January 7, 2007
It takes so little for my old hens to see spring arrive. Today three
eggs, but they're all bustling around looking more prosperous. Three
eggs from 12 hens is still too few. So discussion with management (husband
Bob) today tended toward ordering a mix of "heavy" brown egg
layers, with the idea some of the birds will end up in the pot rather
than surviving to make eggs.
In the past I've ordered meat birds, generally cornish rock crosses.
They do grow fast but in my life I don't need any more ticking clocks
than I already have. Those meat birds MUST be slaughtered at eight to
10 weeks or they begin to die -- I think from the sheer strain of growing
so fast. I've lost full sized birds at 12 weeks with no clue of why
they died -- heart attack? Or? It costs about $10 to raise a meat bird
to full size, but if I order a dozen they all have to be slaughtered
at once. I rarely can set aside an entire day or two to just kill and
clean chickens. Not to mention that doing more than two birds in one
go is much too much like work. I keep chickens recreationally, not to
increase the stress in my life. More consideration is in order here.