Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Meatie Update: Week 6

Meatie Update: Week 6

Can you believe another week has already flown by? Once again, I wasn't here to take pictures of the Meaties on Friday (6 wks) so these pictures are from Sunday (8th).

We lost two Meaties this past week. 

One evening I had given the Meaties their bowl of evening mash, but after they'd eaten the whole bowl full they still acted hunry (don't give in to their mischievousness!!), so I gave them a little bit more. Well several of them over ate and were sitting there gasping for air. I quickly grabbed them up, gave them some water and stroked their throat to help them swallow it, but one of them still didn't make it. The next morning I found it dead in their nighttime pen. Poor baby.

The other one was a wounded chick that had gotten picked on during the rainy weather we had, when they had to be confined to their pen. He never had quite recovered, but he was doing ok....until I decided that he should be spending the day with all his buddies in the big chicken yard. Well when I came back out to check on him, they had pecked him to death. Needless to say, I felt sick!

So a lesson learned the hard way, don't assume chicken's care about other chickens..they are cannibals and WILL peck/eat each other if given the chance!

If you have a chick that is 'wounded' than you dare not put it back in with the other chicks, they can, and will kill it.    

Now that the bad news is over with, let's get on with the good news shall we!!

The Meaties are very active and spend most of their day running around their big yard, taking dirt baths, roosting on stumps and of course sleeping. I wish I could let them out to free range, I know they would excel at it, but I also know that lots of hungry predators lurk around and that they would be chicken dinners....earlier than expected!

 And, if you're wondering, yes, the Meaties still adore me. ;)

Meatie vs. Red's crazy but the red chicks are several weeks older than the Meaties, but guess who's bigger?? ;)


 It now takes two hands to transport the Meaties around. They are very round!

 Meatie cockerel

So we started out with 26 Meaties, and we're down to 20. Praying we don't loose anymore!

Meatie pullet

Like, I know I'm not supposed to be getting attached to these chooks, but just look at this sweet little face and tell me that it isn't cute! Go on! Tell me!

Evening nap....zzzzz

My boots = favorite roosting spot.

Size comparison of male/female Meaties:

Roosting, favorite activity.

I haven't been feeding the Meaties all they wanted. I usually feed them once in the morning, sometimes another meal around mid-day, then another meal in the evening. 

They might be growing a wee bit slower than "normal" Meaties, but these aren't normal Meaties! ;)

I would much rather have a healthy chicken that grows a little bit slower, than a super fast growing chicken with health issues.

 Only two more weeks to go, if we decided to butcher at 8 wks. We might, however, wait until about 10 weeks, but we'll see.

To be continued - next week:

Blessings - 

~ Aspen


  1. Wow! They are growing huge!!! I bought 11 layer chicks at a feed store in April, so far we have only lost one. Have you any tips for raising laying hens? These are my first chickens. Do you ever have any problems with heat exhaustion? That is the main thing I am worried about.

    In Christ,

    1. Hope - Do you know what kind breed they are? Depending on what breed they are, that can sometimes determine whether or not they are heat tolerant or not. For example I have a flock of Black Australorps who are excellent free rangers but since they are black they aren't very heat tolerant. The same goes for my Sussex. They are a big fluffy bird with lots of feathers and are originally from England where it doesn't ever get this hot.

      Whereas we have one Golden Buff hen who lays about 5 eggs a week and the heat doesn't phase her at all.

      It sounds like your chooks are still young pullets, so right now it's important to keep them healthy and ready to produce eggs in the upcoming months. In the summer especially it's SO important to provide lots of clean, fresh, cold water, and lots of shady spots, along with some good dusting bath spots. Frozen fruit or ice cubes in their water help keep them hydrated and cool.

      The one time I had trouble with heat exhaustion was with a Buff Orpington hen who had heat stroke. I did a quick search online and found that the best remedy for this is to fill a bucket with cold water and sit your hen in it. Supporting her of course with your hands. It worked and she was completely over it in about 10 minutes. Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, fill free to ask away. You might also want to visit my other blog I did a post recently on keeping your feathered friends cool in the hot summer months.

      Blessings -

      ~ Aspen

    2. Aspen,
      Thank you for your advice! I currently own 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Rhode Island Reds, and 2 Barred rocks. I am planning on ordering some silver and gold laced Wyandottes, Silver Cuckoo Marans, and a Polish hen in the near future, and possibly some eggs to incubate. I posted some pictures on our blog, at: if you would like to see them! Your post was quite helpful, I will definitely be growing some mint. Does it matter which variety? Would spearmint work? Thanks again!