Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Backyard broiler update -- Week 6

Last week I said that I had to buy a 40 lb. bag of food on June 14.  Believe it or not, I had to buy another 40 lb. bag yesterday on June 25.  They went through 40 lbs. of food in 11 days!  I still have another 3-4 weeks until graduation.
This is the 40 lb. bag of 18% feed.  It was $14.98.
Here they are, nice and big.
This one tried to escape.  The RIR was quick to peck it.
You can see where the tractors have been.
They've become a lot less of a nuisance and they're a lot less work since they moved outside.  I have a 1-quart feeder in each of the tractors.  I fill them 1-2 times a day.  I try not to let them get completely empty.  I also have a 5-gallon bucket reservoir that feeds a poultry nipple waterer on each tractor.  I don't know if the chickens drink a lot, or the buckets leak, or the water evaporates, but I end up adding 1-3 gallons of water to each bucket every day.  I also move the tractors once in the morning and again at night.  When I'm home during the weekends they get moved more frequently.  They've figured out the move process now and stay towards the front of the tractors.  After the move they're quick to eat the fresh grass and clover.

I could probably just let the free range all over the yard with the layers.  I haven't done that because I want to keep these guys separate.  I'm not concerned about disease, or fighting, or how they'd integrate with each other.  The layers have become pets.  We're pretty attached to them.  I don't want anyone getting attached to the broilers since they aren't going to be sticking around much longer.  So they stay in the tractors.

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