DH and I have decided to try and develop our own self sustaining meat bird flock. Not that I don't like CXs but I'd like to be able to space my freezer camp dates out a little bit more. Right now I make 1 huge order and they all go to camp at the same time. I also wanted something a little less feed intensive than the CX. I've had RIR and NH and they just dont dress out as I'd like them to.
I have the beautiful white rocks already and we had decided to try and get some dark cornish to cross with. I've been researching and found out that the 2 breeds dont really cross well naturally - they need a little AI help. We're still going to try it though when I find some DC.
In the meantime, I found out that the Amish in the area just got a line on Freedom Ranger Chickens. I spoke with him yesterday to make arrangements for slaughtering some extra roos and drakes I have and made arrangements to get my hands on about 6 pullets for next spring! I can cross those 2 breeds easily and see where it goes. I am also going to cross the FR with my orpington roo to see what happens. The Amish guy was really interested in this b/c he sells hundreds of birds a month ethnic groups in buffalo - they wont eat CXs, but they want more meat on the birds than the FR have on their own. If I can get something he said he would definitely be interested in buying any I dont keep.
If you've never heard of freedom rangers - I first read about them in Backyard Poultry Magazine. Here's the link to the article
They're not a perfect solution - still being a hyrid meat bird, but experimentation is fun.