At what age do you process a chicken. I have got a lot of dual birds and thinking I might have to process some to down size them.
age to process a chicken
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I process my Cornish X at 8 weeks after that there seems to be a great loss to heart attacks
Not to hijack this, but what is the consensus on using White Rocks or White Cornish as meat birds? I'm aware of the downsides as compared to using Cornish Crosses, but I am about to take my first batch of 25 CC's this summer on for processing and have been swearing that I won't do another batch of these disgusting birds again. Is this even a reasonable thought, or am I better off with the Red/Black Bro or other Hubbard stock birds?
I can start another thread if this is inappropriate...
I should add, my main concern here is FCR. A few extra weeks to processing size isn't really a concern for me, and I can live without taking a 10 pound bird to butcher. Thanks...
Edited by Creek-Chub - 5/25/08 at 6:12pm
White Rocks or White Cornish are purebreeds. All purebreeds grow slowly and aren't optimal as far as body conformation or FCR. Not only do they take longer, but any rock or cornish will have a thin breast with a protruding keel. The body shape takes a lot of getting used to when you are spoiled on the commercially raised cornish crosses.
All broilers are hybrids which takes better advantage of heterosis. That's the key to fast growing, large breasted animals with good genetics.
If you think about it careful, all 'breeds' are created by inbreeding. Imagine a family tree, but instead of diverging, it converges to a single point. That is why when you crossbreed, you get hybrid vigor (heterosis) because suddenly genese are present in the hybrids which did not exist in the parents.
There are broilers out there that you can raise with much better performance, feathering and energy level than the jumbo cornish crosses. You are way better off getting some Red Bro's than trying to raise dual purpose chickens.