Best meat breeds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by snewman, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. snewman

    snewman Songster

    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    I posted this in "breeds in general" before I saw the "meat birds" section. Sorry, I'm new! I'll read through the forum and see what I can find out on my own, but still feel free to reply to this in case I don't find what I'm looking for.

    I've ordered a crazy assortment of chicks for my first time in. Mostly birds to keep for laying, but also some cornish X and assorted heavy cockerels for meat. Then I got to thinking that since now I'll have established my laying flock by next year, perhaps I could raise my own meat birds in subsequent years. If I was to do that, what is the "best" or at least a good breed to get a few hens and a rooster of? I was thinking perhaps white rocks or white wyandottes. Any thoughts?

    I was also thinking of getting cornish and rocks and making my own cornish X rocks, but I wasn't sure if I'd end up with quite the same thing as the ones you can buy.

    I would really appreciate any thoughts on good meat breeds, and about breeding my own crosses. Just trying not to reinvent the wheel and waste time and money on too much experimentation.
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    All purebreeds are disappointing as meat birds. You need to use hybrids to get any decent results if you are serious about raising meat birds. Heavy breed cockrels will take 15+ weeks to get to good size. When you look at the economics of it, you are better-off buying organic, free range, day spa treated chickens from Whole Foods as it will be cheaper $/lb.

    Your Cornish Crosses will be rewarding as meat birds. There are some issues with their vigor which may or may not be a problem for you. I raise Freedom Rangers which are better suited for organic and free range production (plus their pretty).

    I think in general to you, and those reading, forget the notion of having a standing flock from which you breed your own meat birds as needed. What you ought do is raise meat chickens as a crop doing 15-20 at a time. Since meat birds require different feeding, space and watering, this is the easiest management. You can't just mix them with your laying flock and expect good results.

    Vacuum sealing has become very affordable in your own kitchen. So, you can easily freeze 15 birds and have them last up to a year. You then use them as needed from your freezer and don't have to worry about your chicken chores being X2 everyday because you have multiple management groups.

    p.s. Several people in here do breed their own 'Cornish Crosses'. Read the first few pages and you will find info.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
  3. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    I think it was good that you ordered some heavy breed cockerals and some cornish X.Now you will be able to see the difference in the two.Beleive me this is the best way to start out.I did the same thing when I first started raising chickens.I was so disappointed in the "dual purpose" breeds I heard so much about,My daughter could eat one by herself. A cornish X will look like a small turkey compared to the others.I don't have any regrets though because it was a good way to see the differences in the breeds.Tell me what you think in a couple months!
    Trying to start your own meat chickens probably could be done but for the average person,buying day olds cornish x would save alot of experimenting. Save that for the people making a living from it. good luck get your freezer ready will

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