Best meat breed

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by NCBantam22, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. NCBantam22

    NCBantam22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Something that would be ready for butcher by 12 weeks and does not have health problems like the Cornish x Rocks
     
  2. Cornish X's do not generally have health issues before 12 weeks. If you want another meat bird try Freedom Rangers. If you don't like the rangers try Plymouth Rocks and butcher at 18 weeks.

    Wish you the best.
     
  3. NCBantam22

    NCBantam22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Local Tractor Supply has Cornish and Production Red chicks.
    Might pick up a few Cornish chicks along with the Reds.
     
  4. mmeyette

    mmeyette Out Of The Brooder

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    I will be trying some broilers next year, and am going to go with the Freedom Rangers, but would like to raise my own. I have a BR rooster, and am wondering what would cross best with him for good meat birds? I don't like the idea of the Cornish X myself
     
  5. NCBantam22

    NCBantam22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah I don't like CORNISH X but I do like CORNISH
     
  6. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I L O V E the Cornish X !!! Simply the best meat chicken as it is the most efficient feed converter to meat in a very short time. [​IMG] Cuts down weeks of labor too. [​IMG]
     
  7. AgroUrica

    AgroUrica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Indeed. Why take 12 weeks when you can get the job done in 5 or 6? From the little experience I have with the birds, I believe that overcrowding more than anything else leads to the health problems. Give them some room to exercise a bit and keep some space between them and the next bird, and it appears the health problems are greatly reduced. I've also kept birds well past 6 weeks, again, with more open conditions, and have not seen any health problems. Having said that, I've also switched them to ground corn after 6 weeks instead of continuing with commercial feed. The birds don't gain weight as fast but they look better and my clients like the taste.
     
  8. Another idea for you is the orpingtons. They are large with fluffy butts. I think they would still b good for butcher at 16-18 weeks though.
     
  9. SJ

    SJ Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Its hard to argue against the CornishX when it comes to producing a meaty carcass in a short time period. If all your looking to do is grow some meat birds in a short amount of time go with the CornishX. If you have other goals like improving a breeds meat qualities or sustaining a flock for producing your own meat birds allow me to share a few thoughts.
    First on the CornishX, you should know the CornishX is not just some hatchery Cornish rooster crossed with a hatchery Plymouth Rock hen that anyone can get.The CornishX is a multigenerational hybrid that MILLIONS of dollars and thousands of hours of research produced. It has its strength and short comings but most problems are due to inexperience with the breed. In short they require a bit for attention to detail than most dual purpose breeds. They also won't breed true. Putting two CornishX together wont give you chicks that grow like the parents. If you can master the growing process the CornishX is the most efficent meat producer there is.
    Next the dual purpose breeds that make a good meat birds are not the CornishX. What I mean by that is your not goin to get a Plymouth Rock to be 8lbs in 8 weeks on free range conditions, ever. Even from the better lines. Growing 1lb a week is special. Truth is that a 6lbs bird in twelve weeks is a more realistic GOAL from most dual purpose breeds. Having said that most hatchery stock are going to grow out to 6lbs in 16 to 22 weeks. Cornish, like the heritage dark or white laced red are a +20 week animal.
    Which takes me to my next point if you want free ranging broilers gear up for the long haul. Producing a quality table animal is something to take pride in. Seeing the fruits of your labor is one of the greatest rewards of animal husbandry. It takes times and effort. Hatchery stock will need improvement so get the best quality birds you can find. I have bred a twelve week broiler that no one else has. Its a cross of my own breeding and I take pride in that. It took three years to get all my birds to get to 6lbs in 14 weeks.
    So what I'm saying is that when you ask, what is the best meat breed it is a matter of personal goals. For me the best meat breed is the mutt that I got ranging my lawn. If you care to know its daddy was pure cornish.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  10. SJ

    SJ Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    With that out of the way my opinion on what dual purpose breeds excell at meat production are.
    Consider feather coloring. There is a reason the CornishX is white. The bird looks more presentable when plucked because there are no dark specks which darker feathered birds will have. If you your going to skin then this wont matter.
    Consider laying potential and broodiness you may find you want to hatch your own birds. A broody hen can be as good as gold.

    The breeds I like all rank high in these areas.

    Top 5 picks for my backyard meat makers.
    1. Delawares- The broiler industry standard before the CornishX. A cross between Barred Plymouth Rocks and New Hampshire Reds. Mostly white feathering and yellow skin produces an attractive "whole bird" carcass. Uniform and rapid growth even on range conditions. A larger bird growing to +8 lbs in under 20 weeks. Hens are excellent layers that will brood and due to the larger size of the breed they can cover a larger number of eggs.
    2. New Hampshire Red- Think Delawares but that they have beautiful firey red feathers.
    3. Plymouth Rocks- Whites, Buff, Columbian, Barred. A Rock is a Rock. They are a solid choice for anyone wanting free range meat and eggs.
    4. Orpingtons- Big birds that are friendly fluff balls. They lay like no ones business, make awesome moms, and produce huge leg quarters. I prefer the Buff color.
    5.Chantecler- Whites, if you can find them, can be a big bird of +9lbs in 24 weeks so yeah fast growth. Superb rangers, cold hardy, winter layers, great brooders, and did I mention how meaty they are, they are meaty. The Partridge coloring while a smaller bird than the white will do better on range because their color is natural camoflage.
    Thats my picks. Keep your best hens and the best rooster and you will get great meat birds year after year.
     

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