Wednesday, July 9, 2014

PPPP Report Week 2

Wednesday is here! Now begins the Promised Pastured Peeper Progress Report, week 2.

Everyone is doing well, all nuggets accounted for, at least since last week.  The turf currently occupied by the brooder pen may last another week before they have really mucked it up but I think we'll probably move it this weekend.

Another landmark occurred today, we officially exhausted our first bag of feed.  No doubt most of that was consumed in week 2 but for sake of argument 50 lbs over 2 weeks for 50 broilers 25 layers and 10(now 8) turkeys is real good.  When it's two bags a week later on.... well we'll talk about that later.  (continued)

Turkey Dufresne, digging under the wall
Growth occurs at a scary rate for them at this age, even for the layers, who aren't going so hard to put on size. Visible day to day growth isn't only possible it's actually the norm.  This does translate into an increasing appetite and ever increasing amounts of feed but that is more than made up for by just how cool it is to watch the process happening under my nose.

Of course that doesn't mean that there isn't anyone unhappy with the arrangement, and there are still those plotting their escape...  I can only attribute that to the same bird brained drives that had them sticking their heads through the holes in the fence last week  but I suppose these are just some freedom loving turkeys we have here. Today one was even digging a hole under the fence.... maybe she was going after little ants or succulent roots.  Hope can drive a man insane, I've heard.  Turkeys too, perhaps.
Confronting the guard (show no weakness!)

While the quiet ones try to tunnel under the wall others are paying more attention to getting chummy with the man.  Of course, they don't seem to realize that I'm the warden, or that my preference for Thanksgiving meals leaves their appeal unlikely to succeed.  Lilly chatted for some time with the biggest turkey today.  While I can only speculate about what they discussed I know neither gave ground willingly.  Perhaps future negotiations will bear more fruit.

Red Ranger (L) - Barred Rock (R)

I've saved the best for last:
Remember, everyone is the same age and even in the "daily visible growth" stage a day one way or the other shouldn't make that big of a difference.

Everything about these birds is different.  The RR broiler is double the size of the BR layer.  Beyond size you can see his juvenile feathers already beginning to come in, and the sheer amount of mass present in the bone structure.  These boys are built from the genes up to put on size quickly and this variety isn't even the worst for absurd growth on the market.  I believe these Red Rangers (purchased from Hoover's Hatchey) strike a good mix between rapid growth and quality of life.  Some varieties (I'm looking at you Cornish Cross) grow to "finished" size in even less time, 8 weeks rather than 12, but I prefer my chickens to look and act like chickens not depressed feathered death row inmates.  In addition to not being depressing to raise, the RRs show a strong foraging instinct and while they may not be the most intelligent birds in the yard I have not lost one to a predator yet so they're at least smart enough to take cover.

You want me to pose? Ain't no turkey got time for that!
This turkey wanted nothing to do with the BR.  Poor girl.  You expect the turkey to be larger since the end result is always so much more poundage than the chicken but it's truly shocking just how small the layers are.  They might be just a bit larger than they were last week.  Maybe. I think we're talking grams here.

Hey!  No tip-toes!
These two seem to be squaring off.  Wouldn't do for the ref to see them slouching, maybe score a point to the other guy he didn't earn, right?

I think the turkey might be a bit heavier through the middle, but they are both pretty much the same size and likely the RR will be bigger than the turkey soon as they rush to their week 12 mature weight.

The jokes is on both of them though.... the layers may be little, but they are FAST!

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