Can't decide on meat bird breed, input requested.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by the simple life, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, I have ready many many threads and done tons of searches on which type of meat birds to buy and where to buy them and I am still completely confused.
    Cornish crosses, colored rangers or is there something else I missed?
    Where is a good hatchery to get them?
    I read and read trying to figure out which is more cost effective, which tastes the best, which is the quickest to grow out etc. and I really cannot decide.
    I was leaning towards the cornish crosses but then saw one hatchery was selling the colored ranges 82 cents cheaper per chick and didn't know if that was the way to go or if that 82 cents would just get eaten up due to the fact that they take longer to grow out and feed.
    I know alot of this is just matter of opinion but would still really appreciate some input on this.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Milliemay

    Milliemay Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Southwest Wisconsin
    Cornish X's would be my pick! Mine were processed at 12 weeks, dressed out at an average of 6 lbs. a piece, and I had $5.30 in each bird, including the packaging. We processed them ourselves also.....
  3. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    You are definately on the right track... the Cornish X is the "GOLD STANDARD" of the entire broiler industry. Nuff said !!!
  4. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    I'm not going with any hybrid because I want to hatch the chicks myself. If I did, it would be one of the ranger or range (pretty much the same critter, seems to me) breeds because I think raising a bird like the Cornish Cross is not as humane. Their growth rate is almost more than the bird's physiology can handle, and sometimes is. The rangers are close enough to a fast growing breed for me.

    But. [​IMG]

    If my goals and concerns were the same as yours, I would get the Cornish X. They have the best feed-to-meat ratio of any bird I've heard of, and they have a quick turnaround from chick to table (6 to 8 weeks).

    As to taste, I have no idea, never having raised either a ranger type bird or a Cornish Cross. All my knowledge about them is head knowledge, not personal experience. I'm raising standard Cornish, myself, because of the goals I have.
  5. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    I have eaten most all of the breeds I keep.

    Actaully I am partial to Araucanas (dont know why but I think they taste best), even though they are smaller.

    I think it depends on what you want, the rangers are more like a regular chicken and can free range with ease so if you have area where they can hunt and peck then that would work well.
  6. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2009
    Cornish X hands down. We butchered the last batch between ten and twelve weeks and they dressed out in the 11 1/2 to 13 1/2 pound range. We fed ours turkey feed. I don't know if that makes a difference. Someone on the list called turkey feed "steroids for chickens". I am not sure about that. They sure do seem to grow fast on it, but they grow fast anyway. We feed turkey feed because that's what we can get. I have no idea how much money we had in them. The next batch I am keeping careful records and taking pictures from the time we get them until we process them.

    I have never eaten an amercauna (sp) but that may change soon. My ameracauna rooster thought about attacking me this morning. He starts that and it's freezer camp for him. I have a nice big crock pot with his name on it if it comes to that.
  7. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Cornish X's- The initial cost of the bird is virtually nothing. It cost me about $6-7 each to raise my birds, with less than a dollar going to buy the birds. Cornish X's grow out the quickest, and dollar for dollar, you're getting more meat for your money with them, and in the shortest time.
  8. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you all for the replies.
    I really want to know where my food is coming from and to be able to feed my family food that I know where it came form, what has gone into it and how well it was treated during it's life.
    Do you all usually roast these whole or do you do breasts, legs etc?
    I usually bake or bbq the breasts in a variety of ways but
    will occasionally roast a whole chicken.
    Just wondering if these birds are better suited to one type of meat cut as opposed to another.
    With the prices of chicken in the grocery stores its getting too expensive to provide chicken for a large family.
    I saw a "family" pack of chicken in the store that was on sale for $18.00 for 5 breasts.

    Edited to ask if anyone has a recommendation on a hatchery for these meatbirds, I have looked at a few but wasn't sure if going with the cheapest was the way to go or if there have been problems with any of them.
    I buy all my egg layers from breeders so do not have any experience with hatcheries.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  9. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Well, I'm biased towards the Cornish X's, but you will get the most enormous breasts and legs you've ever seen out of them, and they roast like turkeys- great.

    As for a hatchery, they're literally all the same. All the birds come from the same couple of breeders to go to all the hatcheries. Go with the one nearest you to minimize travel time.
  10. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the help, its much appreciated.[​IMG]

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