Where do I start!? - Page 2
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
Since you already raise layers, meaties aren't much different. Babies need Chick starter, then Grower/Finisher instead of Layer feed. Water should always be available 24/7.
CX are a hybrid to grow plumper faster and that is what causes a lot of the health & leg problems. Too much, too soon in my opinion. I haven't tried CX because of that. I wanted healthy birds all around & raised a few Freedom Rangers. They too are a meat type bird, but take a bit longer and I raised them right along with my layers. I only feed once a day & it's up to them to figure out the rest. Although there are occaisional treats.
All our birds free range our fenced yard in town. There have been times when I've kept them cooped up & only let them out for an hour or two before 'bedtime' so they get some exercise & sunshine. That movable or portable coop is a good idea too if you can't free range.
To make the idea of eating what you grow & butcher any easier, don't name them, don't interact with them and know in advance they are only for that purpose to be eaten.