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#1 2017-04-18 17:51:13

New Here
From: Onoway
Registered: 2017-04-18
Posts: 1

Western Rustics Review

Hi Everyone,

    We started our first chicken flock ever last year for the first time and thought I would share our results with you since there doesn't seem to be much info out in the world when your dealing with Western Rustics, not sure if its just the name or the breed but when you search on them not a lot of info comes up.

     So some people would have called us crazy as we have never raised chickens before but both were raised on farms so we thought we could handle it I wanted to start out with 40 or so and my wife wanted to go all out so we ordered 125 Chicks (Western Rustics) yes i know Wow 125. The reason we went with the Western Rustic was they were sold as a slower growing breed, that was very hardy, and had little to no known growth issues, the only concern that I read about was that they were an aggressive bird.  With the hybrid birds on the market they are quick growers and with that that seems to produce lots of heath and physical defects in the birds which also gives them a high mortality rate 20%+ so we decided to stay away from them. The other reason was we didn't want to butcher until September but wanted them over the majority of the summer for our kids to learn how to raise animals and the western Rustic gave us that.

    So we got 125 chicks from Rochester Hatchery and they gave us 5 extra so we ended up with 130 birds, we picked them up on the May long weekend in Westlock and Butchered them on September 6th 2016. Out of the 130 Birds we lost one chick at week 3 unknown reason, then we lost 2 birds during a really bad rain storm around week 5 unknown reason again. Lost 2 to other chickens pecking to death over the course of the 15 weeks. And then had one cross beak that we ended up killing as he didn't really grow properly. So out of 130 we ended up butchering 124 bird in total with hens weighing out at approx 4.5-5lbs and the roosters at 6-7lbs. We did find out that they indeed are an aggressive bird but really only to each other as they only pecked at our boots when we feed them other than that they were quite scared of us most of the time and spooked easly, but as for each other it was quite entertaining watching them chase each other on a daily basis and when the roosters got older there was daily cock fights that could be heard across the acreage.  One other thing to note is they do peck each other at times but we used the red spicy paste that you can apply to their feathers which worked well in stopping that habit.

   The western rustic breed is a very very hardy bird as they can handle almost every weather condition and seem to have little to no heath issues that we found. And on top of that they were able to handle us making a few mistakes along the way as far as feed and water issues that took us a bit to figure out. We had a 10X14 foot chicken coup for them to go in during bad weather and then a 20 X 30 foot out side pen to run around in. Our kids feed them daily their feed which was a high protein 26% duck/chick starter I believe when they were chicks and then moved to a crushed wheat,oats, Barley, and a 20% protein supplement after week 6. Then they also feed them Grass clippings from the yard and fresh ants daily as we have a crazy amount of ant hills and the kids loved to watch the chickens chase the ants around the pen. We started one type of waters that we had built but then switched around week 8 after we realized that the roosters couldn't get their combs into the waters and had quit eating due to not being able to get water which we figured that they probably weren't drinking for about a week and a half until we figured it out., so we had to change to an open top type of Automatic waterier, once we changed to this style then they all started eating again.

    So we found out after, that chickens don't process barley very good and that we shouldn't have used it as part of there daily feed which we will change for 2017 and with the water and feed issues we had,  our Rustics didn't end up with as much meat on their breasts as a typical chicken should have so hopefully with some changes this year we will get a better finished bird but overall we still ended up with 124 decent sized broilers that one bird easily feeds a family of 5 no problem. We did split all these birds between 5 families and have had no issues from anyone other then the odd one is a bit tough which were probably some of the bigger roosters as we had some really big ones. We built a wiz bang chicken plucker and butchered all 124 in one day (approx 10hrs) with little to no problems. I won't go into details but can explain more about our butchering process if you would like more info on that.

     So here we are in April of 2017 and we have decided again this year we are going to try the Western Rustic breed again with a few changes in our operation and see how we make out at the end of the season, I will update this fall with how we made out. Oh and yes she ordered 125 again we must be crazy but our kids loved it and we enjoyed it also!!!!!



#2 2017-04-18 18:26:10

Rosewood Farm
I Love A.C.E.
From: Barriere, BC
Registered: 2009-02-25
Posts: 5517

Re: Western Rustics Review

Nice review.  We raised 25 last year.  Our weights might have been better as when we started butchering we found they had mites.

Rosewood Farm,
Breeder Berkshire Pigs.
Black and Blue Cochins, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes.
Beltsville Turkeys.



#3 2017-04-18 18:27:11

I Love A.C.E.
From: Strathmore
Registered: 2012-08-28
Posts: 2122

Re: Western Rustics Review

Because you are mixing your own feed try adding some cracked corn to the mix to finish them. It gives nice yellow fat with lots of flavour and they will put on a bit of extra weight.

I think if you look back in the meat bird archives you'll see other posts about them and other similar crosses.

Blue Buff and Silver Laced Brahmas plus too much other stuff to list.



#4 2017-04-18 18:27:49

I Love A.C.E.
From: Brockville, Ontario
Registered: 2012-07-30
Posts: 3198

Re: Western Rustics Review

Sounds like a very good result!

Mixed collection of chickens, trio of Blue Columbian Wyandottes,BSW turkeys.
RIP Stephen, my BSW Tom and coffee companion. He left a great genetic legacy.
RIP Lucky the Very Brave splash Wyandotte rooster.
RIP little Muppet the rescue cat.



#5 2017-04-18 18:50:14

Active Member
From: EC Alberta
Registered: 2015-10-27
Posts: 230

Re: Western Rustics Review

.welcome. Excellent first post! 
Thanks for that.

Saltwater reef tanks not pot!



#6 2017-04-18 21:24:50

From: Grenfell, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2010-03-11
Posts: 4864

Re: Western Rustics Review

:Welcome to ACE:  What an way to introduce yourself!  Very good first post and glad to have you join us :thumbsup:

Friend to 1 house cat, 2 long-haired mini dachshunds, several outside cats, one guard dog, a few Dorking chickens, several  Isa Brown laying hens, some mutt chickens and 3 mules.  Jobs include gardener and assistant bee keeper.



#7 2017-04-19 10:08:18

Martin Grove Farm
From: Waterloo/St. Jacobs, Ontario
Registered: 2009-11-02
Posts: 19618

Re: Western Rustics Review

:hi: from Waterloo Ontario  :Welcome to ACE:  Great introduction

Please take a moment and add your location to your profile.  Scroll up to the blue bar near the top of the page and click on Profile, then on Personal.  Once there, add your location in the space provided.

"I never learned from a man who agreed with me".~~Robert A. Heinlein.
“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you.” - John Wooden
May every word that we speak, and every word that we type, be words that lift up and never words that tear down



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