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Are males or females better?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Farmin Momma, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Farmin Momma

    Farmin Momma Songster

    Feb 18, 2012
    Mill Creek, Wa
    So I am thinking about raiseing meat chickens next spring and was looking at prices. The males seem to cost more, does that mean that the males are what we want? I would have figured that the females would have been better. Thanks for any help!

  2. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    The commercial broilers that you are (probably) looking at are ready to harvest at 8-12 weeks of age. At that age, the hormones have not had a chance to really start flowing yet, so there is no difference in the taste and texture of the meat between males and females. The males however do tend to grow larger/faster than the females, which is why the cost more. Many people who raise meat birds find the males more desirable because if they order only males they will have larger birds and all of their birds will be roughly the same size when they are processed. They're willing to pay the extra for the uniformity. If you buy straight run, then it's usually cheaper but at 8 weeks there could be several pounds difference between the males and females which means that you will end up with a freezer full of slightly differently sized chickens. Some people butcher the females a little earlier (4-6 weeks) to get the small "cornish hens" like what you would buy at the grocery store. It's not really that males or females are better meat birds, but more about personal preferences on finished size and uniformity of the batch. If it's your first try at meat birds, most people (even those with a definite preference for one gender over the other) would recommend getting straight run and seeing if you have a preference for one gender over the other.
  3. Farmin Momma

    Farmin Momma Songster

    Feb 18, 2012
    Mill Creek, Wa
    Thank you for your help. I have not raised meat birds before but have prossed some of my hens that no longer laid and some rooster that needed to go. I just wanted to make sure that I buy the ones with the most meat on them. Again thanks!
  4. Anna-MN

    Anna-MN Chirping

    Sep 19, 2012
    I did 55 meat birds this summer and they were straight run. When they were butchered they all looked the same and were all near the same size. I did Cornish Xs.
  5. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Our Freedom Rangers this spring were straight run - ended up with 16 cockerals and 9 pullets.

    My husband noticed a difference in processing the birds - the cockerals had a much larger cavity and it was easier to get his hand in there to get out the parts needed (lungs on pullets were very challenging due to their narrower cavity).

    Our cockerals grew faster and were processed first. The pullets we waited another 2 wks and were still smaller than the first cockerals.

    Our Cornish Cross fall 'crop' are only 3wks old. I am starting to tell who's a cockeral and who's a pullet simply from physical size and shank diameter. Since we process ourselves, it doesn't matter if we process a few a week or the whole bunch in a weekend. We can regulate how big we want the birds to be.
  6. ghulst

    ghulst Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Zeeland Michigan
    I would use strait run cornish X.​

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