A broiler chicken, or a chicken raised for meat, typically lives only 7-8 weeks (56 days).
Typically those few days are spent in a large pole building with tens of thousands of other chickens, milling around in fecal and ammonia-choked air so poisonous a human cannot walk into the building without a respirator.
This is the chicken of our fast-food joints and restaurants across the country. Cheap. Convenient.
We just received our first batch of broiler chicks. They, too, will probably only live about 8 weeks; however, unlike commercially raised chickens, these birds will be out on pasture by the age of 14 days.
From there they will be moved to a new patch of grass on a daily basis. Fresh water, green grass, insects, sunshine and clean air will accompany them all the days of their lives.
This is my photo journal of 56 days of a broiler's life on our farm.
Here's a short video of the peeps at 3 days old:
Day 16 (guest photo by August our farm sitter)