by now. Take a look at the feet, for comparison. Yikes.
Pretty incredible, huh? You can see why mealtimes (and all the time is mealtime) are so important to these birds!
I’ve got a butchering date in two weeks, at a small processor in Brainard, Nebraska. I have plans for that day. . . . it’ll be a bit of a celebration for me, since I spend an inordinately large amount of time each day toting food and water to all these chickens. Phew.
Amalia and I had a bit of an adventure in Brainard last year, and I’m planning a continuation of that adventure this year, too. But I’m not planning on getting lost first.
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