Toro the baby broiler rooster had a good weekend. He climbed to the top of the shrubbery and proclaimed himself “Toro! King of the Shrubbery!”
Toro is getting pretty big. As you know, he is a broiler chicken. This means he is a breed that was genetically engineered by humans to be excessively large and grow very fast. 95% of all chickens eaten in the US are broilers. I had heard that before, but until you see what that means and hold it in your hands, it doesn’t really hit home.
Toro is getting so big that he needs to move around and lay in different positions to stay comfortable. Each evening he sits like this in my arms so he can stretch his legs out good and take pressure off his keel and belly.
He can stand up and walk, but it is hard for him. So he mostly sits all day. His legs get a little tired of being in the sitting position so much, so he loves to stretch out.
Broiler chickens don’t have as many feathers as normal chickens. They are bred that way on purpose so they are easier to pluck when they’re dead.
You can see how naked his belly is. That isn’t because he sits all day, that’s just the way he was made.
Good stretch, Toro.
Toro usually falls asleep when we’re sitting together, but I don’t take it personally. He’s good company, even when he’s snoring.
I’m not sure how much longer Toro will be with us. As long as he is comfortable, he’ll be here. If he starts to struggle to breathe or if he gets keel sores, it will be time to say goodbye. I can only guess how much longer he’ll be comfortable, but I guess it is less than two weeks.
It’s really sad to know that he won’t be with us for very long. It is truly shocking and traumatizing to see what humans have done to these baby broiler chickens. They are genetically manufactured to suffer and die. It’s a terrible mistake to genetically modify them this severely, I have no doubt. It feels so wrong when I hold him, especially when he looks at me.
So I just tell him he is “Toro the Great!” and that I love him. I also tell him how very, very sorry I am that humans have done this to him.
He is such a good baby roo.