Chicken math

If you don’t follow two_rock_ridge on Instagram, you probably aren’t keeping up with the number of chickens currently on the farm. It’s 37, not counting the ones already in the freezer(25) or the next soon-to-arrive batch of Cornish Crosses (30).

Here’s what happened. This spring, I had just nine laying hens. I’ve been wanting to add more laying hens in the hope of selling some eggs in the farmstand, so I reached out to a friend who has some beautiful birds and an incubator to see if she might hatch “a few” chicks for me. Long story short, she ended up with a ton of orders for chicks and by the time she got to my name on the list, she offered use of her incubators to me.

I’ve never hatched a bird in my life. Didn’t really know much about how it works. But, I gave it a shot and loaded up the eggs — 21 days later, I had a successful hatch of 18 brand new baby chicks. More about that process later…

In the meantime, knowing it would be a while before the babies would hatch, in May I also picked up 10 more laying birds from Pleasant Pond Poultry in Turner, just in case the hatching didn’t work out.

We finished construction (mostly) on the new henhouse and when I moved the 10 now-“teenagers” out there, we determined the space won’t be large enough to add the 18 “babies” that hatched in July. So, we are working on another henhouse, which will eventually connect with the first new henhouse with chicken runs for travelling back and forth. These are both in addition to the existing coop for the “old ladies” and the movable chicken tractor that I use for meat birds.

I’ve also been trying to figure out how to raise more meat birds at once, as my chicken tractor maxes out at 30 birds…

To summarize, in the span of three months, we went from one coop and one chicken tractor for nine birds to four coops/houses/tractors and three dozen chickens (plus, a total of 55 meat birds this year alone) — this is chicken math in all its glory. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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