Dual purpose bird quandry...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by BirdBrain, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    I have managed to get my mom interested in having a flock of chickens at the ranch for eggs and meat. We have raised meat birds for the last 3 years and she knows that no "dual purpose" bird is going to come near to being what a Cornish cross is. I know we have discussed the topic before about dual purpose birds but I can't seem to find the information I am looking for.

    I thought I would get her about 15-20 birds. Mostly Barred Rocks with a few Orpingtons thrown in and put a Cornish rooster with them. Do you think that this cross would make a good meat bird as well as egg factory?
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  2. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2007
    No, not so much. They are tough breeders as they require a lot of care. You have to restrict their feeders to keep them from eating too much. It can be done, don't let others tell you it can't. But you will not get a good dual purpose breed for both meat and eggs. At best you will get some so-so meat birds.

    Try it and expirement, what do you have to lose? One cornish rooster won't be that hard to take care of. Worst case scenerio is that you get a couple offspring and find out that they aren't what your looking for? But more than likely to succeed at such a task you need to breed about 4 generations to get close to what your looking for. It's takes a lot of time and patience.

    Remember that a Broiler is a cross and when you cross them again your going to bring out genetics that you didn't see in the father. That one broiler male that you want to breed to your barred rock hens is going to have 4 different lines... compared to the one that your hens have. It's going to be really hard to do, make sure you keep good records.
  3. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    I have never raised Cornish roosters (not cornish cross broilers). Do you have to restrict their feed as well? Thought that was only true of crosses. I thought regular Cornish were like any other standard breed and required no special care.

    What standard bird has a decent amount of meat on them? Momma is not going to be much for raising broilers. I just thought if she had a heavy bird that grew decently fast (not slow like Brahmas or Jersey Giants or Cochins) she could have a ready supply of meat and eggs. We had some Cochin roosters a couple of years ago and they ended up tough, stringy and very little meat to show for their size (all fluff) at 4 months and it was a great disappointment.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:But that's NOT what he's proposing. No broiler. Just an actual Cornish (like, heritage breed, you know?) roo.


    I believe this is what's said to be (or have til recently been) a common way of producing home grown meat chickens in Britain -- cornish roo (again, ACTUAL CORNISH, not Cornish-X broiler) on sussex or dorking or other moderately heavy breed.

    And it needn't involve breeding F1s; you can replace your BR hens with other BR hens when the time comes.

    I would think it would give you something not quite as 'good' as a Colored Ranger?

    Good luck,

  5. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2007
    I understand now, I mis-read your post.

    Your still going to get a dual purpose chicken. A dark cornish rooster I'm assuming?

    They may grow a little quicker but not a whole lot more. Your going to get a better dual purpose breed than what you have now. As when you cross two breeds together that are different you get offspring that are more productive than their parents... known as hybird vigor.

    Reguardless, your going to get a bird that is slower growing than both the 8 week old cornish x's and the freedom/colored broilers. You might get a bird that is ready to process at 16 weeks if your lucky.
  6. skeeter

    skeeter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    i think it will put a little more meat in the breast,but you will still have to feed them for 4 or 5 months,keep track of feed consumption and over all carcuss quality to determine if that is a good cross,if feed to meat ratio is good who cares if it takes 4 months instead of 8 weeks
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    If I were looking for a dual purpose breed for egg laying and meatiness, I would start with White Rocks. They are pretty big and are good egg-layers, as are Buff Orpingtons and New Hampshires. There are several dual purpose breeds already out there, without trying to breed your own. You'll not be able to get that big breast and thighs like a Cornish X, so why not just raise more of the regular dual-purpose to produce the same amount of meat, plus have eggs to boot?
  8. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    No dual purpose breed, even your own cross, is going to compare to Cornish X as a meat bird. Some people don't like Cornish X - but since your mom does, I would stick with them for meat.

    Then raise just layers for your eggs - any standard breeds you like (BR, BO, etc). Replace them as needed when their laying drops off.
  9. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    We use Dark Cornish, RIR, Buff Orpington and Cuckoo Marans for dual purpose. The DC's lay a smaller sized egg but have a nice taste, RIR's and Buff Orps lay a large egg, sell good and make a large table bird, Cuckoo's also lay a large egg and are the best tasting of all we have.

    Steve in NC
  10. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Thanks so much!!

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