Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week 11 - Nearing the Finish Line

Wow the chickens have really filled in and are looking great. They are about the same size as my 2 year old layers. I am confident that I can finish off the roosters early which is a good thing because they are starting to crow, and peck each other more--and I don't have much feed left. I went ahead and bought one bag of scratch corn to help stretch the feed and to put a little fat on them.

Mr. Curious here is gonna be Mr. Chicken Dinner pretty quick. I can't believe they are only 10 weeks old.

Yesterday I was able to schedule a day to process the roosters. Mary at The Hen Connection recommended that I try Country Side Poultry Processing in Fruitland. The owner was very nice on the phone and their prices are pretty good, only $2.50 per chicken or $2.85 with a cryobag. I think the cryobag is worth the small additional costs so I will go with that. So this Friday, June 8th the roos will be taking a one way trip to the freezer. I will follow up with a post about how the processing went.

Now I need to get busy and build a few transportation crates to take them in. I am going to use the basic plan from APPPA but modified a little to get 3 crates out of a single sheet of plywood, two 2x4s and a bundle of lath. I will use a sheet of 7/16" OSB and paint the smooth side white to keep the top cool and the bottom easier to clean after use. I will just rip the sheet of OSB in half down the length and in thirds across it giving me 6 pieces just shy of 24x32", which should easily hold 8-10 chickens. I always rip 2x4's in half instead of buying 2x2's because they cost the same and I get 2 for the price of one and the 2x4s are better quality. I will cut them into 11 or 12" pieces for the vertical supports. I think that 6 per crate is enough, but may have to add more depending on the sturdiness of the lath. 4 pieces of lath across each side should be plenty.

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