Friday, July 25, 2014

PPPP Report Week 4

Served up fresh, one (slightly Postponed) Promised Pastured Peeper Progress Report, week 4.

Week 3 wrapped up with 51:24:8 prolifically peeping poultry.  In week 4 only a single broiler died, bringing us to a total of 50:24:8.  Not a mark on him, and no real insight into what happened.

They also have been holding boxing matches in the middle of the night.  While amusing to watch and not particularly harmful to each other the noises caused by such scuffles (did I mention it was the middle of the night) are enough to cut into my sleep and have resulted in more than a few trips out to the brooding pen to check on them. (continued)

As of the week 3 post last Wednesday we were still working on 50 lbs. feed bag #2 but we finished that
  one and started #3 Thursday.  So from zero to 1 month old within 150 lbs. of feed.  They are also getting more salad, more often.  We're moving the pen almost daily now, which they continue to celebrate with a great deal of happy chicken behavior and a spirit of exploration.

Speaking of  the "spirit of exploration" several of the layers have shown the ability (and worse, the inclination) to explore beyond the bounds of their enclosure.  After going to such lengths to shelter and protect them, looking across the yard and seeing a little black puffball sitting on the top of the fence looking around in front of God, the universe, and any of the local predators, can be quite frustrating.  So far I don't believe any of them has done more that hop up and look around, and I am reasonably certain none has wandered off to an untimely end.  I do find myself wishing they would just keep their fuzzy butts where they belong but while I'm wishing for things I suspect I could think of more useful and productive things to wish for.

Getting our size comparison shot is increasingly more difficult.  Soon we will have to get them "on the run".  Here are two so you can see things clearly.

In addition to the trio side by side there is some variation within each type also.

There is a single "runty" layer.  Half the size of all the rest.  It may have been a bit early to notice the difference, but the 2 layers lost before the week 3 report may have been smaller or weaker as well.  Concerned about this one, a bit of observation confirms she eats, drinks, and moves very well.  She's just half the size of the others.

With the broilers the size difference is less problematic.  Shorty here is almost certainly a hen that snuck into our straight run of 52 boys.  She won't grow as fast, or as large but she'll still reach a respectable roaster size in due time.

Are you ready for this? I don't think you're ready for this.  Godzilla there is head and shoulders bigger than the other 7 turkeys.  The difference is huge.

The difference is probably due to age.  We bought 10 from the hatchery and managed to lose one to the cats on the very first day (expensive cats *grumble) so Mrs. Farmer picked up a replacement of indeterminate age from the local feed store.  There was a noticeable but not terrible size difference then and he has only continued to widen the gap since.

Because he is so much larger, we have not used him in any of the variety size comparisons to try and keep things more accurate.  This is a classic example of just how much difference a week (or perhaps even a few days) can make.

Thanks for stopping by.

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