Hi. Just started to do the Meat Chickens this year. We first went with some straight Cornish Rocks in March. We had picked up 6 at the Local Tractor Supply on sale. We did this because we had already placed an order for 25 Jumbo Cornish Rocks with McMurray to arrive in Late May. We didn't have any problems with the Cornish Rocks, followed advise read here and elsewhere, along with people we know who've done Chickens for Meat before. We lost one to a Fox, (only found the feet, poor thing). The only Hen in the Bunch my Visiting Mother from Florida saw and ordered that it be allowed to live. So we were left with 4 to go to the Butcher with. Took them up to a place that's been doing this for a long time with a good relationship in the Community. They allowed us to come in and see the entire process which I was really impressed with. Bottom line, when we were done, we had 4 great looking Chickens ready for the table. And let me say they were the best chickens I have EVER tasted in my life. The same day we took them to butcher, the 25 Jumbo Rocks from McMurray's arrived. WOW! Did these grow a lot faster than the regular Cornish Rocks. A WHOLE LOT Faster. We have a little under 2 Acres and 90% of it is shaded. We live in the woods and have cleared out everything under the large trees and allow the Chickens to pretty much run free. We also have a dozen Red Star hens for Eggs and a couple Roosters. They never really bothered with the Meat Chickens, and eventually we fenced off a seperate area for the Meat Chickens to grow and run. We also have Ducks and a Pair of Geese. Things were going great. The Jumbo Rocks were growing bigger and bigger every day. Then we took them to the Butcher yesterday morning. We had them in two seperate Cages that were more than large enough for them to move around in and everything seemed fine. We dropped them off at 10AM. There were others already there, (this place only butchers Chickens on Tuesdays). But we were told it would be a couple hours. We decided to visit some local orchards and buy some peaches and just enjoy the day. When we came back 3 hours later we were told that 13 of the 25 had died in the Cages and that they were only able to process 12 of them. I was filled with a mix of anger, fear I had done something wrong, and suspicion that maybe they were lying to me. But I've known this business and it just isn't their way. An older woman working there came out and asked us what kind of chickens we had. We told her Jumbo Rocks. She told us that she's had them die like this before because they can just get too fat and thier hearts give out. She also told us that the ones they were able to process had enlarged hearts with fluid around them and the livers were fatty. So... What did I do wrong? The Jumbo's that died were the largest of the Bunch. They were stacked on top of the other cage, and were in the Sun. Since they weren't used to the Sun did the heat kill them? (The Cage was open on all sides). What the heck happened here? I was looking forward to all those yummy Chicken Dishes when it gets cold and now I'm heart broken. And I feel horrible that these little guys died in a cage like that. Letting them run free only to see an end like that isn't acceptable So What happened? Help Me Please! HELP!