We are adding broilers to our homestead. We have a reliable approach to layers, where we use the heritage breed the Plymouth Rock. That appears to be going well. However, we wanted to add a meat source, and thus we looked at broilers. We choose to go with the hybrid Cornish Cross because I do not know how to get close to its efficiency at a price per pound.
Anyway, if you have been following our experiment, you will see we made some mistakes, and lost over 9 of our original 33 chicks. Now in my “reading” which is watching teaching videos after work by the people I call “the professors” they suggest that you can take baby Cornish Cross chicks out to the pasture between the second week (14 days old) and third week (21 days old). However, I had never tried. In reading the professors, I thought I would do as I have learned and try.
The result, none died! I am so glad. On the day we moved them out the night was 47 degrees Fahrenheit and the high was 77 degrees Fahrenheit. That 47 degree Fahrenheit was what made us nervous. To go from inside under a heat lamp, to outside, was very nerve racking. Now, I kept “raising” the heat lamp all the days they were in there. I would just raise it or shorten the chain one or two links on my chain every day. Thus I think it was keeping it around 80 degrees or something, maybe less. I need a better thermometer. Still, it was nerve racking. The aluminum siding added to the chicken tractor appears to be working as designed, keeping rain off the chickens and reflecting heat to a great degree. The Jumbo Cross chickens are out in the pasture and are doing fine.