I never wanted to raise the fast growing chickens we have now. I had read enough about them to know they didn't really have a life. When they are day old chickens the look like a "normal" chicken but that soon changes. This chicken is intended to eat and sleep. Our chickens are 7 weeks old and are larger than the 14 week old chickens we butchered earlier this year. I feel so bad for them because they don't want to move. They are happy to simply sit and eat. We have an appointment to butcher next Saturday and I am hoping they will last that long. One we looked at this evening is having a difficult time walking, not that they WANT to walk much. There is a possibility some of them will actually break a leg before next weekend because they have grown so quickly.
This is not a way for any creature to live. I feel joy when I listen to my layers. I feel wonder when I see a chicken sitting on her eggs to hatch them. When I work in the garden I listen to the happy clucking of the hens, or the excited bragging when one of them has just laid an egg. This is normal and good.
The meat from these chickens is fantastic. Phil likes it because one chicken will fill an entire platter. Our heritage chickens tasted fantastic, but were kind of skinny!
I think we took on to much this year. We started spring with 125 new birds and now another 50 plus all the layer hens. We have not had a summer. Next year, I think we will downsize some. (But people LOVE the eggs).
Enough ranting for tonight. Off to bed I go.