Broiler Meat Birds: To Brood Or Not To Brood

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Evan2408, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. fireflyhatchery

    fireflyhatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

    This site is all about the chicken not the dollar which is the reason why there are so many people with different opinions here. Some are on the end of seeing cruel injustice to one of the most well known birds on earth others like myself are here to further perfect raising chickens the right way and not inhumanly. I cannot speak for the horrible encounter of seeing broilers stacked in and fed to death no matter what it takes but I have done my research and there is nothing genetically mutated with these birds. Yes they could be raised the awful way that was stated in the first comment of this forum but it is not the chickens fault. It can be the raisers fault but that doesn't mean that every broiler raiser is "a terribly disgusting creature" not all of society is only focused on the bottom dollar. BTW what is the point of this thread? I thought it was about breeding broilers and was just looking for advice from someone who has done breeding for Cornish X chickens. Love the photos also! I might have to put some on for their last day tomorrow.
     
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    I have tried a couple methods to raise cornish X. NEither set ups worked well in my opinion. THey need more space than I can give them in a barn.

    I have a far greater respect for those people that can raise these birds well. THey are the backbone of our food supply for meat in this country. THe commercial producers have their methods which are highly effective at raising these fast growing birds. THese are not pets. THese are meat birds. All processed by 10 weeks old, though more likely at 8 weeks. THese are fast efficient growers that turn corn and soy into meat very efficiently. I think this is a remarkable feat.

    I want the large muscling of the cornishX but the ability to freerange to father most of it's feed on a hilly, rocky terrain. I don't have flat pastures to move a coop.

    IMO it is about using the best method these birds are geared to. Either a commercial size building or a mobile coop.

    Good luck. Cornish X are not for me at this point.
     
  3. Natalijaasbj

    Natalijaasbj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    as you can see - philosophies vary[​IMG]
    I still see chickens as beautiful, wonderfully made creatures - each with their own personality. And they deserve to be who they are. I do NOT see them as productive "meat machines". No , they are not pets, but they ARE animals who do not have LESS dignity than our dog or cat pets. EVEN MORE SO - because they give their lives for nourishing us.
    They deserve BETTER breeding than that. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ahh, the problem and cure in now obveous by now stating that they feed them " non- gmo, non- corn, non- soy feed" ... these birds are being starved by the farm operators nutrtionally yet they want much more meat in a much shorter time than their other birds can provide ... the Cornish X was selectively bred to be the most efficient converter of feed to meat in the shortest time possible. As this is the case they need properly balanced feed and the energy that they expend in roaming the " huge pasture" trying to find enough grass and bugs (that may be so rare that the few that each catch are not enough for proper growth due to their matabolism). Garbage in, garbage out. In this case, Personal philosophy vs. reality of the birds' needs equates to poor animal husbandry. [​IMG]
     
  5. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Natali; I sure hope you're only eating Red Jungle Fowl then...! Because heritage breeds, I hate to break it to you, were bred strongly as well. The Black Australorp and Buff Orpington pop out over 200 eggs a year. No WAY that could survive without human intervention. It'd leech all the calcium from their combs, wattles and bones and they would die from low blood calcium levels. The Jersey Giant is so big it makes the White Rock look small sometimes, and because of it's bulk it would NEVER get away from a cat or coyote so it's not great for free-ranging and wild no way. The White Rocks are bred for a stance that makes it hard for them to naturally reproduce. The Norwegian Jaerhon, which is practically a land race, is half the size of most birds, almost bantam, and yet produces eggs so big it seems impossible. The only natural chicken is red jungle fowl.

    Also, to grow CX's in a way that lets them still be able to move, you have to feed the right feed and in restricted amounts from 2 weeks onwards, and have a brooder of the appropriate size for them to move around in. Like how you need to feed a certain diet and restrict feed for a Great Dane, or their muscle overtakes their bones and they have trouble getting around and if you give them too much space they can injure themselves and too little and they build up fat and lazy.
    If the farmer is free-feeding some sort of custom grain/legume mix out of a feeder he's probably not growing his birds for slow-growth, high foraging/movement and good health. CX's prefer easy food sources, so if you feed them from a feeder that's always full (or full enough to fill them up whenever they start feeling a little empty) they will just sit around and eat from there. Kinda like how us humans much prefer going to the fridge for a beer rather than going out hunting for a deer native-American style where you have to chase it down on foot for an hour. Which would you prefer? With proper management CXs CAN grow up to be healthy adult birds just like every other bird. They're not even that much higher maintenance for most people because most of us would never free-feed our birds anyhow and work hard to keep them in good health no matter what the breed!

    Arielle; Most commercial producers keep their CX's under conditions that cause 5% losses or more in the birds. To get their losses down that low they keep them so confined that they simply can't move; so they don't move enough to get a slipped tendon or have a heart attack and even if they do break a leg bone they hardly have to move to get to the feeder anyhow; they can limp there just fine. If they had "enough space" with the same feeding style they'd have losses more like 10%-20% like some people on here have trying to raise an 8lb bird in 6-8 weeks. You just have to grow them a little slower to get a better bird. I'm expecting mine to take 10-12 weeks to grow out.

    The flavor of the birds comes from an older age too, so a 12 week CX will taste much more like a heritage breed. Just FYI.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  6. IndianaHomestea

    IndianaHomestea Out Of The Brooder

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    CX's are not genetically modified. Plants are genetically modified, not animals, generally. The CX is a hybrid bird. No less natural than a boxer dog or RIR chicken. They are just VERY specifically bred to get really big, really fast.

    You can target ANY characteristic you want and it still be 100% natural. The same exact thing can be done with humans. Take a man and woman whoa re both 7' tall and their children will be tall. Take two big chickens and many of their children will be big. Take two chickens with a mutation and breed them, and their offspring will probably have the same mutation.

    It's not artificial and the meat is no less nutritious.

    If you buy your CX's from a reputable hatchery and you raise them in healthy conditions, they will be nearly as healthy as any other chicken. Yes, the mortality rate is a bit higher, but not MUCH higher when they're raised correctly.

    If your CX's laid in their own poop like it was a bed, you didn't give them enough room. That's your fault, not theirs. :) No animal should be laying in piles of poop. That doesn't mean they poop too much, it means they need a new owner, who will provide them with sanitary living conditions. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  7. Natalijaasbj

    Natalijaasbj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Boss Roo - before "soy revolution ": nobody fed their chickens soy. Read a lot about what soy does to you and chickens.
    I am originally from Russia. They never heard about soy thing before, but still I can not find there in the US close to taste of Russian simple store chickens I grew up on. After you grew up on typical chickens, you never get the CX bland taste, and huge monstorous breasts. Sorry guys, I am not impressed by Cornish breed by the reasons I statd already. Bird should not be bred to die from heart attack in the chick age.If you are okey with that, so be it. But many people on this board are not. But we live in a free country(for now) and anybody chooses "what" to grow.[​IMG]
     
  8. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Before the soy revolution, all our other grains where much more nutritious. One example......hybrid and/or GMO corn carries about half the protein as open pollinated. I just spoke to an organic farmer that plants OP corn. He said last year his corn tested at 14% protein and carried more Calcium, Iron, Lysine, and other vit/minerals than the alternative.
     
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    THis is also the same for thatching material. In England, the old style roofing was to thatch the roof. In recent years the methods have changed. As in go back to the old laborious way of growing, tending and harvesting. THe product produced the old way was far superior in a number of ways.

    What i'm not hearing about is getting the chickens on grass. Grass is the source of the very nutritious vitamins to put into the meats and fats of the bird. Birds only fed grain do not have the same micronutrient quality as those birds that had veg and grass and such included along side the grains.

    Many benefits to raising on a large grassy area.
     
  10. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You know, after doing extensive reading and applying some logic, I've came to the conclusion that pasture doesn't provide much for broilers as far as nutrition goes. Chickens have a mongastric digestive system like we do, and they really aren't able to get much from greens, especially protein. Also, if you think about pasture quality, it is only really nutritious for a few weeks per season. I do think having them on pasture and moving them daily is beneficial from a cleanliness aspect. Keeping them on clean ground help control cocci and other fecal pathogens.
     

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