Best meat bird for dark meat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by swiftra, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. swiftra

    swiftra New Egg

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    Jan 8, 2013
    So after searching the postings here I am more confused then when I started so thought I would pose the question and see the response I get. Like the title says what would be the best chicken to raise for meat birds and have a majority of dark meat? I know that all chickens will have some white meat but both me and the wife prefer dark over white meat and would like to raise birds for that purpose. We tried cornish rocks last year and neither of us cared for them. Haven't tried rangers yet but they sound about the same as the cornish. I was thinking something along the lines of a buckeye or something similiar. Good choice? Bad choice? I realize that I may have to get something that takes a little longer to develope than a common meat bird but that's okay just want to make a good choice here.
     
  2. jchny2000

    jchny2000 Goslings are precious!

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    try pheasant or guinea hen. both are mostly a dark meat bird [​IMG] I prefer the darker poultry as well. My guineas stay put.. pheasant and quail are harder to contain.
     
  3. jchny2000

    jchny2000 Goslings are precious!

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    OHH and [​IMG] glad you are here!
     
  4. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    My friend farms black chickens to use in herbal soup - that is popular here as a health tonic.

    His birds are completely black, even the legs and skin. The meat is black also with NO white meat. They are really delicious, stronger tasting that normal chicken - more like pheasant.

    Silkie also have black skin and dark meat.

    Try a google search for black chicken soup or Chinese black chickens.
     
  5. swiftra

    swiftra New Egg

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    Thanks for the quick replies and thank you for the welcome. As far as pheasant or guinea hens go I was looking to stay within the chicken realm of things since I do not have another pen I could keep pheasants in. Although pheasants are in the plans sometime down the road just need to get things setup for them first. As for silkies I have heard that there meat is black but not a true dark meat taste. More like white meat with a dark coloring. Any truth to that?
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Most of the hatchery dual purpose birds are going to have nice meaty thighs and legs, sounds like that's what you're looking for. I've seen wyandotte carcass pics on here with huge thighs!
     
  7. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might be pleasantly surprised by Rangers (or Red Broilers or whatever you'd like to call 'em). I find their meat very flavorful - much more so than the blander CX's. We grew both last year as an experiment and liked the FR's better for flavor and activity in the coop. Our Black Java layers are good quality dark meat, but not a lot of white meat, so their carcasses aren't impressive on the table. You could try one of the hatchery special packages, where they mix up a bunch of various breeds into one sale - to grow out to see what you like best. The cockerals are always going to be bigger than the pullets, and if you're allowed them, it'd be a great experiment for you to try.

    Kizanne had a thread on here not that long ago about a breeding trial she was running....here it is:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/667850/my-next-great-experiment

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. mstarr

    mstarr Out Of The Brooder

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    I've raised a few rangers and there is a significant amount of dark meat. All the meat is moist and very flavorful. I'll be getting more of them this year. I don't think you would be disappointed with them. Also, they are docile and friendly, nice to have around.
     
  9. jchny2000

    jchny2000 Goslings are precious!

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    How long do they take to reach weight, as compared to the CX? My CX were "ok" but I do prefer the dark meat myself and I almost considered getting a fryer special, but gees, heritage breeds take a long time to mature. My GLW roo, Red just hit 8 months and may be 12 pounds live weight. (Not eating him, he is a good boy!) We go thru 3 birds in one meal here, there's 8-9 adults at the supper table usually.. The rangers are really appealing. Can anyone offer their experience as to how long the grow out is for fryer size?
     
  10. jchny2000

    jchny2000 Goslings are precious!

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    Ohh i missed this, glad i went back and read. bet you answered my question.
     

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