breeding your own meatie flock???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by TerraMT, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. TerraMT

    TerraMT New Egg

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    Please educate me!! I am still quite unfamilliar with chicken "slang"... what specifically is a broiler? What is a Ranger?Can you breed/cross your own? What breeds?

    Dark Corninsh roo on (partridge or barred) rock hens? Would this be similar to the broiler crosses sold commercially?

    What would be the ideal situation and breed(s) for a self-sustaining meat bird flock? Dark Cornish roos and DC hens?

    I would like to raise a pastured flock...I understand that the commercial CornishX are more suited for a more sedintary lifestyle. (and are also not capable of being self-sustaining)

    Thank you so much...I just can't seem to get my thoughts gathered, I am so interested in all of this and have so many questions [​IMG]
     
  2. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Use the search function, this topic has been hashed and rehashed.

    Jim
     
  3. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Broiler, roaster, fryer, and cornish hen are terms for different sizes (slaughter age) of meat birds. Most use the term broiler as a generic term for meat birds. A ranger is a type of meat bird developed in France as an alternative to the standard meat bird, to be raised on pasture, a kind of gourmet chicken.

    You could try to cross your own, but you wouldn't get the same result as the commercial Cornish/Rock crosses where the parent flocks have been bred for decades to be a fast producing, broad breasted bird.
     
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Try reading the first few pages here. All yoru questions are answered and then some. Here are the cliff notes.

    Quote:A broiler is a generic term for a chicken bred specifically to be used for meat. The terms vary regionally where you may see fryers, roasters, broilers, cornish game hens, etc. all used as terms for the end product. They are all broilers.

    A ranger is also a broiler, but they have been bred to be more suitable for outdoor, or partially outdoor production - rather than intensive indoor climate-controlled broiler barns. They are often colored, rather than white in plumage.

    Quote:Nothing you can make yourself will match commercial broilers in production. All commercial broilers are hybrids, which means you cannot rebreed them and get the same offspring as the parents.

    Historically, the modern Cornish Cross was developed by crossing Cornish cockrels on Plymouth Rock pullets. 50 years down the road now and neither of the parents breeds used for making broilers look a thing like the original breeds.

    Quote:It is very costly to raise your meat this route, especially if you confine yourself to raising purebred heavy breed cockrels. The economics are bad, it takes 15+ weeks to get your meat birds ready, flock management becomes a PITA as you need to feed your broilers separateyl from your standing breeding/laying flocks, etc. You are generally better off buying organic free range birds.

    .... but if you really want to do this, you seem to generally have the right idea from above. You need to make your own hybrids. The most common backyard route is to use Cornish roosters on whatever hens you may have in your flock, then eating all the offspring. They will grow considerably better than purebreds. I have a Dark Cornish rooster I use for this and have crossed him on barred rocks, sussex, black sex links and broilers.

    Another clever route to go would be to start making your own Black Sex Link hybrids, which are a RIR rooster on a Barred Rock hen. You know from day 1 which the males are so you can feed them on a broiler regiment, then save the hens for replacements in your laying flock. In my brooders and growing pens, the Black Sex Link roosters often become the dominant males early on becuase they do grow more quickly being hybrids.

    Quote:This is a very contentious issue. Many members here and producers raise the Cornish cross on pastures in chicken tractors. Many do just fine. It's just always struck me as wrong, though, raising these birds and somehow being 'ethical' simply because we've thrown them on a bit of grass.

    There are some very good alternative broilers out there which are not the jumbo giant Cornish X's which prosper outdoors.
     
  5. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For thausands of years man has always devised ways and means such as shepherding, to guard dogs, to protected enclosures and housing, to cages to protect his livestock. Just what is so "ethical" about needlessly exposing a helpless chicken to every predator out there when they are thrown out on the free range just to stoke someone's ego? The alternate broiler types take from 2 weeks to ++++ weeks LONGER to reach harvesting size. No other breed or crossbreed of chicken comes even close to the production yields of meat in a short period of time as the Cornish X under proper husbandry practices. As they say " TIME IS MONEY".
     
  6. FarmerChick

    FarmerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hey terra

    Some of the info you need depends on why you are doing this?
    Are you doing it for personal chickens in the freezer or are you doing this for a business?

    For me, my business is a farm. So I base things on money first, then throw in "hmm..I want to try a different breed for experiments, etc."

    Cornish X are fast growers, hit market early and will provide some income for your effort, or just a great chicken in the freezer for you.

    For open free ranging, Cornish are lazy guys. So picking a hardier breed for outside might be better.

    best of luck in what you are trying to do!!!!!
     
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:I used to use electronetting to protect the broilers from predators. But, I don't even bother with it anymore. They are in a fenced pasture and I just don't lose any. I sometimes put the electronet back up when the sheep or goat are in teh field, simply to keep them out of the chicken food.

    It's hardly ego stroking, though. It's an ethical thing to do. I worked in broiler barns as a teenager. Raising birds in confinement is not a pretty business. So I elect to pasture mine. Cornish X don't work for me, so I raise alternative broilers. It's hardly ego stroking. It's logic.
     
  8. TerraMT

    TerraMT New Egg

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    Thank you so much for all the info! There is a lot to consider there.

    I plan on building a couple tractors that can handle 25-50 birds each. Move them every day or so. So not completely free range, but fresh air, bugs and whatever grass they will utilize, will do them good I think. (I just got done raising a batch in our barn...not good. They turned out alright, but there was a lot of death loss from cold and sooo stinky!)

    So cornishX might still be okay for me. I will be raising birds for people (and our family), but they will pay feed and processing costs. I just have the pasture available to do this for them. I'll be more of a chicken boarder lol.
     
  9. FarmerChick

    FarmerChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A chicken boarder. That is cool! I like that title!

    yea you will do fine I am sure. If you have the pasture and can move them etc. then I think it is a good way to learn all about it.

    Cornish X in chicken tractors should do very well for you!
     
  10. jasonwaldner

    jasonwaldner New Egg

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    Where can I find a purebred Cornish Rooster to breed with my chickens? I'd prefer a full grown one.
     

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