When I ordered 25 Cornish-x chicks to be delivered at the end of April, I also made a call to have them processed, because these things need to be planned in advance.
I realized my error when the birds were about 8 weeks old. They were huge. Destined by genetics to grow large, they had the added benefit of eating grass, weeds and bugs on pasture, PLUS a gallon or so of warm goat milk to drink every, single morning.
They were so big they couldn't easily get in and out of the hutches they slept in at night, so for several weeks we had to catch each of them in the evening to put them in the safe enclosures. In the morning we would set out food and water, and tip the hutches on their sides so the birds could waddle out to the pasture. I wished I could change the plan, but those processing dates don't change easily.
I spent the next few weeks worrying about how big they were getting. Yesterday was the date. We packed them snugly into hay-lined crates in the back of my truck. When the strong guys at the butcher shop unloaded the crates, they groaned and remarked at the weight of the things.
When we picked the processed birds up this morning the staff marveled at the size of the birds. "You will cook one chicken and eat for days!" they said.
Rachel pulled one of last years chickens out of the freezer and weighed it.
Then she placed one of this years crop on there.
This years crop of meat birds caused me some time fretting. But now I have two freezers packed full of enormous, pastured, milk fed, home -raised chicken. There will be good eating ahead. I can hardly wait to see what mistake I make next!