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Best Breed to Breed for Meat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by GwenFarms, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 26, 2008
    We want to breed some chickens for meat only. We have no interest in layers, as we already have our laying chickens ordered, I always go with golden comets (their a red sex link). I was going to order one of the special heavy breed assortments, but now I'm thinking of getting something I can breed to have a continuous supply of meat birds all year. What is a good breed to use? Is this even a good idea when I can get Cackle's all heavy breed fry pan special for around $40 including shipping per 100 birds. 100 birds is alot to process at one time. I'm thinking if I can adjust the numbers ready to butcher throughout the year. So what do you think?
     
  2. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you'll never get anything like a cornish xrock.. but, you could just get the dark cornish. That's probably the closest to production meat bird. there's a couple of folks here that also like freedom rangers (google it). Other than that, pretty much any dual purpose or heavy breed.
     
  3. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Well, I guess I can't advise you on which ones to breed for (from my own experience anyhow), but I can tell you that if you order 50 cornish rocks (they sent 54 and they have all survived so far), they eat a ton, poop even more and raise so much dust. I can't find anyone with a plucker, so I think I have bitten off more than I could chew...or pluck at least. Today they are 9 days old and already have tripled in size. Their growth rate is astonishing.

    Think long and hard before you buy 100 meat birds. You have to decide if you can store that many, and you don't want to let them grow and grow, because the older they get, the less tender they will be. You have a good point about rasing a few clutches along as you need. You might try some cornish and rocks and make your own crosses. They likely will not grow as fast as the strains you can buy from hatcheries, but they should do nicely. Greyfields was doing freedom rangers, I think and someone else was going to try to breed his own cornish crosses, but I don't remember off hand who that was.
     
  4. muddler6

    muddler6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Jefferson County, PA
    Cornish X are great meat birds, and the turn around is about 7 to 8 weeks. I raised 15 this past spring, and plan to raise more, this year. I have friends who are begging me to raise some for them after they tasted them. You will go through a lot of feed, and get plenty of manure for the compost bin, but the taste is well worth it. They are not pretty, and the attempts to crow will make you laugh, but my smallest was 6.5 pounds and I had 4 that went over 10 pounds. If you can get roosters, they grow faster, but taste the same. I think I will go defrost one now to cook tomorrow!! [​IMG]
     
  5. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    If you want to use your Golden Comet as the layers I'd suggest you get a Cornish rooster to mate them. If you get the heavy rooster combo you will likely get a cornish rooster if that hatchery sells them. If not save a Plymouth rock rooster.

    You might want to check into just ordering the Golden Comets straight run and using those roos, they get a good size too. Check the price and see what is better for you.
     
  6. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sure would like to know if anyone had luck breeding their own Cornish/Rock X! That sounds promising.
     
  7. muddler6

    muddler6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it is cheaper easier, and more reliable to get them as day old chicks than try to breed and hatch them, they are pretty cheap to get.
     
  8. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    They are not cheep anymore, over $1.70 each here now, and unreliable in delivery and genetics. I agree, if you have an incubator with enough capasity and hens of a rock cross laying anyway all you need is a Cornish roo and you can do this. No they will not be as good as the really good ones, but the last 2 years the good ones are hard to get a hold of, and often you get substituted something you could have bred yourself anyway. Last year my birds feathered out mostly white but every bird had a few feathers of any other colour, so clearly crossed out.
     
  9. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going to a stab at it. Of course they won't be anything like the cornish xrocks you get from the hatcheries, but I don't need to bring them to the market as quick as most folks are interested in doing.

    Anyway, I'm gonna cross a dark cornish with a barred rock and see what I end up with. I plan on doing a lot of cross breeding just for the fun of it. Hopefully my chicks will survive the shipping. [​IMG]
     
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Yes. I have put my Dark Cornish on Sussex, Rocks, Freedom Rangers and Black Sex Links and have eaten the results. I like them. They just look a bit different from the jumbo cornish cross customers are used to. So for the time being I'm still working on the correct formula as well as upgading my stock for size. I am collecting another clutch from BSL's and FR's right now and I promise to get some photos of the setup (I'm simulateneously breeding ducks and geese, too, argh!).

    I seriously suggest that you buy in day old meat birds until you learn the ropes. Then work towards a breeding program as you gain experience.

    I did not enjoy the experience raising cornish crosses one bit. It's not why I'm in farming to deal with those monsters, the mortality and other 'issues'. So, I am now using Freedom Rangers and couldn't be more pleased. They also look 'right' and I sold them very successfully at the farmer's market last season.
     

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