meat birds

Meat Birds. Two weeks after my laying hens I picked up my first batch of 12 meat birds. These are the birds that won’t become part of the permanent flock, rather they are being raised for meat. This is a tough one for me. When hatched, they are the cutest little balls of fluff.

But, unlike the laying hens, they only look like this for maybe a week. This breed is called Cornish Cross. It accounts for 99% of all of the chicken you find in your grocery store. As a commercial breed, they have been bred to grow at an incredible rate and to convert their food into meat at a greater rate than other chickens.

So while the other chicks were fluffballs for a few weeks, by week two, these birds have lost their fluff and replaced it with adult feathers. So after just 4 weeks, they look like this. And all they do is eat, sleep, and drink:

It was about now we moved them outside to their own coop and run. They loved the fresh air and the grass, but still only ate, slept, and drank. And gained weight.

I was new at all of this. Plus I struggled with the next steps on these meat birds, so I let them get very big. Their bodies are not meant to carry that much weight because they are usually processed earlier, but I put it off for a couple of weeks. Finally it was time, FarmBoy did the job. We have the first batch of 10 meat birds in the freezer.

We thank the creator for these birds so they can provide us with nourishment.

The second batch of meat birds were to be picked up later in the month.

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