Last year, we raised a mix of laying hens and meat hens. We ordered 25 as chicks in a random mix and ended up with 7 meats. Well, that wasn't quite enough for our family of 7, but it definitely got us wanting more this year. We decided on getting 50 this year of the fast growing, Cornish Cross.
We actually kept them in a second room off our chicken coop with our laying hens, and anxiously awaited their Big Move to the Chicken tractor in the yard, so they weren't making such a mess in the hen house! Tonight was the move!
With the move to the tractor, also came a new water system. We found chicken nipples in the farm store and drilled holes in PVC pipe attached to a hose and then a 5 gallon bucket. The bucket is placed on the top of the pen full of water, and the gravity makes the water run to the nipples. This is far less messy than the traditional waterers! We had to watch the chicks for awhile to be sure they knew how to drink.
As you can see, the chicks are figuring it out! It's pretty fun to see them drink from a nipple. Who knew that chickens could push a little nipple to get their water out?
One of the best things about doing so many chicks, this spring, is that after we got our chicks, they announced on the news that millions of chickens were sick and that the price of chicken will be sky high this year. For us, we will have 50 chickens in the freezer by mid June! What a fabulous and fun way to know where our food source has come from!