So....I'm already planning for spring. My total meat bird experience is: two turkeys that were supposed to be hens and were not, and a few roosters from a couple of batches of broody-raised chicks. Now that cityboy dh is earning his farmboy boots, we have our first 10 official meat birds, some cornish-x's being raised on pasture. After the initial small bag of chick starter (25# for 29 chicks, 18 layer pullets and 11 cornish-x's) we switched to whole grains, grinding the corn at first and feeding whole, slightly sprouted oats at 10 days. Now at 8 weeks everyone is on the whole sprouted oats and whole corn and pasture. I feed the rest of my flock this way and they thrive on it. My last group of five roosters....delicious! The hawks ate all but nine of my layer pullets. They are now with the rest of the laying flock, and seem to be surviving better under their protection. The meaties are too big to interest the hawks, but their whiteness seemed to attract them, then they'd take the smaller layers. Sheesh. This is my first experience with the cornish-x's, and I'm finding them to be quite different than I expected. They are friendly, active, well-feathered (no bald spots) and will make an attempt to fly to my face on occasion and would make it except for the 5' fence. They run and scratch and are quite active. Of course, they are growing much more slowly on this diet, which is ok with me, it costs so little this way and they appear to be much healthier than I've read about. I am considering getting Freedom Rangers next year, in case we have another excessively hot spring/summer. My dad, retired and now living nearby, wants to get Black Jersey Giants and learn to caponize. (Unlike Cityboy DH, dad grew up on a farm and has some regrets for not taking it over later...so we are having fun together with our shared farm projects at my place.) Any input? I am also wondering if I could keep a few FR pullets and a roo as breeding stock...anyone know if the FR's will go broody, or if they will breed true? Is it worth it?