Are meat birds dirty?


8 Years
Feb 12, 2011
I took my boys to a local organic butcher. I saw cages of other birds delivered that day and I am pretty surprised at their condition. They had poopy feathers on their tail feathers. Their butts were red and bald. They looked just plain pitiful compared to my three pretty and clean birds. Are the big meat birds naturally dirty?
They eat a lot and drink a lot, which means they poop a lot. Mine stay fairly clean because I bed them on shavings and add shavings as necessary so the bedding never gets wet. Wet bedding equals dirty chickens.
I wouldnt say they are natural dirty, they just tend to be more dirty due to the way they are often kept.
They do eat and poop alot more then other chickens though.
Since they are kept for meat and meat only, they often live stuffed in cages with hardly any room to move.
The ones that are kept in larger cages,etc tend to stay clean.
To get to my point: The birds are only as clean as their living conditions.
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Mine were absolutley filthy at one point yesterday. They free range and would not go in out of the rain. Then I found them under a bush dusting.

By the time evening came they were clean as a whistle and looking good!

I have 3 right now free ranging along with my other egg chickens and chicks in my back yard. 2 of them are very clean and pretty white (well, they're not pretty, but their feathers are.
) The 3rd always has a poopy butt.
They poop a LOT! And it STINKS!
Kind of hard to compare raising 3 birds vs raising 20-100. Moving 30 birds once per day in an 8x8 area they stay fairly clean, but they are by no means sparkling white.
I have 20 Cornish X and I am very diligent in keeping their coop clean and some of them still have poop caked to their bums. I think it's because they really don't do the squat thing like regular chicken do....they just go!
Mine are not cramped in close quarters and they can roam around, but they don't roam a lot, and there is actually poop on their breast too. They poop, then lay right in it. Blech. I really don't like raising cornish rocks all that much.
Well, this makes me feel better. I was thinking of raising my own meaties after seeing these other ones. I guess the bald and red butts were from being confined?
I remember DH's adult nephew being amazed by how clean and pretty my birds were - he thought all chickens were white, and that all chickens were dirty looking. I think he'd only seen confined cornish crosses. Some people keep them like "regular" chickens, allowing LOTS of space or freeranging. Many place the feeder away from the coop to encourage/force them to move about a lot more. I think raising them that way helps them to live (and look) more "normal." I think any chickens confined to a small area, much less those that eat and poop excessively, are going to look rough in comparison to those in large spaces...

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