Monday, February 4, 2013

The Chick is in the Mail

 I received my order of Murray McMurray chicks in the mail today!

They were boxed very securely and all look very healthy and were quite vocal about their dislike of being shipped in the mail. All but one survived.

I had to pick them up from the Post Office and since my back is killing me, I am home from work and was able to do so. I could hear them peeping as soon as I walked in.

I had the nice lady at the post office help me carry the chicks to the car(not that the box was all that heavy, it is basically full of fluff) and brought them on home to their coop. Light was already set up and ready for them. Filled their water, I made sure they all got a sip and now they are exploring their little pen.

 I have 25 chicks. I purchased the Meat-N-Egg combination from McMurray's Hatchery and the meat birds will be slaughtered at about 7-10 weeks old.  Approximately fifteen of the chicks should be meat birds and the rest should be egg layers.

Because the meat birds are a young age when slaughtered they are much more tender than the old hens I had culled to get the coop ready for this shipment.

Meat chickens are bred to grow fast and provide a lot of breast and thigh meat. In fact, some breeds grow so fast and get so heavy in a short amount of time that their legs break. In order to attempt to mitigate or avoid this, you can purchase a vitamin booster. I had the Broiler Booster included with my order as well as a package of Quik Chick. I haven't tried these supplements before so this is a test run for me. I will see how it turns out!

The meat birds that are included in this combination is Cornish X Rocks and/or Cornish Roasters. Both are big breasted, big thighed birds. They remind me a little of me... Anyways, they are bred to grow fast and big. The Cornish X Rocks (Cornish Cross Rocks) should hit their  mature weight 3 to 4 lbs and be ready for slaughter anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks.  While with the Cornish Roasters you have the option of using them as Fryers at 8-9 weeks and they will be 3-4 lbs at that point or you can slaughter them at 12 weeks or so and they will be Roasters at 8-9 pounds!!! That is a big bird!

Meat birds are bred to be much more appealing in looks once dressed, meaning they have the common yellow skin you see in the grocery stores.

I am not sure what egg layers I have in the bunch since with the Meat-N-Egg combo you do not get a choice, but they should be from their batch of rainbow egg layers, so this means they can be just about anything!

Only one bird did not survive the shipping... McMurray's credited that amount for my next purchase. Which was more than fair and very good customer service.

In the past I have always purchased birds from the local grange or feed store, but they never carried meat birds. I think this might be the best option for future orders!