breeding meaties

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by CANDLE98, May 4, 2011.

  1. CANDLE98

    CANDLE98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone know of a breed that I grows fast but can still breed? i would like to have my own breeding stock of meaties so I don't have to buy chicks anymore! And I love incubating!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Here is a thread about people trying to do that with Freedom Rangers. You can judge for yourself how successful they have been. You may decide to try them.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=318364

    Before the current breed of broilers was developed, certain breeds were used as meat birds. Delaware, White Rock, and New Hampshire come to mind. Part of this was color. The lighter feathers gave a prettier carcass when plucked. Other breeds and colors were also used.

    But after the advent of the broilers, the special breeding that went into these breeds that made them fairly good meat birds was lost to the general population of these breeds. You have to rigorously breed for certain characteristics every generation or that characteristic diminishes. Some breeders work with their flocks to keep the characteristics up, but they charge show quality prices for their chickens when they are willing to sell. With all the expense and work they put into maintaining that quality, they need to charge show quality prices.

    Not all breeders are as good as others and some do not have the same goals you are looking for. If you can find a breeder that knows what they are doing and has goals that suit yours, that is a great place to get good stock to start with. Then, if you carefully select your breeding stock each generation, you can maintain a decent flock. Don't expect broiler growth rates or feed to meat conversion rates, but they can do pretty good.

    The alternative is to get hatchery quality stock at hatchery quality prices and start your own breeding program where you select the best breeders each generation. That is what I did. You start out further behind with this stock, but over time you can build up top a pretty good quality flock. But it does take work and knowledge on your part in picking your best breeders. I generally eat the small ones and breed the big ones.

    Good luck. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your breeding goals are noble, however, speaking from way over half century +++ of experience ( my dad was a Vet and I was with UCD Vet Pathology, I used his base flock and selectively bred RIR, NH, BR, and their criss crosses [ just like the Freedom Rangers]) we managed to improve harvested weights by about 1 1/2 pounds and about 3-4 weeks earlier harvest over those breed averages. Four years ago , I finally pulled the plug and started to grow out the Cornish X. after a side by side grow out. No comparison as to meat yield, time, and especially $$$ savings!!! I wish you luck.
     

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