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Happee ChickenSuperMomma
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently attended a livestock show and curiously walked through the 4-H meat birds area.... and was appalled at what I saw! All the birds looked *SO* fat & unhealthy. They couldn't even walk. They might take a "step" then plop down; they couldn't support their own weight. When I asked, I was told that those chickens don't get to walk around or anything; they're kept in the small cages & (over)fed nonstop, and they're judged on the size of their breasts alone, not on whether they look healthy.

My question: is this normal and required treatment for 4H meat chickens? Thoughts? Observations?

I was thinking that maybe 4H would be a good learning experience for my son, but after seeing this, I'm reconsidering.

Please, don't take offense at my questions or observations. I'm not trying to offend anyone. But I started raising chickens to get healthy eggs (and eventually meat) for my family, and was just surprised by what I found when I visited the livestock show.
 

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That seems impossible 'cause isn't 4-H supposed to be learning how to *PROPERLY*, PROPERLY, take care of animals?
:confused:
 

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Happee ChickenSuperMomma
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It would seem to me that if those chickens were allowed to roam & exercise a little, they wouldn't be breaking their legs with their own weight. This sounds a bit against natural laws of nature.
 

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Happee ChickenSuperMomma
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That seems impossible 'cause isn't 4-H supposed to be learning how to *PROPERLY*, PROPERLY, take care of animals?
:confused:
Yes, I agree. That's why I walked in there in the first place (excited), then walked out so very disappointed & confused. :-(
 

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You were not informed on what really happens with 4-H meat birds. They are a cornish X breed and they naturally grow like that. Yes they dont get alot of running around, but with that breed they shouldnt anyway. The breed is specifically for meat, if they ran around they would have a heart attack. They are not over fed, they are fed on a strict schedule following the direction of the hathcery and feed bags. What you seen was not cruel or abnormal to this breed. Its all in the genetics of the breed. Also 4-H is a learning experience. The kids learn by doing, when the fair is done they auction off the birds or process them themselves.

By the way, I am a 4-H leader and my daughter is our clubs Youth Poultry leader.
 

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It would seem to me that if those chickens were allowed to roam & exercise a little, they wouldn't be breaking their legs with their own weight. This sounds a bit against natural laws of nature.
Sorry but you assumed wrong. Cornish X's are genetically bred to look exactly as you seen them. If they were given a large area to run around they would have died before the fair even came and the 4-Her would have lost all their hard work. This breed is suppose to be raised caged, and no they are not force fed.
 

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Apyl said:
Sorry but you assumed wrong. Cornish X's are genetically bred to look exactly as you seen them. If they were given a large area to run around they would have died before the fair even came and the 4-Her would have lost all their hard work. This breed is suppose to be raised caged, and no they are not force fed.
I had my first experience over the last 7 weeks with Cornish X. I did have them outside at week 5 in a tractor, in the area with all my other chicks and chickens. Even with the ability to get out each morning, all they did when I opened their door,was go to the tractor next to theirs, and start eating that food, and it was the same they had. When they did walk, it was fun, they had that "pregnant woman waddle" to them. They are now in the fridge resting. Not sure i will do them again, taste will tell in a few days.
 

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It would seem to me that if those chickens were allowed to roam & exercise a little, they wouldn't be breaking their legs with their own weight. This sounds a bit against natural laws of nature.
We have gotten to the point of seperating the Cornich X from our other birds. That way we can monitor the amount of food consumed. Our Cornish X just walk out of the coop, and plop down in front of the feeder until it is empty.
 
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