which chicken broiler breeds would you all recommend? and how long do you raise them until?
how do you keep from getting attached?
One thing that might help is if I got the same breed so that they would look similar and then seem less like individuals...........not sure if you know what I mean?
Cornish Cross- fastest growing, can be problematic health wise if not careful about food. Usually butchered between 7 to 10 wks of age, can go a bit longer for bigger carcass. Prone to Congestive Heart Failure and leg problems if allowed to grow into adulthood, though some can do ok. Can be allowed to 'free range' but also do well in confined raising scenarios. Usually very squat and thick legs and oversized breast meat.
Red Rangers, Freedom Rangers- a bit slower growing, do well out free ranging, less prone to the health issues than the Cornish X but still can be overfed. Usually raised till 14-20 wks depending on type of cross and the size of carcass wanted. Tend to be longer legged and less 'breasty'.
Heritage dual purpose birds- many breeds tend to produce good size roos which can be good for the pot. Many of the 'rocks' (barred, whites), Dorking, Sussex, Bresse (sp?) and many more. They are the slowest to mature to butcher weight (often 18 to 24 wks), and are usually biproducts so to speak of other hatching practices, but some folks like to raise these breeds because they are easily kept for eggs and good personalities. Culling the extra roos for the table is a 'bonus', so to speak. Special feeding and handling of the birds can alter the taste of the meat somewhat, especially the bresse (I think that is actually a French meat bird)
Check out the thread.... Processing day support group.... in the meat bird section. The first 10 or 15 pages really digs into folks' reasons for raising, thoughts on butchering and methods used. Is a good thread to take the time to go through if you are thinking about raising your own meat birds.