A couple of rather contemplative chickens
I truly do enjoy raising broiler chickens. My favorite time of day right now is first thing in the morning, out in the pasture feeding my birds. It’s so peaceful…the cool morning air, the sun rising, watching the birds eat their breakfast and run around in the grass.
Right now mine are 7 weeks old, fat little things. (And they’re all named “Fred”.) The fatter they get, the more they waddle like a duck. But still they try to propel themselves faster by flapping their wings and waddling as hard as they can. If I fill the feeders and then run around the pen with feeders in hand, the birds run after me in a big wave making me feel like the Pied Piper. Or something. (Wonder what my neighbors think of me out there frolicking in the pasture with chickens.) One of these days I’m going to have to figure out how to put a video of their antics on YouTube.
I also like the challenge of raising them, i.e. keeping them alive. They do require quite a bit of
hand claw foot holding. They’ll die over anything, it seems.
This afternoon we had quite a rainstorm and I didn’t get to feed them at the usual time. Finally about 8:00 tonight the rain slowed down a bit and I ran out to get them fed. There were only a handful inside the shed. The rest were all huddled under the eaves of the shed outside, squeezed in as tight as they could be. Sure enough, one was dead. He either had a heart attack from the stress of raindrops falling from the sky, or perhaps had been smothered underneath a pile of other chickens.
So at this point, with a week left until butchering, I have 122 on pasture and orders for 112. But I’ve learned never to count my chickens before they’re in the freezer.