Dual purpose bird or straight meat bird?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Flyboy718, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Flyboy718

    Flyboy718 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Going to get 25 either dual purpose or meaties at the end of september. As far as getting meaties as cheap as I can what bird would be ideal? I am partial to the dual purpose bird but open to a pure meat breed. Thanks.
     
  2. homesteadinmama

    homesteadinmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you want just meat or eggs too?
    If you want both then pick a dual purpose, but if you just want meat stick with a cornish cross. I have WR, BR, SLW and they are large chickens, but they lay eggs too. Ridgeway hatchery has a special for 50 "dual purpose" for $34.... or mcmurray has a meat and eggs combo that is nice too. Good luck!
     
  3. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally, I have a bit of a ethical issue with the cornish cross. It seems that they have been bred to basically eat themselves to death, grow as big possible in the least amount of time and then you have to slaughter them before their hearts give out or their legs give out. Part of the reason I'm raising laying hens is to move away from the factory farming techniques an raise a more natural bird who will produce a more natural food source. Next summer I want to extend this experiment to some birds raised for meat, but I'm going to try one of the heritage dual purpose breeds even if they take longer to mature. This is simply my preference and not any sort of statement on what I think you should do. In my opinion it is more than just a question of do you want eggs or do you want meat but what kind of experience do you want to have. I've also heard that DP birds have a quality of flavor and texture that is lacking in the cornish cross, but I can't speak from recent experience.
     
  4. Flyboy718

    Flyboy718 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Which will cost more to feed out? Dual purpose or meaties?
     
  5. cukooformarans

    cukooformarans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've done both. I have not kept exact track of the cost but this is what I can tell you. The cornish x starter cost a good bit more because I had to (or chose to) look for un-medicated starter which is hard to find around here. Since you eat them soooo early (6wks) we didn't want to go with a medicated feed. They also eat A LOT, as much as you will give them. They eat more food much quicker than the heritage breeds. Counterpoint is that you feed the heritage breeds much longer (we are butchering some today 14-18 wks. It's really a little early for the 14 wks, but we wanted to get it all over with. They are pretty good size though. They have been free ranging (which of course we supplement) since birth (they ranged with the momma hen.) All in all, I think it depends on the price of feed in your area (and if unmedicated is much higher- it was about 4.00 a bag more for us) and how much you will let them range. We have let cornish x range some in the past but they require a good bit more supplemental feed than the heritage. After doing both, we have chosen to do dual-purpose. Let us know what you decide! I'm no expert, this is just from our experience. Anybody else have any input?

    Note: It is hard to be sure how much money we have in chicken feed since they constantly raid the goats' bins [​IMG]
     
  6. Flyboy718

    Flyboy718 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Suppose I wanted to do 25 barred rocks...how much feed do you think each would consume to get to slaughter weight? And, would I just continue feeding them laying pellets until they get to slaughter weight...it is cheaper.
     
  7. cukooformarans

    cukooformarans Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hmmm... I don't know. Will they have access to pasture or will the feed be their only or primary food source? I can't really say b/c ours range primarily. We supplement with starter the first 10-12 weeks and then go to laying mash. Starter is mroe expensive, but I think it helps them grow better. Maybe someone else on here can give you a better estimate, but they will need to know how much they are able to range ... :)good luck!
     
  8. Mtn Margie

    Mtn Margie Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:We just ordered 25 red broilers from Stromberg's. They are wonderfully healthy. Red broilers are a halfway choice between the CXs and the dual purpose. It seems that it takes about 20lbs of feed/ bird to get to weight period, no matter if they eat it all in 8 weeks or 6 months. That is what I have gleened from the experiences posted on the BYC.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Yes and no... They are bred to produce meat, if that's your goal they will do it. Not too many people complain when their red sex-links or white leghorns produce eggs day after day after day, but many of those strains have been selectively bred for decades for unnaturally high egg production.

    Many times folks want to raise some meat birds and the advice that they get is to feed them high protein feed, keep them at a high stocking density, and butcher at 6-8 weeks. They stick them in a small pen with a tin roof out in the middle of the pasture under the hot sun because it's "more humane" than raising them in a house. Then when they have problems they holler "These things suck!"

    If you want them to grow as fast as possible then it's going to take careful management. On the other hand, you could feed them a feed that is lower in protein, let them run around, and butcher them when they are ready just as you would other birds. They still probably won't live as long as a standard bird and will eventually have problems, but they aren't meant to live for years, you are raising them for meat.

    Perhaps folks have greater success with dual-purpose birds because they treat them like chickens. They feed them moderate levels of nutrition and let them run versus vs confining them to grow to slaughter weight.
     
  10. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    The one issue I have with raising dual purpose is how long it take to get them big enough to butcher.

    It's truly not financially worth it to when you compare 8 weeks to 20 weeks of feeding!! The Cornish X that I had were some of the sweetest birds I've ever raised!!

    ETA: September is a good month to get them for a fall processing. If you want to do a Spring one don't get them any later than mid May! They can't take our heat & humidity!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011

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