Sad sight at feed store.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ruth, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    I just saw the saddest thing at the feed store. I just got home from the feed store where I bought my baby Buff Orps three weeks ago. They still had most of the same batch of chicks. Still in the metal commercial brooder box. It was so sad. The chicks were huge!!! Probably two to three times the size of mine (their fellow hatchlings), their feathers looked sort of grey and matted, they could not stand upright because the brooder was too short for them. All they could do was stick their neck out to feeders and eat.

    The man saw me looking at them and said "get a few". I told him I had bought 4 out of this same batch when they were 2 days old and mine weren't nearly this large and were yellow and fluffy and beautiful. I told him I let mine free range all day. He said that since mine got sunlight and air and stayed active all day that made all the difference in the world. He admitted these poor babies have never seen natural light or outside air and can't move around and can only eat all day. I told him it was cruel. Now I don't know if he made this next part up but he then said "yeah, they don't have enough room in there. Mr. So and So (the owner) is going to take them all to his farm this weekend. He has a huge farm and they can all run around there."

    I'm thinking he's probably going to process them for food soon because they looked to be the size of quail. I'm also thinking "yeah, and how many dogs and cats were killed or released in wild to fend for themselves while the parents told the kids "they went to live on a nice farm".

    Anyway, it just made me so upset. I dare anyone to tell me that letting my chickens free range is wrong. It's keeping them in brooder boxes forever that's wrong. I can't believe the difference in appearance in the two sets of chicks - mine who free range and run, fly, jump, dig all day and these poor babies who have never done anything. It was just so sad. I wanted to bring them all home but he must have had a dozen or more in there.

    Just too sad. I feel like I just left the dog pound. Don't know if I can get that image out of my head. Guess I'll have to go back on Monday and see if they are really gone but it will bother me till then.
  2. biretta

    biretta Songster

    Jun 7, 2007
    That *is* sad, Ruth. When I bought my chicks in March, the feed store was keeping older chicks, maybe a few weeks old, with day-olds. Why, I don't know. They should know better. Anyway, one chick was being pecked to death by an older one. It was just lying on its side, and looked flattened out, but it was still alive. I told the guy and he just kind of shrugged it off. So I opened the brooder door, took the chick out and told him I'd take it even though I didn't really have room for more. After trying to warm it, it seemed to perk up considerably. Luckily I found out that the woman who was helping me at Home Depot later that day happened to be a chicken person and said her teenage son would love to try to nurse it back to health. It's hard knowing that some people are so indifferent to animal cruelty.
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    That is sad. Poor babies. If I lived there, I know I would have been tempted to take them all. "Oh, Honey, we need to set up the extra dog kennel for some extra chickens..." I hope they get out of there soon. Maybe they really will go to a farm. Even if they end up being eaten later, it would be nice if they could grow up with more space and a little fresh air and sunshine.

    Your chickens are lucky to be living a good life.
  4. PeiTheCelt

    PeiTheCelt Songster

    Sep 3, 2007
    Central NY
    But they're just farm animals, what does it matter? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I don't bloody get how people can be so dismissive of their responsibility for lives in their care.
  5. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    I'm sorry you had to see this, Ruth.
  6. littlelemon

    littlelemon Songster

    Mar 15, 2007
    Oh, wow. That is heartbreaking!
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    It's a sad truth, especially since chicks are a commody and feed stores either buy them in bulk or just lose out on business. I got a bunch of 4 week old cornish x one year for really cheap because a buyer at the feed store backed out and they were left to feed the hogs off their own store budget. At least they kept feeding them until they were sold for cheap. $2 each for these 2 lb birds at the time. It's just too bad.
  8. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    I am sorry you had to see that, but I find your observation interesting.

    In the past I have had no choice but to raise my babies in a brooder -- a huge one for a small number of ducklings. I have noticed that the ones I am raising now (that were hatched by their own mother) don't seem to be growing as fast. These new ones get to free range for a few hours every day with their mom. I wondered why they seemed to be growing slower. I guess growth-rate isn't always a sign of good health.
  9. JaciesCoop

    JaciesCoop Songster

    Aug 16, 2007
    Oh My. That is so sad. Mine don't free range but that have a nice coup and pen to run.
    That would have really upset me!
  10. PeiTheCelt

    PeiTheCelt Songster

    Sep 3, 2007
    Central NY
    My guess would be that the free rangers get more exercise, and so they stay leaner, where as the chicks who stay in the brooder all the time just eat and wander around the same couple of feet during the day. [​IMG]


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