Tuesday, September 26, 2006

How to Weigh a Chicken - The Easy Way

Before today, each week I used to catch some of the chicks, put them in a cardboard box and weigh them and record the average weight. Today I couldn't find the cardboard box. The chickens showed me a much easier way to weigh them. Less than 30 seconds after putting the scale down, a little rooster would jump up and weigh himself. I'd record his weight, shoo him off and wait for the next one to jump on. I weighed three of them today this way. The average weight of these White Rocks rooster chicks was 1 pound 5.7 ounces. They are 6 weeks old.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Little Cottage?

Camera angle can mean so much. What appears to be a little country cottage is really an A-frame pig shed. The other side of the fence is mostly mud with a couple of very pregnant Tamworth sows wallowing in it. If my camera had not broken, I was going to take a photo from the other direction. This is one of the perennial plots (not mine) where I have my community garden at Codman Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA.

Chick update: At 4 weeks old today, the White Rock Roosters weighed an average of a little over 10 oz. each.

Note. My camera (Nikon Coolpix 950) broke! I don't have time to investigate or buy one before my daughters wedding. Any thoughts on what you love or hate about the camera you use would be appreciated for when I start the camera buying process. In the mean time no more baby chick update photos.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I like okra a lot. I love the taste and I think its tropical looking flower is beautiful. It's not exactly a staple of a typical New England diet and I often meet people who have never eaten it. It's not consistently available here in the market so I try to grow it. During our very cool very wet spring this year, I had to seed it three times before I was successful. I sowed it once inside in pots where it failed and twice outside. I was successful the second time outside. What I've learned is it seems to need lots of warmth which is not surprising because it's native to Africa. I've found it needs warmth even more than tomatoes or peppers do. Now that cooler September weather has arrived I fear it will soon stop producing. It's produces enough to eat or add to soup occasionally, but I wish I had enough to freeze. My plan for next year is to try and start it again inside, but I'm planning on adding a propagation mat to my collection of garden toys and hope that I will have more success starting it inside and unless it's really hot, I'll probably wait an extra week after Memorial Day before setting it out.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Chicks 18 days old

The chicks are now 18 days old. They aren't old enough to go out on pasture yet, so we pull weeds from the garden and to give to them. They really love them and even eat the dirt. You can see in the photo below that they are starting to get their wing feathers.

Friday, September 01, 2006

White Rock Chicks

[[[ Sorry for the lack of posts. Things are busy in the garden, at work and most importantly I’ve been involved with my daughter’s wedding plans. The wedding will be in a couple of weeks and things are getting a bit hectic here.

After some hatchery and post office delays the chicks finally arrived two weeks ago... They are 125 White Rock rooster but a few seem to be something different. They are in a room in the barn that’s about 11 x 11 feet square. Chicks need an area where the temperatures are 90 degrees in part of the area the first week and can tolerate the temperature to be lowered 5 degrees each week for the first 6 weeks. To provide this temperature there are two heat lamps hanging in their enclosed area. They can self adjust their temperature by moving closer or further form the lamps. The chicks were two weeks old on last Tuesday.

Each week I plan to weigh a sample of the chicks and keep track of their weights. We’re also keeping track of how long it takes them to eat each 50 lbs of feed.

So far the weights are;
At one week, a sample of 10 weighed an average of 2.05 oz. each
At two weeks, a sample of 10 weighed an average of 4.45 oz each

From the weights you can see they more than doubled their weight during their second week.
I intended to take a photo of them today and brought my camera to the farm. Unfortunately I forgot to put the memory card back into the camera before I brought it with me. This photo from the first week will have to do for now.