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Cornish Cross are gone

We dropped the chickens off on Tues (6/14). It was a hot day.
We picked them up on Thursday evening and I chatted a bit with the butcher. He said that most folks have been losing more birds than usual because of the heat. The general rule, he said, was that you plan to lose 10% of your birds. Most people have been losing about 20% this year. I raised 27. I lost 1.
At roughly 8 weeks, the live weight of the birds averaged about 6.5 pounds. There were some birds that tipped the scale at over 7 — or so I say because my digital scale has a max of 7 and some birds were unweighable. So far the average weight of the birds after processing is 4.6 pounds, so I guess that would make it a dressing percentage of 70%. I am interested in hearing from other producers if that is what you get, too.
I created some hang tags for the bags and Gary and I weighed each bird and labelled them with the price. I thought I would allow everyone to pick out the birds they wanted and I would add up their totals then and there. Worked out ok. I am a little nervous about selling birds we haven’t tried yet, but we have had good luck with this butcher before, so I am hoping the chickens are well-received. Next batch will be ready in about a month. These are the silver cockerels from Reich Hatchery.

One small note — the little turkey who had been living in the kitchen passed away last night. Once our heatwave ended I moved him into the basement under a heat lamp. I think he got too cold, although I had been wary of his overall health for the past couple days. He was a cutie and I will miss him and how he followed me around.

All of the ducks have hatched out their broods. We have a total of 19 babies. The geese act as protectors and babysitters, escorting the mamas on their morning walks (they all walk up the hill first thing) and babysitting the babies on the pond. I guess they really aren’t so mean after all.

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