Keeping a broiler alive


8 Years
Aug 28, 2011
I have probably the strangest request when it comes to broilers. Here's the story.

I work for a small independent garden center in Washington State. We have been selling egg laying birds for about 3 years. Every so often we have customers request broilers. We will order those for customers too. This isn't an advertisement, I promise. We recently ordered a hatch of 25 broilers (6 were for a customer and the rest for our personal use). When we received the birds about 10 were dead in the box. The day of arrival we had 2-3 die per hour throughout the day. (we did phone the hatchery about the issue). Anyway, after all of that one bird survived. She's a fighter, that one. Despite having only one we still intended to eventually slaughter her. Well today, we had a small fire in the store and the fire happened to take place in the room that the lone broiler was in. Between the smoke and the fire extinguisher we thought for sure she was a goner. After the "smoke cleared" we noticed that the fire fighters had taken our egg bird brooder out of the store (yay fire fighters!). We heard the fire fighters talking that their excitement for the call was that they saved 16 baby chicks. Well... the fire fighters grabbed the lone broiler out of the separate brooder and plopped her in with the egg layers. So now we have this bird who is the lone surviver of a hatch and now has survived a fire. The thought of killing her and eating makes us sad.

So here's the question... is there any way to keep a broiler alive past its usual slaughter age? We don't care if she ever ends up laying an egg. We just can't kill her. thoughts?
Im no expert but i have heard its possiable but hard.I belive you need to ration them food and suppliment them but I am not possitive. sorry for the little help but i thought I would try.
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Hooray for those firefighters!!! Gotta love them!!

I don't know much about broilers, or how long they live, but I definately believe that after all she's been through, she deserves to live out the rest of her natural life!
Sure! There are folks on here who've have broilers live 3-5 years. I imagine the best chance you'd have would be to just not raise her like a meat bird - no constant food source, lots of opportunity to forage. Instead, several feedings a day (we just tossed the food on the lawn for our meaties - this worked better then we imagined because they came to associate us with food and would go for walks around the law with us hoping for treats.
) and a big run or free range. Place the feeder and waterer at opposite ends. Provide lots of shade.
Thank you all for the help. For the moment she's in with the egg layers so she has constant food, but we have a few that haven't sold yet so we might move her into a separate brooder with those girls. We just don't have the heart to eat her.
The oldest I've gotten a Cornish Cross hen was 6 months. She was perfectly healthy with good legs, but not much of a swimmer. She drowned in a water trough.

She was raised just like a chicken with the other poultry. Nothing special done for her. They are really sweet friendly birds as long as they don't crash into you when you are feeding treats. "Clumsy" would be calling it kindly.

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