My "broiler" chickens -pics-

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by raroo, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. raroo

    raroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Hi everyone. [​IMG]

    Some of you may remember the couple posts I made several months back about my two chicks that I received by surprise from a local commercial meat chicken farm.

    I'm so pleased with their progress so far that I just had to update!

    My two chicks are now 5 months old, and so far doing wonderfully. They are a hen and rooster, named Greta and George.

    There were a few scary spots when they were going through their big growth spurt from around 3 to 8 weeks, when their size more than doubled. They started panting during this growth spurt, so I tried something that may seem a little controversial, but it was either that, or let them die of a heart attack. Either way, I pretty much had nothing to lose. So I started crushing a quarter of an aspirin into their drinking water. It only took one day to notice a difference, and after a couple days the panting stopped completely. After four months, they have never panted since. Now I crush one daily low dose aspirin when I change their water every day, and they haven't shown any ill effects whatsoever.

    They each get half a cup of 16% protein feed twice a day so they're both eating one cup in total. They go out in the yard for several hours everyday and scratch around and eat grass and bugs and dirt.
    I can feel their keel bone, although there is still a bit too much meat, but they're nowhere near obese. They have strong straight legs and can run and walk and jump. They're still big heavy birds though, about 12 pounds.

    They have the sweetest personalities, I can pet them, they sit on my lap, they follow me around during outside time and trust me completely. They're actually the most rewarding pets I've ever had.

    This past Friday, Greta laid her first egg! She's given us six eggs since then, although two were soft shelled. I'm getting her some oyster shell tonight, and they've been eating layers pellets for about a month now.
    George has yet to start crowing, and hasn't tried to mate with Greta yet.

    So I know that they still won't live as long as they should, but right now they are healthy, and not too overweight, and happy.

    Here's the chicks as adorable wee ones
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    Greta trying out her new nest box. She clucked and bustled in there for a long time!
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    George, my handsome sweet roostie
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    Greta's beautiful eggs!
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  2. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    Dec 16, 2008
    westchester
    wow thats really cool looks like you are on top of things and think if any broilers can live a long healthy life it will be these 2 [​IMG]
     
  3. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Geoge looks like a girl ^.^ IMO Greta is very pretty in her nest box.
     
  4. raroo

    raroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Quote:LOL that's funny but look how big his comb and waddles are! [​IMG]
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    See, his comb flops over to the side. It's twice as big as Greta's comb!
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    His feathers are also different, the ones on his neck are longer than Greta's and they have a sheen to them.
    Plus he has a loud lusty voice first thing in the morning although its not a crow.
     
  5. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I think the aspirin idea was quite clever and shouldn't be controversial at all. Aspirin is a naturally-occurring substance (salicylic acid) in willow bark and has been used as a pain-killed, blood-thinner, and fever reducer since primitive times. It's very natural. I'm glad you tried it and it worked out for you. Your chickens are quite beautiful and I'm glad they're doing so well! Keep up the great work!
     
  6. raroo

    raroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Thank you so much! [​IMG]
    I am really glad I tried the aspirin, and I'm not sure if they would have made it otherwise. Their growth spurt period is a most dangerous and scary time! Apparently right around the age my birds started panting is the age they most commonly die of heart attack in the commercial chicken barns.
     
  7. chickenbuddy

    chickenbuddy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2008
    I would love to see some full body pictures of them! I must have missed your previous post. What do you mean you accidentally recieved them? Glad you have such lovely birds! Maybe mine will be friendlier if I tell them about yours!
     
  8. max101

    max101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    newcastle Australia
    Im as green as be what is a broiler I have to ask
     
  9. raroo

    raroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Broilers are the cornish cross chickens bred for meat, like the chicken you'd buy at the grocery store.
    They have a large breast, and grow so fast that they're ready to be eaten at only 6-8 weeks. Because they grow so fast they are at a high risk for heart attack, and if given the chance they'll eat and eat, and sometimes get so fat that they can't walk.
    Because of this its difficult to raise them as pets and they often die anyway at a young age.

    BTW, just to clarify I don't think that there's anything wrong with people raising these birds as food. I'm just not ready for that experience yet and I wasn't aware of my chick's fate when they were given to me. I fell in love with their fluffy warm cuteness before I realized what kind of chickens I had!
    I'm just posting this because I'm proud of how well they're doing, and to show off their lovely personalities.
     
  10. raroo

    raroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Quote:They were given to me one night while visiting a friend's house. We were talking one day about how much I wanted chickens some day, and when I came over there were two babies sleeping in a big fluff lined coffee can! They came from a local chicken barn meant to be meat birds, and I didn't know that meant they weren't like regular chickens! Of course I couldn't refuse them I fell in love instantly, and it was no problem to raise them and keep them and everything.
    It wasn't until they were a couple weeks old that I started to do research on "meat" chickens. That's when I found out how meat birds really are. But I knew I wouldn't eat them, so I came here looking for advice on how to raise them as pets!
    The biggest help was actually seeing how people raise normal chickens and just trying to follow that.
    I will post some full body pictures of them. The ones I have now are outdated so I'll have to take some new ones.
     

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