Doomed to a Life of Chicken Obesity

We received an early morning phone call that the package we ordered had arrived and was ready for pickup. Yes, there are some things the postman will not deliver and live baby chicks happens to be one of them. My husband had ordered a special breed of meat chicken to raise. It is a mixed breed that is doomed to a life of obesity and death from the moment of hatching. The fact is if all goes well with his life and he is not eaten by stray dogs, he only has this to look forward too:  he will die in about 8-9 weeks either from broken legs induced by obesity or by the butcher knife. Such is the life of this breed of chicken.
This mixed breed chicken is really a true meat chicken. It gains weight at an incredible rate and if it is not processed at around 8 to 9 weeks old, its legs will break from the shear weight of the body and it will die. My husband is smart about these things and while I would not venture into raising free-range organic chicken meat by myself, he has….. and thus the 50 chicks in the basement under a heat lamp,the 300 square feet of electric fence netting in our yard and a automatic chicken plucker he ordered off ebay.

Me, on the other hand, I prefer to stick to gardening.


  • Claire Hall says:

    That makes me sad…

  • Bethany says:

    I almost put a warning “Do not Read” for you…….
    next time you come we can do garden stuff…;-) Hey…are you still growing kitchen herbs? I am wanting to do this inside but am wondering if you use regular pots or do you have some special herb growing contraption and do you have to have them on a ledge in the kitchen window—i don’t have a ledge actually so I am wondering if they will even grow inside here?

  • Sally says:

    by the way – I was reading your comment on Sarah’s blog…a goat for milking! How great!!! Tell me how that goes 🙂

  • Claire Hall says:

    Well, I’ve still got my trusty basil plant, but it’s pretty wooden now. Time to rip it out and start again. Lisa actually gave me a bunch of EarthBox’s, which look like they’ll be awesome for herbs. However, they’re way too big for inside. The planter I have in my kitchen I bought at Walmart for less than $4. Probably the most important thing I’ve learned since starting is giving the plants LOTS of room. I tried growing too many plants in the same box…none of them did well. I know, common sense to most, a completely foreign idea to a city slicker like myself. I’m told indoors plants ideally need a north or south facing window, but I grow my basil in a west facing window. That seems to work, as basil can get sun scorched really easily around here. Since you have little fingers that will probably enjoy digging in pots (I know we have that problem) you could try hanging pots in front of windows? Just make sure they’re low enough, or the plants will start growing downward. (Just ask my aloe vera plant about that.) I also purchased hanging pots from Walmart. They’re by no means awesome, but they get the job done.
    OH! The most important thing!!! Really good soil! I know Miracle Grow isn’t organic, but MAN does it make a difference. I bought some cheap soil, thinking it would be the same. NOPE. Not at all. If you’re cool with having manure in your house, by all means try that. It’s just not for me.
    Haha…I don’t know why I’m writing all of this. You should probably just ask your grandma.

  • sarah says:

    Well, all of the above has been an interesting read. I did not know there was an obese chicken out there. Is that safe to eat? It sounds like a GMO.
    Hahhahaaa…. Claire’s comment about it making her sad cracked me up! [I guess that is the hardened sadistic part of me, thanks a lot Aaron!]

  • Bethany says:

    herbs here I come…. can’t wait….
    Not GMO— It is just a cross breed…meaning the father is one kind of pure bred chicken, and the mother is a different kind of pure bred chicken. The father is a White Rock (like rocky on chicken run) and the mother is a Cornish hen. So with the combination of parents the children turn out to be really great meat chickens.
    It isn’t GMO in the sense that any human tampering or chemical is done to the egg or genetic chain or anything is injected into them…just the pairing up of parents.
    We feed them new chick feed until they are big enough to put in the electric fencing (so the nothing gets them) to eat the bugs and grass.

  • Tracy says:

    Hi Beth,
    This is Tracy in Indiana. Friend of the Schiffmans. Our chicks for meat birds will be arriving within 10 days. We are wanting to feed them as natural as possible. I have questions about what you used for chicken starter/feed. I am not wanting to post my email address on your blog though for security reasons. I know that Cathy gave you her email. If you could email her, she could give you my email address. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, it is okay. Just post what you used here. I know you haven’t ever met me so you may not be comfortable with emailing me personally.
    Thank you!! Btw, looks like we will be meeting soon. We plan on visiting the Schiffmans before the first of the year.