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Heirloom Meat Chickens: French Houdan Chicks


When you order chicks, the process can be pretty entertaining, from picking them up from the post office to slowly moving them into their initial home under the heat lamps, putting each individual beak into the water and then watching them go bananas getting to know their new environment, days after hatching. While we'd raised chicks before, this was the first time I'd documented these crazy birds on video. It's never ceased to amaze me how insanely fast they grow in the first months. As we raised heirlooms, this wasn't the freakish twelve weeks that GMO chickens go through (be aware that if you buy a non-heirloom breed chicken, they have to be processed by 12 weeks otherwise their legs get too weak for their oversized bodies and they'll die...not the kind of thing we support in our home), and we held off on selling our farm until this last gang of 40 or so birds had reached the 6 month point, as we valued their health and lives they lived on our pasture to provide us food.

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