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are broilers bred differently

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by pinkwindsong, May 28, 2011.

  1. pinkwindsong

    pinkwindsong Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2011
    Laurens SC
    hi . I had heard that broilers are bred differntly.. ( we will be doing the 4h program this sept. and I plan on getting aprx 50 birds. I was told that these birds are bred to fatten up quickly and do not have a long life span if not butchered. is that true? and if so.. what breed of chicken do these birds come from? if I kept a trio of these birds out as a breeding pair would I be able to hatch our broilers? this may be a stupid question .. sorry if it is, but I would really like to know if what I was told is true.

    thank you in advanced for answers )O(
    Pink
     
  2. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, they are. The vast majority of commercially produced meat chickens are Cornish x hybrids. Like any hybrid, they are the result of crossing two carefully controlled, inbred parent lines.

    For the small grower and the home hobbyist, some choose to use "dual purpose" breeds such as leghorns or barred rocks. These birds aren't as meaty as the Cornish X, but they are capable of living natural lives.

    The Cornish x birds are genetically designed for maximum rapid weight gain, but it puts a tremendous strain on their vital organs and their skeletal system. So, yes, they tend to not make it much past 12-14-16 weeks tops.

    Some people have experimented with keeping and breeding the Cornish X birds, but many now are trying the "Freedom Rangers" which, from what I know of them, are almost as meaty as the Cornish x, but don't have the same genetic problems and are capable of living longer, more natural lives and of reproducing.

    Now, never having kept any of these yet, the above is all what I've gleaned from reading various threads on here, as well as other online sources of information. My first ones are coming next week, should be an interesting experiment.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  3. pinkwindsong

    pinkwindsong Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2011
    Laurens SC
    Ill be very interested in how your "experiment" goes please keep posting ongoing information..
    thanks again
    )O(
    Pink
     
  4. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Virginia
    They are bred to produce the most meat in the shortest time. They can live longer if they aren't being fed to put on a table. People have kept them as pets for a year or more. Cornish cross can live "normal lives" in that they will eat grass if given the opportunity, scratch and dustbathe. They are able to reproduce and you could keep some as breeders but since they are a hybrid, they don't breed exactly true. Their offspring may not have the same qualities of the parents as far as size and growth rate. I imagine that given how much they eat, keeping a trio for breeding may not be economically sensible but I have not tried to do it so I don't know for sure. Originally they were a cross of a white cornish and a white rock which is why they are called a cornish rock or cornish cross. They have been selectively bred over time to be the bird we know today just like other breeds have been bred to have a certain color pattern or to produce a maximum number of eggs.

    *Just a side note. Leghorns are not considered dual purpose. They are an egg layer and though some people do raise the excess cockerels they get for fryers, they do not make a good meat bird due to their light body structure.
     
  5. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    check out the very informative stickies at the top of this page
     
  6. Dashi

    Dashi New Egg

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    Jun 16, 2011
    Between me and my brother who lives about 50 feet away, we have raised about two dozen breeds of chickens. some for pets (bantams, Sumatrans) some for meat (brahmans, australorps) some for eggs (barred rocks, RIR, golden hamburgs). And turkeys, geese, peafowl,and ducks.
    THe most sickly of them all were the Cornish X breed that we just raised for meat this year. They grew fast, freakishly fast. They all had nasty abscesses on their feet, and out of 20, 2 of them died from... paralysis, 4 more had already died as chicks (not too unusual). they stunk, literally. Now, no one wants to eat these "mutant' carcasses.
    Almost as bad were the Broad Breasted White Turkeys we raised a couple years ago. Now we do Slates and Bourbon reds.
    If your only concern is to eat the cheapest meat possible, just go to the discount store, because you really don't care what you're eating. McNuggets are indeed chicken, but tortured mutant freaks that often can't stand up due to inbreeding.
    Raise them with love, good food, kill them with as little trauma as possible, and they are happy to nourish you body and soul. Diseased animals deserve mercy and kindness but shouldn't be eaten. Simple
     
  7. Afterburner

    Afterburner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Vancouver, WA
    I have a fellow coworker who raises meat chickens for personal consumption and has had had similar health issues with cornish game hens. Frustrated, he took to a much more novel approach. He buys bulk rooster chicks of dual purpose breeds such as Barred Rock, New Hampshire Red, Jersey Giants, Wyndottes and Delwares. He raises the roosters in their own section of his multi acre plot. they are fed the typical table scraps, grass, weeds bugs and flock grazer. After about five to six months, they are slaughtered. He also lets them age, whole, in the fridge for a week before even thinking of preparing them to eat. He says, the meat is tender enough to be similar to commercial broiler meat but has a much 'richer' flavour. I have had a couple of breasts and can say, it has a very deep flavour. The flavour and texture is kind of like comparing farmed salmon to wild caught, Pacific slamon.
     
  8. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    Quote:Hi Dashi, [​IMG] and I agree with you. [​IMG]
     
  9. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Quote:I'm not sure how you were raising your cornish cross, but out of the hundreds I have raised, I haven't had a single one with abscesses on their feet or that died from paralysis. I have had the odd one here and there that has trouble walking after a while (perhaps two or three out of a couple hundred), but mine are hardly tortured mutant freaks. They are birds that grow quickly and are meant to be processed early. I do care about what I eat a great deal but the meat I raise also has to be cost-effective. We raise our cornish in the best possible conditions and have had very good results with them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  10. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Quote:I'm not sure how you were raising your cornish cross, but out of the hundreds I have raised, I haven't had a single one with abscesses on their feet or that died from paralysis. I have had the odd one here and there that has trouble walking after a while (perhaps two or three out of a couple hundred), but mine are hardly tortured mutant freaks. They are birds that grow quickly and are meant to be processed early. I do care about what I eat a great deal but the meat I raise also has to be cost-effective. We raise our cornish in the best possible conditions and have had very good results with them.

    Thank you for addressing this properly PotterWatch.
     

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