Best meat birds?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by funkychickenowner, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. funkychickenowner

    funkychickenowner Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 30, 2008
    Sussex County NJ
    I have done a search and have read till my eyes bleed but I still want another opinion. What are the best meat birds to raise I currently have 25 egg birds. I have set up another coop and run and want to do some meat birds to speak stock my freezer. What is everyone opinion on the best type of birds and proper processing time (age or size) to do this. The eggers turned into pets but I see with meat birds if you dont take em out soon enugh they will die so I want to raise a flock of them, Just to eat. Thanks!!!
     
  2. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 29, 2007
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Asking which is the best meat bird is kind of like asking what's the best flavor of ice cream. You'll get many opinions. In other words, it depends on what you prefer.

    If you want super fast growers,(6-8 weeks) Cornish X is your bird. If you're concerned with possible leg problems, or the possibility that they may keel over dead before you butcher, you might want the Cornish roasters, (8-10 weeks, I think, I may be off on that) or one of the other slightly slower growing meat birds, such as Red Bros, or the red broilers, or black broilers that many people like. I think they're mostly 9-12 weeks.

    The slower growers are better foragers and spend less time pooping indoors if you let them range, if that's a consideration for you.

    The problems Cornish X can have can mostly be avoided by what and how you feed them, hanging feeders so they have to stand up to eat, and other factors. There are dozens of opinions about that, too. Some hatcheries provide instructions for raising the specific meat birds that they sell.
     
  4. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Fowlerville,MI
    We raise Cornish X straight run. We get them from Hoovers Hatchery in Iowa.

    I like that they are just a 2 month commitment. We are on our 3rd batch this summer! We sell our meat chickens after we get the processed. Every year I get more people buying so we get to raise more.

    At 3 weeks old or so we put them into an outside movable coop so they get fresh grass to eat and it keeps their underside cleaner. Our grass gets fertilized too.
     
  5. picklespickles

    picklespickles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2007
    the BEST meat birds are ones you don't like (meanies) or ones you don't know well (newbies).
     
  6. 1967rew

    1967rew New Egg

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    Sep 1, 2008
    can i slow the growth down by using a different diet
     
  7. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sort of, whithold feed from them. In other words, don't let them have feed 24x7 and keep the hours of light down; once they're feathered out keep the light to 8 hours a day.

    Kind of miserable for them though, they're constantly hungry because of the breeding in them so keeping food from them is essentially starving them.

    Much more humane to go with a slower growing broiler or just use a fast growing dual purpose bird.
     
  8. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Quote:Sort of, whithold feed from them. In other words, don't let them have feed 24x7 and keep the hours of light down; once they're feathered out keep the light to 8 hours a day.

    Kind of miserable for them though, they're constantly hungry because of the breeding in them so keeping food from them is essentially starving them.

    Much more humane to go with a slower growing broiler or just use a fast growing dual purpose bird.

    I agree. If you want a slower growing bird, just order slower growing birds, (red bros, or red or black broilers, or Cornish roasters) rather than try to change the genetic growth pattern of a faster one. Withholding feed for very long periods like that would just make them miserable. Hanging the feeders helps with leg and heart problems though, making them stand up to eat.

    It's always better to get birds that are suitable for your purposes and preferences to begin with, than to try to change one that isn't what you want. That just doesn't work very well.
     

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