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Chick Chick CHICKENS

Teaching chicks to drink and eat

This year we decided to do more chickens and turkeys, because last year we raised a few for ourselves, and several people ask for them, when they saw them walking around the farm. So on June 9, we got 150 chicken and 25 turkey, day old chicks. We had to dip each one’s head into water and food to teach them how to eat.   For the first few weeks we kept them in a brood chamber with heat lamps to keep the chicks warm. As they grew we kept expanding the size of the brood chamber to ensure they had lots of space.

Day old chicks in brood chamber

When the chicks are young they don’t have real feathers, but have cute yellow fuzz. After about a week they start to develop their real feathers. The chicks look funny at the in between stage, because they kind of look bald, with a mix of large feathers and yellow fuzz. The chicks are now almost completely feathered, expect for a few late bloomers, who still look like they are experiencing pre-mature balding (it’s a McKay family trait). This means that they are almost ready to start exploring the great outdoors. The chickens and turkeys need to be fully feathered before going outside, to protect them from the sun and for temperature control. Without feathers they could get cold and, or sun burnt

Chickens and Turkeys almost ready for the Pasture

As soon as the last few feathers grow, the chickens and turkeys will start to be in the pasture outside. This will mean they get to live freely enjoying the fresh air and sun, bugs and grass and dust baths outside.  Pasture raised chickens have a more natural life, resulting in healthier and happy birds, which translates into healthier meat. Pasture raised chickens have greater nutritional qualities and a richer flavor. Pasture raised chickens are higher in Omega 3, beta carotene, vitamins and minerals and are lower in saturated fats, total fat and calories.

Our chickens will be available at the end of August and turkeys in time for Thanksgiving. Chickens and Turkeys can be pre-ordered to ensure you get what you would like at:  info@willowtreefarm.ca or by calling the market 905-985-4973