Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Meat Birds

This baby is heavy! I'm still puzzled by these Cornish X chickens. They have truly lived up to their billing, growing and gaining weight at a phenomenal rate. But I'm not sure if they are chickens. So many chicken behavioral traits are missing in these birds: they don't scratch, they don't peck, they don't roost, they barely walk. They don't even poop like the other chickens. Their poop is more green, like duck poop.

I've had quite a time trying to keep their breasts from being soiled by laying in dirty straw. When I put this bird down to take a photo next to a normal sized hen, it pooped a copious pile, then immediately lay down in its own poop, as if it couldn't fathom the idea of making a choice where to lay down.

Busy with the wedding, I posted the NY Times editorial about chickens and humans in prehistory without saying why it interested me. This big white dumb chicken is why. Humans have lived alongside chickens for a long time, breeding the chickens to conform to every habitat that humans found. The big white chicken is what you get when the habitat is a factory, but I'm not too excited about replacing the myriad of older, smarter, breed with this sort of chicken idiot.

On the other hand, it's not too hard to envision eating them. As Anna told me last night, "They're just meat with feathers. The other chickens have personalities but the white ones aren't even human."
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