We were able to enjoy a nice family vacation this past weekend. We took the kids, dogs and Legless (the rabbit) out to a nice little cabin in Georgia. It was an awesome time spent just enjoying being with the family without the daily "to do" list hanging over our heads. (A big thanks to Pops for coming over and taking care of the Ranch while we were gone.) Now that we are back, it's time to start preparing for the next hatch. We are gathering up Quail eggs in expectations of them hatching by the second week of April. We are currently out of frozen quail but are still offering quail eggs. The quail are all starting to come into lay right now so there should be plenty all through the summer.
The chickens are picking up in egg production as well. Several of the young hens (and ducks) are ready to sit on their first clutch of eggs but I am trying to convince them to wait until this cold weather gets past us. In the meantime, we are getting lots of chicken and duck eggs to sale. We are planning to offer them for sale at Earth Market in Greenville this summer. We are still offering all of our frozen chicken products for sale but they will not be featured at this particular market. I am considering taking orders and scheduling a central drop off time and date for the Greenville area in the future. Please let me know if you would be interested.
The Cornish Cross are known throughout the poultry world for their fast growth. Today my chickens are 63 days old and averaging over 10 pounds each. This is not because of forced feeding, limited movement or use of hormones (all of which are allegations I have read about in this breed). This is simply the rate at which they grow. Our chickens all eat the same organic food and are allowed to roam about foraging during the day.
I have seen many sites where people complain that they are a "lazy" breed that does not forage and are particularly messy. In my experience here on the ranch, this is not a true representation of the breed at all. My Cornish Cross have been anything but lazy. We have enjoyed watching them run around the pasture chasing bugs and taking dirt baths. We recently watched as 5 of them chased a small butterfly until it flew over the fence. As for being extra messy, I have not been able to notice any difference in raising the Cornish Cross on pasture than any other breed we have raised. .
What I haven't seen mentioned in any articles about the Cornish Cross is their very gentle spirit. These are some of the gentlest birds I have ever been around. Even though they are bigger than any of our egg layers, they always back down from a confrontation over food or what have you. Despite their size, they are very timid and prefer to spend their days in the quiet than surrounded by noise. They are eager to run and greet us each time we go out into the chicken yard (although this could be because they know we have food, lol). We frequently see the birds in pairs of twos across the yard enjoying various activities and if one is injured the others seem to stay by its side.
Overall the Cornish Cross has been one of my favorite breeds of chickens to raise here on the ranch.
The baby chicks have had a busy week. They have made the move from the brooder to the new chicken run. They were very excited about being outdoors and immediately went to scratching and pecking. After spending several days in the outdoor chicken run, the chicks have been allowed out into the pasture today. They are enjoying running around and jumping on twigs. These chicks are so energetic and fun to watch. We have enjoyed watching them take dirt baths and run after each to get the newest green leaf. The chicks are growing so fast I can hardly believe it.
After taking a break for a couple weeks to make improvements, it is nice to have baby chicks again. The chicks arrived Thursday morning and I could not have been more excited. It's only been a few weeks but I really missed having little yellow fluff balls to play with. Today they are all over the brooder enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. While the chicks are growing, we will continue work on the newly improved chicken run and yard. The new grass is coming up beautifully and if I can keep the ducks and laying chickens out, it should be ready for the chicks in 4 weeks.
We are proud to introduce ourselves as your local chicken processors. Pictured on the left is our processing team: Jessi, Tabitha and JT. We take pride in our business and how we run our ranch. We have been raising chickens for well over a year now and continue to grow. JT is in charge of all our construction needs. He has been great at custom building our brooder and chicken barn. He also handles all of the slaughtering here at the ranch. I am focused on well being of each chicken. I ensure that the food, water and medical needs are addressed to the best of our abilities daily. Jessi, our teenage daughter, helps with keeping everyone fed and watered. She and I spend time daily interacting with each chicken and working to provide them with the best life possible. Jessi and I also work together at processing the chickens. Together the three of us slaughter and process each chicken we sell. When you purchase chicken from us, we can proudly tell you everything about that chicken from when it was hatched, what it ate, how it lived and when/how it was processed. That is something you can't find with just any chicken.
Anabell has been wanting a baby for several months now, it all started when she seen Rhonda the chicken with her new chicks. Anabell tried to get one of the chicks for herself but Rhonda wasn't going to share. So she started sitting on the first egg she could find, unfortunately it was a chicken egg. I took the chicken egg away scared that if she did hatch it, she may try drown it trying to teach it to swim, But I did replace the one chicken egg with five duck eggs.. Anabell was pleased with this and diligently sat on her eggs for over 30 days. This week she finally got her wish. A single duckling hatched after all her hard work. Anabell is so happy to have her own duckling, she is a wonderfully protective mother. Her and the duckling are living in the nesting/new hatch hutch away from the rest of the flock during the night. Some days she chooses to join the flock with baby duck in tow and others she decides to keep baby duck in the hutch (I think this is due to hawk that flys over the coop from time to time). We are so excited about having a new duckling on the ranch and enjoy watching Anabell interact with it.
I am a wife, mother, registered nurse and owner/operator of R and J Ranch. I am committed to living a sustainable lifestyle and ensuring the best nutrition for my family.