Best meat birds? Where to buy?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ottbjumper06, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. ottbjumper06

    ottbjumper06 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm looking into acquiring 25-30 broiler chicks in February or March and wanting to know what the fastest growing breed with the best tasting meat (in your opinion) is. I'm brand new to the meat bird scene so any and all information you choose to share would be greatly appreciated.

    I also raise Ameraucanas and Iowa Blues so am considering whether to use the extra cockerels as my sole meat birds or if I should get broiler chicks as well.

    Thank you!
     
  2. ottbjumper06

    ottbjumper06 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone?
     
  3. ohiocluckcluck

    ohiocluckcluck Out Of The Brooder

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    It depends on how fast you want your chickens to be ready and if you want to ration them or are looking to forage them. If you want a bird that goes from chick to table in 8 or so weeks your best bet is the cornish rock cross broilers, they do best in my experiance by keeping them in a pen and feeding them broiler feed. Mine averaged 9 to 10 pounds. As far as the meat it tastes better than store bought (no added solutions to water it down) I have been getting them at our local TSC but I'm going to order 25 from whelp's hatchery soon, I was recomended them by another person on BYC and the pics they had of their chicks looked good. They also offer weeky shipments. I have also used some extra barred rock cocks and they were disapointing as far as amount of time and feed they need to get to a good size, at 6 months they were about 3 pounds dressed and were tough ( i don't capon them), I have heard that rangers are good foraging bird and some people forage their rock crosses but I assume it takes longer to feed them out to market size. Thats about all I can say I hope that helps! :)
     
  4. ottbjumper06

    ottbjumper06 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is great info, thanks :)
     
  5. BCMaraniac

    BCMaraniac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got CX(my first meaties) last year from TSC as well during Chick Days, and some Red Ranger broilers for the summer from McMurrays. I learned to caponize last year over the summer with some white DP hatchery cockerels from McMurrays as well, then ended up with some mixed chicks from my Marans/Lavender Orpington. I had several slips, so butchered them out.....some 4-4 1/2 pounds at around 20-22 weeks. Turned out quite well. I haven't tried a full capon yet....still growing them out..7 1/2 months old.

    If you aren't going to caponize and grow out the DP cockerels for 24-28 weeks, then you would be better served to get CX or Red Broilers. The CX will grow out quicker, but are more susceptible to leg problems and heart failure due to their rapid growth if you grow them out in a pen. If they free range, they seem to do better. Just remember that they poop.....a lot. The Red Rangers grow out slower, tolerate heat better than CX. Keep in mind the time of year and your climate, and how you are set up with space, etc when making the decision about broilers.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. ottbjumper06

    ottbjumper06 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank for the info guys. I don't have a problem with poop, I have ducks. LOL :) I think I'll probably end up going with CX. For first time, how many should I go for? Space is not an issue but have 30+ breeding stock held back from last year with another 35 on the way so am keeping that in mind when it comes to frigid early morning chores here in Iowa!
     
  7. BCMaraniac

    BCMaraniac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I got 15 to start with....but then I got the fever......caponizing fever.....so I can raise DP from egg to freezer. I am just trying to find the breed/cross that works best for me. So I have some work to do with all that.

    I had very little experience with birds when I got my first meat birds, but you sound much more experienced with chickens than me. I am sure you can handle more that I did.
     
  8. Tomtommom

    Tomtommom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just slaughtered a Ameraucana roo at 17 weeks. Very tasty, tender... but skinny as can be. 3 lbs 2 oz at 17 weeks is rather pitiful *laugh* But, he was delicious.

    I too hope to get a few meaties this year. Likely going to pick them up at TSC. They had CX last year, so I will probably end up with those.

    I've found Plymouth rocks to be great dual purpose, if you want to go that route. I've got two partridge rocks that are really nice and heavy. My white rocks are a little leaner, but nothing to sneeze at either. They're early layers, started at about 20-22 weeks. I think they reached full weight at about 25-30 weeks. Definitely not a fast grower, but they pay with eggs while they grow.
     
  9. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most DP birds are slim, and usually not worth the feed and effort that went into them. I have raised both, and it is very satisfying to kill your home hatched birds. However, unless you have worked hard with genetics and breeding it usually will not yield as much.

    In all honesty, you cannot go wrong with Cornish Rock Xs. Ready in a few weeks, and the yield is awesome! They are aggravating as sin, but they end up well. They taste different from store bought, but don't have the gamey taste cockerels sometimes have.

    I can my chicken, and both types can up nicely and taste great! Just know home hatched birds (unless caponized) will eat a lot more feed, and take a lot longer to grow and you will not get a very good yield.

    As for the number of birds, I recomend going all out and doing a big batch. Because it takes just as much time, and effort to do 4 small batches compared to 1 big batch. This will make sure you get the job done once, and will free up chore time. No less than 25, but no more than 50. IMHO
     
  10. aerica

    aerica Out Of The Brooder

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    Everyone's information is great as I am looking to get some meat birds for the first time this year too! I was curious to know if you were looking for the best tasting breed, regardless of how long it would take to reach processing age, what anyone's advice would be.

    Thanks for your input!
     

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