Don't Want Cornish....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Farmer Gab, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Farmer Gab

    Farmer Gab In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2007
    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?

  2. paduanchook

    paduanchook Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    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
  3. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    You might want to try the freedom rangers at
    They may be a better "broiler" for your needs as they mature at 12 weeks instead of 6.
  4. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    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. [​IMG] I figure, best case scenario, I might even find a roo I could keep in my city coop. [​IMG]
  5. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    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.!
  6. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    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
  7. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

    Jul 14, 2007
    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.
  8. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    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.


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