Several years ago I decided to play farmer and get some chickens. I read an article in The Harrowsmith about raising chickens in your back yard and anyone can do it. So my ego says I can do anything and that’s all I needed to know.
Bard Rocks are black and white chickens and they are raised for meat. Sharon down the road was getting chicks in the spring and asked if I wanted some. So things just naturally fell into place she wanted meat chickens, so I wasn’t alone. Looking back I should have picked up the chicks myself but I let Sharon do it because you get a deal when you purchase a large number. I wanted two dozen and I don’t remember what she wanted but it was more then that. She also said she would raise them for two weeks because they needed to stay in the house and I didn’t want the chicks to be abused by my kids. My kids were young and they would only want to play with them but the death rate was high so I let Sharon keep them until they were ready. In the mean time I prepared a spot for them.
I claimed a small leaning shed behind the barn. A rubber mat was placed on the dirt floor and I was given a real chicken watering tin. It was metal and old but did the trick. I found an old ladder and propped it up.
Sharon delivered the chicks and they looked healthy and big. My darling friend decided to give me the bigger ones because she thought they would be healthier. I was so grateful. Big Mistake. When chicks are all born on the same day they should all grow at the same rate unless they are male. Yes, that’s right they were all male.
My plan was to raise the chickens until they are ten to twelve weeks old. They would be about ten pounds or so. Well that didn’t happen because the roosters decided to not get along. The birds were not friendly, not exactly pets you can raise. They constantly fought. The final straw was when one morning I arrived to feed and water. The shed was pretty bloody and it was almost impossible to deliver food and water and forget about cleaning them out. So off to the butcher they went. Birds were 6 to 8 pounds.
It was quite the experience and I am done playing farmer. That phase of life is over, now on to the next phase.