Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Taking Chicks Out To Pasture

Still waiting for those adult feathers to come in...

Going back to an awesome conference, the Midwest Sustainability Conference, I can remember listening to Darby Simpson talk about taking chicks out to pasture.  For meat birds, you want them out at 3 weeks of age, but you want to make that transition as seamless as possible.  Well come Thursday my not-so-little Red Rangers will be three weeks old and here is the weather outlook.

The ten day outlook
I'm thinking Sunday or Monday the birds will go out... and then we can all rejoice!  "Why rejoice" you might ask?  For one thing, these little buggers make a TON of DUST!  Seriously, who would have thought that chickens can create so much dust out of nowhere!  "Where does it come from?" - My wife has asked me multiple times... the answer, I DON'T KNOW!  But wherever it comes from, I'll be happy when it's no longer in my garage.  

At the point they go to pasture, they'll then have access to salad greens.  This is good for a few reasons... starting with one assumption: Salad is good for you.  

1) When chickens eat salad with their food, the chicken becomes healthier for me
2) When the chickens eat the salad, it's less lawn for me to mow.
3) When the chickens are done with the grass/feed, they poop and fertilize the lawn... now I have to mow more, but now it's also healthier soil!  
4) If the soil is healthy enough, I can get some four legged lawn mowers and support them on my small piece of property.
5) If I get four legged lawn mowers, I won't have to mow as much.
6) If I don't have to mow as much, I have more time to spend on productive things and I don't burn as many hydrocarbons, thus saving more polar bears!
7) The four legged lawn mowers can be eaten or sold (or the kids can take them to the fair... eventually)!

Okay, that was a rant... I'm sorry... kinda.  At least now you can share in my joy that my garage will once again be... well, not as dirty.

UPDATE: A few pictures from the season...
First week in the feeder...

Close to butchering weight

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