commercial meat chickens? UPDATE

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by naked_neck, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. naked_neck

    naked_neck Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2007
    louisiana
    im getting some of these (for a 4-h project) from a contractor/grower that raises these chicks. they are a larger broiler type bird. from what i understand, they dont live very long (MAYBE 5 yrs.). This grower raises the chicks for 50 days then they are shipped off to the processing plant . at 7 weeks, they average 10-12 lbs. they do not feather up quickly.they are fed a strict diet (formulated be the farm) to promote growth and health. they do not really have a breed name but rather a number but i dont know the number at this time.

    does anybody else know anything about these chickens?. ive done searches but nothing really comes up. i would guess theyre not much different than normal broiler chicks except needing more room quicker.

    the lady i am getting them from said they owned a roo for 3 yrs. HE WEIGHED 25 LBS! they said he was a total sweetheart until you turned your back. they he'd attack. no need for a pitt-bull or dobie here![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    10-12 lbs live weight for a cornish x or broiler bird sounds normal to me. By short lives... usually they have a hard time making it past a few months old. Standard butcher age is about 42 days which is a very short life for these birds. They lose about 25% of their weight after they are dressed, upwards of 35% of their weight if you don't keep internals, neck, and feet.

    These production chickens sound like a special breed of bird with parent strains that produce off spring made for the meat market that is a "trade secret". That 25 lb roo is lucky to have made it to a ripe old age of 5 as most won't make it past 6 months unleses on a strict diet.

    Edit: They are probably named by number because they have specially bred parent strains that produce the type of cornish x they use for meat production.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  3. beefy

    beefy Flamingo Daddy-o

    Apr 21, 2007
    South Georgia
    all of the ones i see on the trucks around the local farms facilities around here look like your typical white cornish crosses. i think maybe they are part cornish and part white rock? maybe check out www.feathersite.com for "cornish cross"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2008
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Ah, if (name deleted) farms IS a meat bird producing facility, the birds are a special line of Cornish female with Rock male over them. Parent strains are bred for heavy weights, and their off spring are the cornish x we buy in the store. Foster Farms dominates the market in this state.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  5. jackiedon

    jackiedon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    to be processed. at 7 weeks, they average 10-12 lbs. they do not feather up quickly.they are fed a strict diet (formulated be (name deleted)) to promote growth and health.


    This farm advertises they don't feed hormone and this "strict diet (formulated be (name deleted))" makes you wonder.

    jackie
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2008
  6. naked_neck

    naked_neck Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2007
    louisiana
    yeah, does make you wonder. turns out, the lady will not be able to meet (the horse she wanted to bring to gonzales this weekend didnt have a current coggins test or health papers) so im not going to be getting these. i was looking forward to having some new babies. oh well, i set a goose egg and 2 guinea eggs yesterday so maybe ill have something hatched by next month.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2008
  7. naked_neck

    naked_neck Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2007
    louisiana
    well, we did go to the farm and got the horse and a few birds. BUT, ive been asked (after we got to the farm) not to tell where theyve come from or what they are (by the people, as they are not supposed to give away birds--theyll write it off as deceased b/c they were the smaller birds that wouldnt have gotten big enough). they made the trip fine and are being switched of of the market feed to my own ration to grow slower as i plan to raise and hatch a few eggs from them for my 4-h project. the people were suprised b/c the birds rode in our truck instead of the bed or trailer tackroom. it was so cool though. they had 4 or 5 HUGE houses. they start off with 25,000 chicks per house and end up with about 20,000 chicks per house at ship-off. we got to go in one of the houses where they showed us the system that kept the house at a certain temp, humidity, lighting, pressure, etc. they even offered for us to go back over the summer to spend some time.

    i would appreciate it if anybody that posted or maybe the moderator could edit the commercial farm name (s*****son) out of the posts. thanks
     
  8. flyingmonkeypoop

    flyingmonkeypoop Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 30, 2007
    Deer Park Washington
    You do know that when you cross the hybrid meat birds, that the chicks wont be anything like the parents, they wont gain nearly as fast or anything. To get the fast growth, you need the plymouth rock and for the meat you need cornish, the hybrid vigor gives them the weight and growth rate. Kinda like when you cross 2 sexlinks together, the chicks wont look like the parents, and they wont lay as well.
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    In addition, it is not legal to use hormones in chicken meat production in the US. It is pure genetics that adds on those pounds.

    Request on name of farm to be removed granted.
     
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I have raised Cornish Crosses in the past. There are many proprietary strains out there with different names. But they are all the same principle. Every hatchery and meat chicken farm in the US get their birds from the same 2-3 'breeders' as hatching eggs. Here is the ATTRA publication on how the commercial genetics work:

    http://tinyurl.com/2clkma

    It's rather simplified to say that it's a Cornish Sire on a White Rock hen. The parent strains have been selectively bred for over 40 years now, so there is little resemblence in performance to the kinds of birds we see in our backyards.

    The big issues with raising Cornish crosses are that they have been so selectively bred for growth rate and size, that the genetics for disease resistance, vigor and longevity are largely missing. It's not uncommon for people to have 1/3 of their broilers die before being processed. So, as they do commercially, they are fed mediated feeds to prop-up their weak genetics.

    I no longer raise Cornish Crosses because it just isn't our goal to replicate industrial farming conditions on a smaller scale. We now grow and sell Freedom Rangers which are suitable for outdoor and organic production. We are completely pleased with them and our customers think they taste great, too.

    In the long term, the only sustainable way to farm broilers is to breed your own. So my long term project is to be able to do this. I have used a Cornish sire on Sussex, Barred Rocks, Freedom Rangers and Black Sex Links. Contrary to what was metnioned above, I'm getting my best results from using hybrid dames. Sure the heterosis isn't as explosive as you would get from an F1 cross; but the results are better than crossing with your barnyard hens (which have all been bred along laying lines and probably outcrossed with Leghorns at some point). I've eaten my own broilers and ejoyed them. They just don't "look right" yet for me to offer them to customers, though. Oh and I do have another batch in the incubator right now. More good chicken coming my way. [​IMG]
     

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