Advice Please

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cluckcluckgirl, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

    2,978
    252
    276
    Jun 16, 2012
    Tending to my chickens
    We're thinking about finally getting some meat birds. My question is, what advice would you have liked to know when you were first starting?

    We want to get about 6-8 Cornish Cross or Cornish Rocks, and be able to breed AND slaughter the birds. Is this possible? All advice is welcome!
     
  2. Eric 2016

    Eric 2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

    161
    16
    56
    Jun 29, 2016
    Pennsylvania
    I like raising the Cornish cross, I know some people are against this breed but they've done well for mr for the past 15 years. The Cornish cross will not breed naturally because they get to big and usually to lazy, even if they did breed they would not breed true because they are a hybrid.
     
  3. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

    2,978
    252
    276
    Jun 16, 2012
    Tending to my chickens
    I mean that I want to be able to create multiple generations from an original batch. Would it be possible to do that with Cornish Cross?
     
  4. Eric 2016

    Eric 2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

    161
    16
    56
    Jun 29, 2016
    Pennsylvania
    Nope. They are hybrids and hybrids will not breed true. I'm sure there's tons of posts on the subject
     
  5. pauleberly

    pauleberly Chillin' With My Peeps

    311
    9
    63
    Mar 21, 2016
    East TN
    Get standard Cornish hens. Or even a breed like Dixie rainbows. They are self sustaining and can provide you with what you want
     
  6. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,480
    120
    201
    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    My favorite meat bird is the Freedom Ranger. I've had healthy, active birds that dress out at about 4 lbs for pullets and 5 lbs for roosters aroun 9 - 10 weeks. My first year I kept one rooster and two pullets thinking to breed them for a second generation (they are also hybrids but I'd heard that second generation will be almost as productive as the first). I put them in with my laying hens and it went well for awhile, but the rooster was so huge and so insistant with the hens that he was injuring them. He went in the stockpot. The hens were fine through the winter, but they were such poor layers and such big eaters that I butchered them in the spring.

    I also like the idea of a self sustaining flock, but if you are trying to feed something like a Freedom Ranger or Dixie Rainbows, you might find that they cost you more in feed than they save you in purchasing new meat chicks every spring. Also, I doubt either breed will hatch their own chicks, so you'll probably have to invest in an incubator.

    There are multiple discussions about heritage "dual purpose" breeds on this forum which will breed naturally and produce a reasonable amount of eggs and a reasonably meatie carcass. However, from experience those DP roosters (tried those one year) take easiy 16 weeks to raise and even then are scrawny compared to a CX or Freedom Ranger. I keep careful track of my expenditures with every batch of chickens I raise for meat, and while those DP roosters were the cheapest to purchase, they were by far the most expensive per pound because of how long I had to feed them and how small they were at butchering time.

    I suppose if I could forcast the end of civilization and had to choose one breed of chicken to keep my family alive I might pick something like a Dorking which are supposed to be very tasty, decent layers and good foragers as well as being good mothers.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. pauleberly

    pauleberly Chillin' With My Peeps

    311
    9
    63
    Mar 21, 2016
    East TN
    It's a lot to look into. If your birds free range, grow your own sprouts, and they don't use a lot of food, you can possibly have a self sustaining flock that's not gonna break the bank.

    A good pro to breeding out your own birds is you know your own blood line. Prevent any type of genetic disorders and such.

    A lot of people have had great luck with breed and self sustaining standard Cornish. They usually limited food to 4-6 hours and free range the rest. A lot of good information on this site
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by