Saturday, January 14, 2012

Shopping for Chicks and Seeds

My internet is poky today, so this has been a rather frustrating hour or so.  I have been trying to find the best price from a hatchery that will ship to Hawaii.  Ever since the bird flu, new rules on shipping birds to Hawaii have been enforced.  It is enough of a pain in the butt that some hatcheries just won't do it. 

I made a deal with the local mechanic's wife that I would raise 25 meat birds for her, that we would process them together (learn together) and that in return, they would do some brake work on the old car our kid drives.  I also wanted to start phasing out the older hens in my yard and possibly to sell some point of lay hens.  So I am actually looking at about 75 chicks - 25 for the mechanic, 25 for my freezer, 25 to raise/sell.  The first 50 will probably be Cornish X, which will mean an 8 week turnaround.  If I go with a more traditional heavy bird, that might be more like 12 weeks. 

As far as seeds go, I have picked out several varieties of different things I know will grow well here and several varieties of things I want to try.  I just need to find the best price.  One of my goals this year is to try determinate tomatoes so I can have enough to can all at one time.  I want a mix of indeterminate and determinate.  Last year, I had 7 jalapeno plants and there was an abundance of peppers - this year, just from a fruit that I let sit too long, I have 17 pepper plants.  I need a lot of tomatoes for all the salsa those peppers will make! 

As a stopgap until the permanent fence replaces the defunct bamboo/electric fence, we have put up orange emergency fence around the garden.  It is not a serious barrier to sheep, but we hope it will fake them out until we can put up the real fence.  Since any seeds I put in this weekend will take a few weeks to look attractive to sheep, it might just work. 

5 comments:

Chai Chai said...

I haven't tried meat chickens yet but Ohio Farm Girl has had a lot of success with them - good luck!

tofuk said...

what company did you go with. for the chicks.

NancyDe said...

Thanks, Chai Chai! Trying to decide between the Cornish X and another breed which is more suitable to pasturing (take about 3 more weeks to finish).

Tofuk, I will probably go with Meyer, but it will depend on the shipping cost. My internet was spotty yesterday, so I didn't get that far.

Pomaika`i said...

Have you compared Asagi Hatchery on Oahu for chick prices? I think they are like 6 to 8 dollars, but I don't know how it compares to mainland sources. I saw some (dated) information on aluhaloa.net/chickens also. [sigh] I won't be able to put up a coop for at least a year, due to reasons I can't reason with at the present tme. Grrrr. Oh, well, I can tag along on BackyardChickens website, at any rate.

NancyDe said...

Pomaikaʻi, I have looked at Agasi - they bring in mainland eggs and hatch them out. It is much cheaper, even with shipping to buy from a mainland hatchery - I am planning to buy 75 or so chicks. If I were buying just a few for a backyard flock, I would go with Agasi. They were quite friendly and responsive, and I would like to support local business, but there is a lot of difference between $150-$175 and $500+!