We are now down to two chickens. Last night I dispatched the last of the original red sex link hens we bought back in July of 2011. She was over a year old and her egg production was still going strong but she had turned like the other red, and become a cannibal. The barred rock and columbian were getting pecked at and losing too many feathers, so the last red had to go.
I don’t think we will restock in the future with red sex links. Our first had a heart problem, and the last two turned into vicious cannibals (which apparently is common in this breed). The barred rock are, in my opinion, the best bird for temperament and egg laying. The barred eggs are the tastiest, but they tend to not lay in the cooler months.
So, lesson learned. The reds all lived a good life, having the outdoors, fresh grass and bugs, plenty of food and water; things they wouldn’t have had in your average factory farm.