I had ordered 5 Cornish Cross birds to eat and then I got two pullets to keep this week. I was going to separate them right away but had to wait a day until I had enough money for an extra light and bulb. I wanted to keep them separate so my 7-year-old (almost) daughter won’t have a hard time with which ones are going to be killed and which ones are going to be kept for eggs. Initially she was upset and then even cried before bed full tears about getting chickens we were going to eat. The whole life cycle and everything is upsetting really if you get down to it and you love animals as we do. I showed her a clip of a purdue chicken farmer from Food Inc. so she could see that the chickens don’t go outside they just eat until they almost explode and are crammed into a small space. These chickens are not smart according to most people and I will have to start taking their food away at 3 weeks at night so they don’t eat themselves to death. I explained how when we eat chicken that it matters where it comes from and how it was raised. She had a complete turnaround and is giving the meat birds attention too despite my cautions. She tells me that we are doing the right thing and that she is making sure that they have a good life while they are here. That made me really proud as I felt like she is actually getting it. With fruit and vegetables she totally gets it and is a bit of a produce snob when we go places but the meat thing is something we haven’t discussed. I wanted to do some meat birds this year instead of eating chicken raised the way it is from the grocery store. Next week we will get some red broilers which are known to forage a little more and also are a little bit smarter though we will see. I have friends and family who are going to pay me for the chickens and we will see how it goes. I am starting small in case it’s an ordeal that I freak out about but honestly I have been through the process before up close so I am confident I won’t have a problem. I should do a post sometime about how I was vegetarian for 15 years.
The two chicks we are keeping are Millie the black sexlink and Chicakboo the Buff Orpington. Chickaboo has marker on her head because we needed to be able to tell her apart from the Cornish because they were in the same box. My husband saw a Buff Orpington this summer and said he wanted at least one. This from a man who did not want chickens 6 years ago. I wanted to get black sexlinks last year because I loved the one we had and she laid eggs after she was even quite old (though not regularly). She actually died of natural causes and is buried under the Asian pear tree which gave us a ton of fruit this past year. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. They didn’t get the black sexlinks in when I was doing my shopping though. 🙂
We plan to get a speckled sussex, a barred rock and an ameraucana and one other one which I am not sure of yet. I have 6 currently that are laying but at least one doesn’t lay every day so I tend to get 5 eggs a day usually. We have a grandma chicken who is maybe 7 years old I think who seems happy and comfy with her other friends back there. She was from the original group that we got back in 2006 I think it was. I wanted chickens and my sister had a friend that wanted to get rid of her’s because of high cholesterol and lack of quality time to spend with them.