Best Fryer Chickens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by muffassa, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. muffassa

    muffassa In the Brooder

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    In your opinion which breed is the best tasting fryer and how long from hatch to butcher date? I've been told California white rocks from an old timer but nobody seems to know that breed.
     
  2. chickencheeper

    chickencheeper Free Ranging

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    :welcomeCheck out purelypoultry.com , they have a wide variety of “broiler chickens”
     
  3. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Crowing

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    Cackle, Purely Poultry... I see 'California White' all over... but they're layers, not fryers.
     
  4. muffassa

    muffassa In the Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2017
    California white rocks are apparently different than California white. California white lays brown eggs where the white rocks lay white eggs.
     
  5. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

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    I suspect your old timer is confused about the name.

    There are California Whites. A hybrid created by crossing a white Leghorn hen with a California Grey (a production black) rooster. They are heavy producers of large white eggs and not great meat producers.

    There are white (Plymouth) Rocks. They are more of a dual purpose fowl. Hens are good producers of brown eggs. Depending on the source extra cockerels are probably ready to butcher 16-20 weeks of age. Carcass size of hatchery sourced birds will be on the small side.

    Then there are Cornish X, also called Cornish Rocks. Absolutely nothing else will compare to their feed conversion and growth. They are meant to be butchered 6-8 weeks, maybe even earlier if you want to process larger cockerels for fryers. If you want the fastest growing birds then they are what you want. There is a trade off, their fast growth can cause leg and heart issues so they need to be managed differently than other chickens.

    If you want something that grows almost as quickly but doesn't have the health problems of the Cornish X look into Freedom Rangers, Pioneers and the various strains of red and black broilers. They will take longer, 12-14 weeks on average, but will have more meat (especially breast meat) than the dual purpose types. The pullets can easily be kept as layers if you don't want to butcher them all though they won't lay as well as the better egg producers.
     
  6. muffassa

    muffassa In the Brooder

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    Thanks for the info Keesmom. I've been looking at the Cornish roasters for fryers and butchering the roosters young. Murray McMurray suggests to do it that way then the hens a week or two later. Any experience with that? I'll wait until April to do this and that's why I'm trying to get as educated as possible before then so that I can make a reasonable decision. I appreciate any and all input on this. Thanks
     
  7. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

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    Let me just say this is what has worked for me. I've raised Cornish X, Freedom Rangers and extra dual purpose cockerels for meat. I like all 3.

    Cornish X have been the mellowest by far. I pasture them and many have been happy to range instead of plant themselves in front of the feeder. They do produce large amount of manure in short order so be prepared. I don't raise them in the spring though. I prefer to start them late summer. It's warm/hot enough so no supplemental heat is necessary for young chicks. They are well feathered in before the chill sets in too. Here they are all butchered on the same day. I like to have both fryer size and roaster size birds in the freezer. If you want them all the same size then the butchering will have to be staggered.

    The Freedom Rangers have been good too. They are also pastured, and they prefer it. They have a more chickeny taste and much better dark meat if that's what you like. I did have one bunch that was more aggressive to each other. As with the Cornish X I've raised, I start them late summer.

    Dual purpose cockerels will never reach the size of the specialized meat types. However they excel in chicken flavor in soups, stews and casseroles. So I always put some in the freezer each year too.
     
    Allie Grace Sanders likes this.
  8. Rye

    Rye Chirping

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    I happen to like our leghorn cockerels for fryers. Small bones and less feed than the dual purpose birds we've tried over the years. New Hampshires we raise for meat make decent fryers of bigger size, but the amount of meat is pretty close. The bones are larger on the New Hampshires, They are older, and ate more feed. So it's leghorns for us.
     
    Maeschak likes this.
  9. muffassa

    muffassa In the Brooder

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    Thanks Keesmom for the info. It was very helpful. Rye, how long did it take to get to butcher size on the leghorns?
     
  10. Rye

    Rye Chirping

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    I usually space them out from 12-20 weeks. Start with the larger cockerels. Some I part out, some get spatchcocked, and others I split in half. Half of a bird is usually good enough for one person with other sides at the meal.

    Now, a lot can depend on your strain of leghorn. Mine are larger than the commercial leghorns and are a mix of different lines. Size and growth rate will vary, but you should be good to go from 12-20 weeks with any leghorns.

    If getting from a hatchery just for fryers order male chicks. They are cheaper.
     

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