I'm am such a novice. I really thought it would be a great idea to get a bunch of meat birds, raise them up and have them processed for the freezer. I ordered some black broilers that were supposed to reach 6 lbs in 7 weeks or less. I fed them grower rations for the first 6 weeks then a finisher to fatten them up. At 12 weeks old, I estimate the biggest never got to be more than 5 lbs. When I took them to the processor tonight I hung my head in shame when I saw all the big beautiful birds all lined up to be processed. They had all the food they could eat, plus they got to roam around in a hugh 2000' enclosure. Where did I go wrong? I want to do this again, but I want to get it right. So here are my questions. Should I let them have all the exercise and running room they want or should I limit their exercise? Should I have feed them something other than the standard grower crumbles for the first six weeks? The ag center said grower first 6 weeiks then a finisher for last 2 - 6 weeks until slaughter. What is the best bird for meat? Should I try another cross/broiler or should I go with a large breed like leghorns. When I dropped off my birds I saw these beautiful birds that looked like Barred Rocks, but only bigger, any quess what they could have been? Finally, please tell me I'm not the only one to have gone through the embarassment of dropping of puny little birds for processing.