But Mama he’s breaking my arm!
So, the meat birds are three weeks old now, and they are gigantic.
Where to begin? Sigh. I have lost three chicks, with two more separated into their own infirmary to see if they’ll get stronger. These five just never seemed to grow well. In point of fact, they never seemed to be able to walk, so they got trampled by the other birds in their hurry to get to the grub. I called a local feed store to see if I could get some replacements. The owner, who gets his birds from the same hatchery, said he wouldn’t be getting more in for a while, but, more importantly, it never should have happened! He told me to call the hatchery and explain the situation. So I did, and I will be getting a credit toward my next order. (This is what I wanted; I didn’t want 5 new baby birds now, and I didn’t want a rebate.) It was nice the hatchery stood behind their product.
But it’s the freaky nature of these birds to mature so darned quickly. Yes, thank you all for warning me: I did know what I was in for. Of the two sick birds, one seems to be able to hop around now, and the other is just not thriving at all. I have them on regular (non-grower) feed, along with boiled eggs. Tom asked if I was going to euthanize them. I said I might have to. Otherwise these birds would be the veal of the chicken world: no exercise, penned up, little meat blobbos.
They’re almost all feathered out, so they’ll be going out into the tractor soon. (I need of course to build the tractor. Maybe this weekend.) When it has been warm, they’ve been out in a small pen in the yard. It’s fun to throw them worms and watch them fight it out. But in general these big babies don’t exhibit typical chicken behaviors like scratching or dusting or roosting. Could be they’re still too young but I seem to remember my egg birds doing this at their age, easily.
I guess the proof will be in the eating if these guys are really worthwhile.
Despite her expression, she still thinks they’re cute