We do it every spring, and this year is no different.
We ordered 50 Meat Mutants (a.k.a. "Cornish Cross Broilers"), and they arrived Tuesday. We went to the feed store and had to wade through foreigners who wanted boxes full, but hadn't placed an order ahead of time. Thankfully the peeping chaos didn't keep me from finding my own 50. :)
That was Tuesday, and we've lost two. One to a tight-fisted toddler (we all cried) and one to who-knows-what.
They're housed in the same setup we used last year... a small pickup bedliner raised up a few feet off the ground, and covered with our plastic-covered hoophouse. In the bedliner we have wood shavings, and of course water, feed, heat.
The feed store saw my grimaces the last couple years, and this year stocked small (five-lb) bags of UNmedicated starter. They were $3 apiece, but I bought a couple, because though I had ordered some organic starter from Azure Standard (they must've heard my laments, too!), it wouldn't be here until Friday. The organic starter was just under $30/50 lb bag (so even a bit cheaper than the small bags of unmedicated), and I ordered one of those, and two bags of grower (lower protein) at the same price, to "finish them off" before processing. Buying enough to make them truly organic would've been truly expensive, so we figure to feed them the bad stuff in the middle of their lives.
The feed info, from Azure's website:
Corn & Soy Free!
Product of Oregon.
Ingredients: Organic Peas, Organic Triticale, Organic Wheat, Organic Crab Meal, Organic Fish Meal, Organic Barly, Calcium corbonate, Organic Poultry Nutri-Balancer, Enzyme.
Crude Protein 19.10%
Crude Fat 5.60%
Crude Fiber 4.80%
Salt added 0.58%
Energy 1,309 Kcal/LB
Vitamin A 4452 IU/LB
Vitamin D 1608 IU/LB
Vitamin E 50 IU/LB
Choline 1639 IU/LB
Biotin 62.1 MCG/LB
Manganese 184.4 IU/LB
Zinc 99.1 IU/LB
Copper 15.63 IU/LB
Selenium (added) 0.3 IU/LB
Like you, my eyes mostly glaze over with all the %s and units and such, but did you see that ingredient list? Yummy! I'm very excited. No genetically modified grains, or super-estrogen soy. I was excited to feed this to the little critters. When I opened it up, I was even more excited. It looked like... food. I know, amazing! There are whole grains and powder, even bright green bits of peas. I sprinkled some of this over their other uniform, beige crumbles, and they really preferred the organic stuff.
They're still cute, and I took a few photos of Little Artist holding a chick, but inadvertently put my camera on full manual settings... which I'm not yet fluent with (indeed, I'm not observant enough to even notice), and the photos did NOT turn out. Some of them would've been so cute, too... *sigh*
We have a few turkeys and a Dumb Duck coming next month!