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Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by JoJo 95, Sep 5, 2010.
Is there anyway to breed bantam broilers that grow as or almost as fast as standard cornish x.
You probably could but I wouldnt see the purpose of bantam broilers. If you want a small carcase you could just butcher the meat crosses earlier.
i just would like to see if it can be done. Does anyone know how?
Almost anything can be done with selective breeding. It probably would not be that hard to develop a fast growing bantam sized meat bird. That said, OSUman is correct, the small bantam-sized commercially raised birds sold typically as "cornish hens" are simply the same LF Cornish X birds that have been processed at an earlier age. If your goal is to raise small broilers, that is likely the most cost-effective route, rather than breeding for a bird that is bantam sized at adulthood.
yup, they're called quail... You could try breeding a bantam rock and a bantam cornish, then you'd have a bantam cornish-X. that would actually be a fun experiment...
What you would do is breed to acquire what traits you would like to have. Get a fast going breed and a breed that has large breasts.
what are some fast growing bantams that i could use?
Ok, well this is kind of a hard question to answer. There is no breed "broiler", there are actually a great many varietys of meat birds that can be called broilers. The old "CornishXRock" is not actually a cornish crossed with a white rock anymore. Meat birds have been bred for many years and turned into what they are today through careful selective breeding. To make a bantam version of this could be done, but for it to grow as quickly as modern "broilers" would take years of selective breeding and at least a decent understanding of genetics. Which brings me to my second point...
Why? The broiler type of chicken is a completely utilitarian type of chicken. It grows as large as it can, as fast as possible. It's only purpose in life is to make more meat. They grow to around 5-7 pounds in 6-8 weeks, which is when they are harvested. If they are grown more, they are known as roasters. While they can live a normal lifespan, doing so requires careful feed regulation and planning (or else they grow too large, and possibly die of heart attack). So, by the definition of a broiler, you CAN'T make a bantam version. You can make a fast growing meaty bantam, but it would not be a broiler.
If you just want a small meat bird, get normal broilers and butcher them at a few weeks of age. Those little "cornish game hens" you see in the stores are the exact same breed as the broilers, just butchered at ~3 weeks of age. The younger the bird, the tenderer it is. So if you just butchered young broilers, it would probably taste better than a full grown "bantam broilers".
So, the short answer is yes. You can breed fast growing bantam broilers. However, the years of work required would in no way be worth the final product. There is no market for fast growing small birds, when you already have fast growing large birds. Making a broiler is not as simple as crossing 2 breeds, it takes years of selective breeding and planning.
there was someone on here about a week ago with pics of their bantam cornish, I would start there. and if were me I would add in silkies I have had some roos with HUGE double breasts. then I would look for a fast gower to mix in. What a cool project, I hope you do it!
edited to say: I am not contridicting what chicken above me said, it's all true; however I don't see why you shouldn't set about making something you want to make and think might be better than what we already have. Nettie Metcalf did not have a poultry science degree or a deep knowledge of genetics but she developed her own breed in 1841 and it still exists today. Pretty cool move.
Indeed. I didn't mean to sound discouraging, but was running out of time and had to run to class
I know several people who have no formal training in genetics, but still have great success in their breeding program. It certainly sounds interesting, and would be a neat project to see if it could be done. I just didn't want you to think it would be something that could be done with just a few breedings. You may not get them as fast growing as regular broilers (it took many years, thousands of geneticists, and a billion dollar industry to get them where they are today), but I am sure with a bit of work you could get a noticeably faster growing bird. Since this is on a small scale you don't need to worry about feed conversion and all that economic stuff that plays into broiler breeding, so you can focus entirely on getting a small, fast growing bird.
If you decide to try it, I recommend finding someone with show quality cornish, and probably show quality versions of whatever you choose for your fast grower (white rocks would be good, as they were the basis of the current broilers). When you want to greatly improve a trait, it helps to start with strong pure genetics. I would hate to see your project hit a roadblock because of low quality birds.
You will need to keep detailed records if you decide to try this. Keep track of which hen/cock produced which chicks, which chicks grow the fastest and largest, and any anomalies that may show up. Select the fastest growing birds from your hatches and breed them, and so on down the line. Keep in mind that you want these to remain bantams, so unlike the monster sized broilers you will want to keep the average sized (not the largest) but fastest growing birds. It would probably be good to run at least 2 separate lines, so later down the road you have genetically different stock you can combine and reinvigorate your lines.
If you decide to do this, feel free to PM me any questions you may have down the line. If I can't answer them, I know a whole assortment of professors that probably can.