I'm going to add to this blog post every week for the next 8 weeks. I'm raising a batch of broiler chicks to put into the freezer for the winter. These aren't any old breed of backyard or exhibition poultry, they are deluxe hybrids called Cornish-Rock crosses or broiler chickens. They have been cross-bred and selected over the past 60 years to produce the form of chicken we have all become familiar with. My father-in-law was a poultry farmer in the late 40s/early 50s. Back then the chickens looked different than they do today. Their breast shape was narrower, their legs were smaller, and they took 12-16 weeks to grow to maturity. These days the birds are ready to eat (Pret-a-Manger, for you foodies) in 6-8 weeks. I'm going to raise this batch for 8 weeks. Last year's batch went for 6 weeks, but they were on the small side, so I'm going to wait 2 more weeks. In the mean time.....I'm going to document and post their growth here for you to watch this marvel of genetics. Sometimes these birds grow so fast and so big, their legs can't support their weight and they have all they can do to waddle around the yard to eat. I'm raising a flock of turkeys too, and I'm documenting their growth---I'll post that phenomenon after the chickens are wrapped and frozen!
Enjoy! And please e-mail me questions and/or comments!
Less than a week old: 5'' tall and 6 ounces
Week 2: 18 ounces (picture will be inserted here, can't locate it at this moment)