Best meat bird?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Deb Edwards, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Deb Edwards

    Deb Edwards Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2007
    We've had dual purpose RIRs and others over the years and are ready for some meat birds. In looking through McMurray and doing a little investigating, I was assuming that the Cornish X was the way to go. But in the vein of The Omnivore's Dilemma and other books on Genetically Modified Organisms and what our country is doing to our food, I'm not 100% positive I feel "right" about purchasing 25 Cornish X roos. Have they been bred such that they grow so fast that they suffer, in your opinion? Naturally I want tasty meat on the table, and naturally I would like more meat for the amount of work that goes into getting them TO the table - but I also don't want to feel guilty for raising a bird that is genetically unstable and possibly suffering for my benefit. SO ... I'm not saying I won't get Cornish X roos, nor am I bashing anyone for doing so ... I guess I really want to know is if there is a good meat chicken that isn't so genetically disposed to grow so fast? I almost feel like Frank Perdue if I raise this breed. Please anyone for or opposed to Cornish X feel free to chime in!
    Thanks!
    Deb
     
  2. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    The Cornish Crosses are NOT genetically modified! They are the result of intense selection programs to produce animal protein as efficiently and quickly as possible.

    Jim
     
  3. Deb Edwards

    Deb Edwards Out Of The Brooder

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    I didn't intend to infer that the Cornish X is genetically modified and hope I didn't offend or mislead anyone. I realize that they have been bred to be rapid gainers - and I'm just inquiring as to whether or not they suffer as a result of their rapid growth. I don't want this to become a politically heated debate - I'd just like to hear opinions and experiences about meat birds, including the Cornish X. If not the Cornish X, what do others recommend as a good meat bird?
     
  4. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Fowlerville,MI
    We raise Cornish X. 8 weeks and in the freezer. Fast and easy.
     
  5. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ask any person born without sight, hearing or limbs and see if they tell you if they suffer ? They will inevitably tell you that since they haven't experienced sight or hearing or use of a limb a resounding NO.
     
  6. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ohio
    If your looking for a fast gaining bird in a short time frame with the least amount of work go with the cornish x.

    They aren't as bad as people make them out to be. There are alternates but they have yet to prove that they are substainable enough to compete with cornish x's in my opinion...

    They need a high protein diet and a strict diet of 12 hours on 12 hours off after 2-3 weeks of age. Preferably give them pasture and sunshine and they will prosper. If not they seem to rot away if left in a small encloser. It's all in how they are raised, if your going to keep them in a small pen that's fine... they just need extra attention. More cleanings are needed the smaller the pen is, if it's dirty they become a mess. Cornish x's grow and produce to what you put in.... it's the old saying you get what you put into it.

    So with that sad if you follow all of the guidlines you should be pleased with the results you will get with the cornish x's. Leg problems and heart problems are only an issue if over fed.

    www.jmhatchery.com is the alternate broiler I would recommend if you were to go a different route than the cornish x's. They do take up to twice as long to get the same weight gain than the cornish x's.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Deb Edwards

    Deb Edwards Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2007
    Thanks! Is it feasible to mix Jumbo Cornish X Rocks wtih Cornish Roasters - or should I just stick to one or the other? If you say 12 on and 12 hours off of feed, I assume this means I can't let them free range with my laying hens?

    I feel like I'm embarking on an entirely new adventure and am afraid that our existing set-up for 12 free range laying hens won't suit.

    Looks like I have some research to do.

    Thanks again - Deb
     
  8. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A system like 12 on 12 off best suits you if you just use natural daylight to be your timer. For instance let them eat from 7 am till 7 at night full feed. Then when night rolls around let them sleep and rest, some do 24/7 and it is too unnatural for the bird in my opinion. These birds are already genetic frankensteins of the chicken word... they don't need to eat 24/7 to gain good results.

    Problem with keeping them with your laying hens is the fact they will not get along unless you have a lot of space.... also they eat two seperate kinds of feed. One with lots of protein the other not so much.

    One way to raise them is in a tractor like below...

    [​IMG]


    Or in a day range system like below....

    [​IMG]

    Either way you will have clean healthy birds that gain weight quicker than any dual purpose.... the birds with the day range system will have a more firm meat than the tractors as they use more of their muscles. They also consume more feed as they are constantly foraging. The trick to good foraging is to start them on pasture early... we do as little as 7-10 days weather permitting.

    The jumbos are a strain designed to get 8-12 lbs in 10-12 weeks the others are designed to go about 4-7 lbs in 8 weeks. Personally I would go with one or the other as your not going to be able to tell them apart. If you raise the strain that is designed to be butchered in 8 weeks and mistake them for the jumbos you will have heart attacks and leg problems as this particular strain is only meant to get so big.

    Good Luck!
     
  9. LauraSBale

    LauraSBale Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mountain White Rock,
    they grow fast, get hugh, and taste great, we get ares from Townline in MIch
     
  10. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Fowlerville,MI
    My 2 cents on raising meat birds with laying hens:

    They both need different feed, so I wouldn't advise it. We do the tractor/free range with the meat chickens and it works really well. Just have to move the pen every day, it always amazes me how much they can poop!
    I do let the meat chickens out to free range and the hens come over and check them out. They get a little teritorial, but everyone knows where their home is!
     

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