Raising Cornish Cross Chickens – Week 3

On to week 3!  Click here to read about Week 1 and Week 2 of our meat chicken raising experience.

They are still growing fast and their feathers are filling in a bit more.  We have moved them outdoors and changed their feed from chick starter to a flock raiser.  They are still fun to watch jump and run around, and every once in a while they make a “big chicken” noise. 🙂

16 Days OldNot so cute anymore.

18 Days OldFor this picture on day 18 I tried to pick out the biggest one and the littlest one. The one standing in the back weighed 11.4 oz. and the bigger one sitting down weighed 18.4 oz.  What a huge difference considering they hatched the same day and arrived at our house all looking identical.  From everything I’ve read the small one is a female and the big one a male.  That explains why the roosters are more expensive from the hatchery.  The male kept plopping down and trying to sleep, the little female was more active and alert.

20 Days OldWe built them a bigger pen so they can be moved around on the lawn and always have grass to eat.  The girls painted it and I thought it turned out cute!

Chicken pen - 1They love having more room!

3 Weeks Old - 4

3 Weeks OldWell, so far so good!  We still have 10 healthy growing chickens.  I’m glad they are outside now and not in the shop, (they were getting a little crowded and allot STINKY!).

Here is the link to Week 4

Fresh Raspberry Breakfast Muffins

Raspberry Muffins 5We have been getting a few raspberries from our garden, but not enough to make jam for canning or freezing or any thing like that, so the kids and I have been eating them as we pick them.  Most of the time they are gone before we leave the garden……..it’s mostly the kids….really!  The other day we managed to pick more then we could eat right then, so they came in the house and went into these delicious muffins.  We’ve managed to make a couple more batches since then, simply because the kids liked the muffins so much they decided it’s worth taking a bowl to the garden when they go. 🙂

Start out by melting the butter, then stir in the sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Measure in the flour and baking powder.

Raspberry Muffins 1Stir well, then gently fold in raspberries.

Raspberry Muffins 2Raspberry Muffins 3Grease a muffin tin and fill muffins cups two-thirds full.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins

Raspberry Muffins 4An easy breakfast or healthy snack with berries strait from the garden….yummmm!

Raspberry Muffins 6

5.0 from 7 reviews
Fresh Raspberry Breakfast Muffins
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup butter or coconut oil - melted
  • 1 cup sugar - I used organic sugar and only put in ¾ of a cup
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of milk (any kind of milk would work)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cup flour - I used 1 cup unbleached all purpose and ¾ cup whole wheat
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh raspberries
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter or coconut oil then stir in the sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla.
  2. Measure in the flour and baking powder - mix well
  3. Gently fold in the raspberries.
  4. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Makes 12 yummy muffins!

I substituted some whole wheat flour and reduced the sugar a bit.  I wanted a healthier breakfast type muffin.  You can adjust it how ever your heart desires!

This recipe was adapted from: Taste Of Home

Raising Cornish Cross Chickens – Week 2

If you missed Week 1 on Raising Cornish Cross Chickens click here, to read why we chose this breed and how our first week went, plus lots of cute chick pics!

We have not suffered any casualties as of yet and they are growing remarkably FAST!  They are about to outgrow the brooder and will need more space soon.  My mom took five of them to finish raising them at her house, so that helped to make some extra room.  I’m hoping they will have enough space until they are 3 weeks old and can go in an outside pen during the day.  I want them to be able to free range as much as possible once they are big enough.  It’s been so warm we haven’t used the heat lamp since they were 11 days old.  They are such messy little things we have to check their water every few hours because it gets full of bedding and poop very quickly.  I seem to remember the same thing with my egg laying chickens when they were little.

Here are pics of week 2:

10 Days OldSome of them are a little bigger then others, which is what I expected when I ordered a “strait run” (some male some female).  I got a strait run so they would vary in weight and we could pick the right chickens at the right weight for my girls 4-H projects.

12 Days OldAs you can see they are starting to out grow some of their cuteness!  Oh well, I didn’t get them to be cute…..right?

14 Days OldWe enjoy watching and laughing at them running at each other and flapping their wings. They are pretty comical!

Here is a little cost break down so far:
Each chick cost: $3.83; so for our 10 chicks it cost – $38.30
The chick starter cost $10.45 for a 25# bag. After 2 weeks there is still some feed left and  I subtracted what my moms chicks ate and ended up with $6.10 feed cost for 2 weeks.
We also bought a bale of pine shavings for $7.95 and I figured we have used about a dollars worth so far.

This comes to $45.40 for the first 2 weeks for 10 chicks.

Of course this doesn’t include the cost of a brooder, heat lamp, heat lamp bulbs, waterer, or feeder.  We are using all the supplies from last years egg laying chicks.  So if you were raising chickens for the first time you would have to add in these expenses.  As you can see, the first year is the most expensive!

So far we are still pleased with our decision to raise Cornish Cross!

Here is the link for Week 3

Raising Cornish Cross Chickens – Week 1

Why are we raising Cornish Cross chickens?

I spent a lot of time trying to decide what breed of meat chicken to raise this summer. I did lots of reading about the good, the great, the bad and the ugly aspects of raising the hybrid Cornish Cross chickens.  There are so many opinions out there and I didn’t want to make an uninformed decision, especially since a couple of these chickens are to be my girls first 4-H market projects.  I finally came to the conclusion that I need to form my own opinion and I can’t do that until I have had hands on experience raising them.  So I decided to start with Cornish Cross vs. a heritage breed.  They are the most cost effective breed to raise, and if it goes well we will continue to raise Cornish Cross.  If not, we will try a different breed next year.

For the next 8 weeks (that’s how long it takes for them to be ready to butcher) I will be sharing our meat chicken raising experience with you.  I will be posting pictures and giving updates weekly on our little adventure!

Here is Week 1 of Raising Cornish Cross Chickens:

We ordered our chicks from McMurray Hatchery to arrive on the week of July 8th.  This will make our chickens 6 weeks old for our County Fair, and hopefully the correct weight which needs to be between 4 and 7 lbs for my girls to be able to sell their chicken at the livestock sale.  I had never ordered from McMurray Hatchery before, but they had the right breed available at the right time.  The ordering process was easy; they kept us informed of shipping (with emails and texts) and their website was very informative.

Early on the morning of July 8th we got a call from the post office that our live birds had arrived.  Of course I wasn’t exactly prepared (I’m such a procrastinator).  I very quickly cleaned up our brooder  “play pen”, washed up the chick feeders and waters and headed to town.  We first went to the feed store to buy bedding and chick starter, then picked up the peeping box from the post office.  When we got in the car I bent the lid back and was pleased to find 15 live peeps!

15 Cornish Cross chicks arrived safe and sound.
15 Cornish Cross chicks arrived safe and sound.

They were all active and looked healthy.  As quickly as we could, we prepared their pen and got them settled in…..sooooo cute!  Am I really going to be able to eat these guys in a couple months??

Cornish Cross Chicks 2 Here’s the pics of this weeks growth:

2 days old

4 Days Old6 Days Old8 Days OldWe have had a fun week watching these little birds grow. (Notice the growth of their feathers in these consecutive pics!)  Contrary to what I have read these little guys seem to be hearty, active, and very curious.   So far I have no regrets picking this breed.  We will see what happens in the next few weeks!

Click here to read about Week 2

Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning

Italian Sausage SeasoningHere’s another sausage recipe!  If you couldn’t tell we are huge pork fans.  In the past my parents have raised a pig for us every year and we always had an abundance of home grown pork on hand.  Last year they moved and have not been able to get set up to house a few hogs yet, so sadly we are down to our last few packages of pork chops.  🙁  There is NOTHING like home grown pork….and we are missing it a lot!  I figured if I have to buy sausage I could at least season it myself and my homemade seasoning for breakfast sausage turned out so yummy I thought I would try Italian sausage seasoning.  So far I have used this Italian Sausage on pizza and in spaghetti  and it was wonderful!  I’m sure it would work for any recipe calling for Italian sausage.

Blend the seasonings together and mix into 2 pounds of ground pork.  Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours before cooking to let the flavors blend.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Italian Sausage Seasoning
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning (a mixture of basil, oregano, marjoram and thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon paprika (I used smoked paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon minced dried onions
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together and stir into 2 pounds of ground pork. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours before cooking.
Italian Sausage Seasoning
Italian sausage in spaghetti sauce.
Italian Sausage Seasoning
Pizza Night! This sausage was wonderful on homemade pizza.

 

Happy Fourth Of July! and “Free Flag” By: Jo

We are going to be out of town for a few days, so I wanted to wish all of you a Happy Fourth of July before we left.  So……HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY EVERYONE!

In Honor of this special holiday I wanted to share something my eight year old daughter wrote earlier this year.  Her language book had asked her to “write a story about our flag” and this is what she wrote:

Free FlagIt still brings tears to my eyes when I read it.  It reminds me to thank God (everyday) for the freedoms that we enjoy and pray that no more of those freedoms are taken away from us.

flagHave a wonderful Independence Day and remember to hold your “Free Flag” up high!

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