Originally Posted by PlaidBattleAxe
I've only got my laying chickens now, but we will be getting meat birds that will be raised up strictly for eating purposes. Do you have recommendations? I've been told by the people I got my hens and roo from that we should just hatch from our current buff orpingtons for dual purpose (and that they taste like eating game birds....?). I was initially wanting to get dark Cornish game birds. I'd appreciate any input from you and anyone else who has some experience with this, thanks!
This is our first year exploring Cornish X...there is a lot of misinformation out there about them,IMO- being around them first hand, for the first time. Our experience:
*We did not handle them because it is just easier ( for me) not to be attached. (It doesn't mean I don't care, it means that I DO care and do to want to "humanise" these particular birds.)
*So, in not handling them, they are more skittish. Now, when the food comes out, they are right there.
*The birds were raised by a broody for 5 weeks, they were totally fine with her leaving.
*They have been outside the entire time.
*They are fed 3 times daily.
* Fermented 'meat maker' feed. They did have dry-"non medicated" chick starter for about a week(it was what i had). They also receive veggie/fruit/sod-grass. H20 all the time. When it is real hot, I add vits.& electrolytes to it.
*They eat more therefore they poo more, so this means if you don't clean it up it WILL be obnoxious! Because they eat a lot, their poo is generally more loose than the layers, even with the ferment, but I can only imagine how "wowsers" it would be without the ferment-seriously. I rake-out their area once a week, sometimes, if it has been more rainy, I will do it more.(They are covered by a tarp to help keep dry and to keep shade-very important)
Then I will: (1)-turn the soil over a little, or (2)- add fresh soil from the garden, toss it on the top of the raked area. By doing this, it has kept their smell and area "look" very tidy and acceptable, As an example, we have a fire ring, not more than 15 yards, more likely closer, to their area. (there is a pic somewhere on the thread) We just had company over to enjoy the evening with us and they could not get over how "good"/"un-chickeny",hahaha, the chickens smelled & looked. They are obviously there, but will you NOT smell them before you see them.
*They are VERY quiet..they do purr at me though. It is very nice/sweet sounding.
*They have not acted like crazy-food starved birds. They have 3 meals. They eat, get full and walk away. They do what they do,lay,scratch,drink..then come back and eat more...just like any other chicken does. When we walk by, they don't act like they are starved, they have never "begged".
*It has been a wonderful experience thus far with these birds. At this point I would recommend Cornish X to anyone. We are planning to process tomorrow, (if we are up to it), Tuesday at the latest.
I have heard/read many ways people raise these birds, some were experiences/practices like ours, some, well-more than some unfortunately, were not under really any kind of animal/poultry-husbandry it would seem with horrifying situations & results. I believe truly, it's your food..treat it how you want it. BUT,...you can read way too many of these "OMG" threads on BYC unfortunately.
We/I personally wanted ours(DH) to be/have the healthiest fed,( that we can afford), cleanest kept, humanly treated(incompasses all above), poultry product we could raise.
So, in a nutshell...hahaha , hope this helped you. I am a newbie..take it for what it is.-Danielle