If you head down to our basement right now you'll see this,
Flick the light on.
See? It's just a heat lamp. And undneath that lamp? In the box?
Two week old Chicks! 25 little Cornish X chicks that will be our guests for the next three months. They'll be fed and watered and housed and adored and then, somewhere around the end of August they'll be butchered and stored away in the freezer. Yum.
This is something we've been talking about for ages. It's partly why we bought this house with it's two acres out in the middle of nowhere. We've got no great concerns about organic meat but we do worry about what kind of lives the animals we eat have led so this is one small step to making our consumption a bit more ethical.
These guys grow like crazy. When we picked them up on June 14th they were only, at most, a few days old. I could scoop them up, 2 or 3 to the handful. Now just one is a handful.
Only one is still a little smaller and, poor little guy, relegated to isolation to save him from being pecked by the others. As you may be able to tell from the pictures, it has issues with its vent. I won't bore (or gross you out) with the details but suffice to say I have to clean him frequently with warm water and apply a few different products to backside and vent in an attempt to get him (her,it) through. He's still eating, drinking, pooping and growing and has enough attitude for 3 chicks so we've deciding to put the effort into keeping him healthy rather then cull him. I must admit, I'm getting quite attached to this little guy.
Another couple of weeks or sooner if summer ever decides to show up, and these guys will be heading out to enjoy the sunshine. Not free range though. We eventually want them as our supper, not as coyote or raccoon supper.