another newbie question..

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by birdbrain5, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. birdbrain5

    birdbrain5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    im planning to order a batch of cornish x to raise up for meat. i was wondering for next batch rather than ordering chicks, could i hatch out my own- and if so how do i go about getting the cross? isnt it a white rock and a cornish? does it matter which is the hen and which is the rooster? which cornish breed should i go for? sorry i probably sound so silly, but some of you must hatch out your own meat birds to raise and butcher, rather than buying them as chicks through the hatchery right? so tell me how you do it! [​IMG]
    and what is the difference with the freedom rangers? where could i get those and how could i breed those and hatch my own also?

    thanks- sorry if i sound dumb lol [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Don't feel dumb. We all start somewhere. I'm amazed at some of the things I used to be sure of. This is one of them I was so wrong about.

    The meat birds are not crosses between Cornish and White Rocks. Way back in their breeding lines, those two were probably used in developing them, but the meat birds known as Cornish Rocks are their own breed, just as much as New Hampshires or Delawares. They just have not been recognized by the APA. They have been carefully bred by professional geneticists for many generations to get where they are.

    The Freedom Rangers are much the same. They were bred more to forage a bit for the European market, but they are also their own breed. Several people have tried to breed them themselves and usually don't have great success. They have also been bred to be butchered at a young age. With great care restricting diets you can breed them, but it is not easy.

    What I do is not try for the broilers. I raise dual purpose birds. The difference is the age of the chicken when I butcher, which means more stringy meat although I can get it quite tender, and the conformation of the bird. I get a lot more dark meat than the commercial broilers have.

    If you want to do a lot of study on how to restrict the feeding and manage the broilers, you can raise your own to provide hatching eggs, but it is not easy and the results are not guaranteed. Or you can buy chicks. Or you can raise the dual purpose like I do. It may be possible to buy hatching eggs, but I'd think at the end of the day, buying the chicks is probably cheaper and you get a better guarantee.
     

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