Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Difference a Week Makes

Our chicks are doing so well. Today we gave the brooding pen a good cleaning and separated the Baird Rocks and Cornish X's. They are now a week old and it is amazing how much they have changed already. The pictures below are from the day we got them.

In a week's time, they have eaten about 50 lbs of food. They have most of their wing feathers, and are starting to get tail feathers. The biggest change however, is the size difference between the two breeds.

They were hatched on the same day, and essentially were the same size when they arrived. You can see from the above picture that is no longer the case. The Cornish X chicks are huge compared to the Bairds. I didn't weigh them, but I bet they are almost double the weight. Tales of their fast growth are not exaggerated. And it is no wonder, because all they seem to do is eat.

We pulled all the chicks out this morning while we were working on the pen. When we put the Bairds in they checked out their pen. A few of them went to the feed or water, but the vast majority pecked around the "new" place checking it out. When we put the Cornish Xs in it was completely opposite. Probably 90% of them went straight for the feed. They had been out of their pen (and away from feed) for less than an hour. By the way they attacked the feed you'd think they hadn't eaten all day. It was funny to watch.

Chicks change so fast. Right now they are still cute and fuzzy and lovable. That won't last long. Soon they will be looking like chickens, and I will be looking forward to put some of them in my freezer.


  1. It's really sad that, the fact the Cornish X grow so fast, is advertised as a benefit. What you will have is the equivalent of a 300 pound toddler. They will still be chicks when they are butchered at around 10 weeks. I know lots of people raise them for the convenience, as they do only take that long to get to market weight, but a good heritage meat breed raised to proper weight, though it will take 6 months, will taste better and be healthier than the Cornish X. Those Rocks you have will be a good bird for the freezer. They all sure are cute!

  2. Amy,
    I know a lot of people feel that way about these birds. This is our first go with them. We've put several other breeds in our freezer and enjoyed them a lot. And those Rock roosters will end up there too. Decided to try the Cornish b/c of the quick growth and I've read that they are much meatier than other breeds. I'll have to let you know what I think about the taste in a couple months.

  3. We're raising some chickens for the first time, and ours are almost 5 weeks old at this point. It's amazing how fast they go from cute little fluff balls to that awkward, ugly teenager phase :)

  4. Wow, those are HUGE! We got nine chicks in the mail last August, and they were so much fun to raise! It's kinda sad that they outgrow that incredibly cute stage so fast, they're monstrous feathered garden marauders in no time.

  5. Just found this blog, but I think it's absolutely adorable! Check mine out when you get a chance :-)

    *miracles and blessings*
    ~Ashley Danielle

  6. Chicks are so amazing, seems like you can watch them grow.

  7. I had no idea a week would make such a difference!