Don't Want Cornish....

Farmer Gab

In the Brooder
12 Years
Mar 26, 2007
48
0
32
Flagstaff, Arizona
Hi! Last year we bought 25 cornish meat birds and we were really dissatisfied with the experience. The chickens were just an excellent example of genetic breeding gone wrong. SO, this year we want to buy some other breed of chicken and raise them as our meat birds. We own Americaunas, Black Autralops, and New Hampshire Reds in our laying flock. Does anyone raise non-meat birds (yes, I know all chix can be meat birds) for butcher? If so, what breeds do you prefer?

THANKS!
 

paduanchook

Songster
12 Years
Jan 17, 2008
209
5
131
McDavid Florida
just get cornish, not cornish x rock. they are super meaty but grow much slowert, and taste great imo i dont like cornish x myself, but cornish are fun to me
 

vermontgal

Songster
11 Years
Mar 24, 2008
767
28
184
Salt Lake City / Sugarhood
I have not yet tried meat birds, but if I do, I am thinking of trying Buff Orpington cockerels. They are supposed to be pretty decent as meat birds, and really nice. Worst case scenario, you won't want to kill them.
I figure, best case scenario, I might even find a roo I could keep in my city coop.
 

dancingbear

Songster
11 Years
Aug 2, 2008
2,836
38
191
South Central KY
Delawares and Dominiques were once choice meat birds. If you get breeder stock to start with, instead of hatchery birds, they both grow faster than standard Cornish. (please, note I said STANDARD Cornish, not Cornish X) And, If you use a Standard Cornish roo over just about any heavy breed hen, you'll get a decent table bird. Don't expect the extremely meatiness of the broilers crosses, but a good bird anyway. If you use hens of relatively fast maturing heavies, even better.

I butchered 4 roos that were Brahma roo over dark Cornish hen. That's bass-ackwards from what I know works better, i.e., C. roo over whatever breed hen, and they grew slowly, but they all dressed out to over 6 lbs., 2 were over 7 lbs, and the breasts were much meatier than ordinary dual purpose roos have been. And I have eaten a LOT of dual purp roos. They were not processed young, however. I hadn't fed them like broilers, and they grew slowly. Then, experimenting with feed blends, I upped the protein a lot, to about 20%, and they suddenly just about doubled in size in about 2 weeks. I was busy with other things and didn't butcher right away, though. I just did the 2nd two less than a week ago, they were probably about 5 months old. So they'll be crock pot birds, but meaty ones, instead of the scrawny crock pot roos I've had in the past.!
 

sandspoultry

Everybody loves a Turkey
11 Years
Feb 10, 2008
2,121
23
211
Eastern NC
We had the same experience with cornish x's but if you want a quick growing "in the freezer and done" chicken they are the way to go, I prefer a "real" chicken, one that can breed and raise chicks. We like Buff Orpingtons, Dark Cornish, RIR's as meat birds. The best tasting bird we have are Cuckoo Marans by far.

Steve in NC
 

Miltonchix

Taking a Break
12 Years
Jul 14, 2007
963
5
151
Milton, Florida
I've raised and butchered several breeds now. The best, for me, (after the cornish X) have been White Rocks and Barred Rocks.
Why did you find the Cornish X disappointing?? They are messy and stink but the meat is incredible.
 

sandspoultry

Everybody loves a Turkey
11 Years
Feb 10, 2008
2,121
23
211
Eastern NC
For us the Cornish x didn't have the flavor of an "old breed" chicken. Flavor wise it's a night and day difference - plus with any hybrid you have to buy chicks every year or every batch. A small flock of dual purpose birds will give you eggs and meat for years and years.

Steve
 

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