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Best meat birds?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

My husband and I are looking to get some meat birds for this spring and don't know which to get. Ok so I know that there is a big debate over cornish X rocks... which breed have you all found to be the best meat birds? I have also heard that Delaware are good also. Or is there another breed that is better?

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Becoming self-sufficient, one day at a time!
Use it up, Wear it out, make it do or do without.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Reply
post #2 of 19

f you want meat birds that are butcher ready in 6wks go with the cornishX.the delawares are a slower growing bird.they will be butcher ready in 16 to 20 weeks.

post #3 of 19

Cornishx are the best if raising just for meat. My kids raised them for over ten years as 4-H projects. We keep a light on 24/7. Where ready to show at 6 weeks. But we would check for pin feathers before butchering. Usually between 7 or 8 weeks. Easier to pluck and dress the less pin feathers that they have.

post #4 of 19

Hundreds of threads on this topic, just read the first page.

There simply are no pure bred chickens which will be satisfying as meat chickens.  I would definitely not encourage anyone to raise anything but hybrids for meat purposes.  As for what kind of broiler, you have lots of options.

post #5 of 19

I don't know about that.  There are plenty of pure-bred chickens that are tasty, although smaller than Cornish X's.  It depends on what you want.  If you are just going to do some fried chicken, basically any medium to large chicken will do.  You can soup stock just about any of them, and we do our tough old roosters this way.  Nothing wrong with that.  I prefer watching them grow a while before butchering, and different breeds give you different flesh, dressing, and taste.  I'd prefer not to see a chicken bulging out of control, legs about to break, all weighted down the way meat birds are.  They may be fast growing/cost effective, etc. but Cornish X's aren't for everyone.

post #6 of 19

I raised jumbo cornish cross last fall. They have made excellent table birds.  If you do a search you will find many threads on meat birds. I documented my experience with them in a thread as well.

You will find many opinions on choices of birds but I will be growing out the same jumbo cornish this fall. They have served me very well.

edited to add -

If you tend the cornish well you will not have leg troubles and there is no bulging anything. They grow big and they grow fast as intended to be dispatched and processed to give the largest amount of meat for the least amount of feed. Age on a chicken is what makes it too tough to do anything with but stew it.

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post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerouschicken 

There are plenty of pure-bred chickens that are tasty, although smaller than Cornish X's.


There really is no such thing as a pure bred chicken.

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post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissPrissy 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerouschicken 

There are plenty of pure-bred chickens that are tasty, although smaller than Cornish X's.


There really is no such thing as a pure bred chicken.


what do you want to call them then

post #9 of 19

Think about how new breeds and varieties are created. You take one bird of one kind and cross it with another for a specific result then try to breed out all visable traces of that one bird you crossed with.

Think about a jubilee orpington - it is created using a speckled sussex.

There is another cross with a white wyandotte with a specific comb trait.

Chicken varieties have been crossed at some point to get a specific trait or color desired by the person raising and breeding them.

They all originate from jungle fowl bred for specific needs and wants of the breeders. It once was a noble 'hobby' to breed chickens and develop breeds. It still is a hobby for many. How else will Americans develop the level of various and sundry fowl that is living across the pond? They have some serious eye candy over there!

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post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerouschicken 

I don't know about that.  There are plenty of pure-bred chickens that are tasty, although smaller than Cornish X's.  It depends on what you want.  If you are just going to do some fried chicken, basically any medium to large chicken will do.  You can soup stock just about any of them, and we do our tough old roosters this way.  Nothing wrong with that.  I prefer watching them grow a while before butchering, and different breeds give you different flesh, dressing, and taste.  I'd prefer not to see a chicken bulging out of control, legs about to break, all weighted down the way meat birds are.  They may be fast growing/cost effective, etc. but Cornish X's aren't for everyone.


The body conformation of a 'purebred' is what I find least satisfying, not the taste.  The breasts are just to thin, which accentuates the fact that our homegrown chickens have stringier muscle texture (which is a good thing, meaning they actually had a life).

But, on balance when you look at the time it takes you to raise a purebred cockrel to slaughtering weight (15+ weeks) it's just a daft thing to do.  Now, utilizing extra Black Sex Link (or Red) males as Fryers makes good sense to me.  But, doing it with a purebred Orpington (as an example) just doesn't work for me.  I love coq au vin... but every chicken meal cannot be coq au vin.  You need good roasting birds, too.

There are many options for broilers which don't "bulge out of control" and have many of the problems you describe.

I would never consider selling anything but a hybrid to any of my customers.  Even with all the explanation I could give them, they would never buy a chicken from me again.  The body shape of non broilers are just 'wrong' to people accustomed to chicken from a grocery store.

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