Fryers? Broilers? Which is Which??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MamaDragon, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    I'm having a bit of trouble getting my head around the difference in the terms AS USED here.......

    Fryers are YOUNG meat birds. How do you determine when to butcher for it to be a fryer? CRX's 4-6 weeks? FR's under 12 weeks?

    Broiler - generic term for any Meat Bird butchered as an adolescent? CRX's before 11 weeks? FR's before 16 weeks?

    Roaster - older than the broiler, but still an adolescent?

    Stewing Hen/Roo - laying hens; "servicing" roos; "spent" hens & roos??

    We're thinking about trying our hand at some FR's next spring. As FRIED chicken is the most popular way we eat chicken here, I don't want to butcher them too late, OR too early!

    Thanks!
    Kathy
     
  2. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    TO me a fryer is a bird around 4lbs and a broiler is a bird that is 6lbs or more. This is my own opinion. You can butcher some at 7 weeks for fryers or you can wait until 10 weeks to butcher for broilers.
     
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Highly highly regional! Our state defines a fryer; but no one produces fryers anymore like they did in the 50's. Your state may have rules. The USDA does not (as far as I know).


    Quote:Before the dedicated broilers arrived on the scene (think 50's and 60's) most the meat chickens were the cockrels bred for large laying flocks. They were processed at around 3.0 lbs live weight for 1-1.5# birds. These were considered tender, tasty eating birds back then. As far as days to reach that weight, I'm not sure. Probably 8 weeks or so.

    No one is really producing "fryers" anymore. What they are doing is killing broilers at 3.0 lb live weight to get the same effect. Although, the conformation of a broiler is going to be much larger and meatier than historical fryers were.

    I still some feed companies selling "Fryer Ration". There is no distinction in feed amongst fryers, broilers, cornish game hens, etc.

    Quote:Commercially, Cornish Crosses are processed at 42 days old to be broilers.

    In the backyard, under pastuerd puoltry schemes, it's right at 8 weeks to get about the same size.

    My Freedom Rangers are usually processed at 9, 9.5 or 10 weeks and are very comparable to a Cronish Cross at 8 weeks.

    Broiler just means a meat bird which is sold whole for "roasting" or disjointed for sale. It's the more widely accepted term.

    Quote:In todays market, they are the same Cronish Cross which is procesed at 42 days. The only difference is it's left whole, rather than sold as boneless, skinless breast.

    Historically, before Cronish Crosses were really optimized, roasters were made from heavy breed cockrels using caponization. It took 15-20 weeks to get them to roasting size.

    Quote:Yup, except you hardly see these. They all go to become the chicken you get in your deep fried burrito from a gas station, or pet food. You have to know a farmer to get a stewing hen.

    Quote:As you can see, the terminology more refers to how you eat it then anything else. Considering a commercial Cornish Cross at 42 days is used for all of the above, it's nothing but marketing to get you to buy chicken.
     
  4. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    We're considering the Rangers, rather than the CRX's (Landlord would have a FIT if I had 25 CRX's, even if only for 45 days!)

    Greyfields, Thanks! You gave me the "Old-Fashioned" answers I was looking for!

    Since our current flock is Dual Purpose breeds, and we'll be harvesting the spare roos, I now know how to cook for what age/size. Just what I was looking for.

    BTW - we can still get Stewing Hens at the grocery stores around the holidays. Cheaper than turkeys, but tougher if you don't cook it right.

    Again, THANKS!

    Kathy
     
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    My dual purpose birds took about 15 weeks to give me 4.0 lb roasters. Calculating the feed put into them, though, showed it to be a losing proposition. Yo'ull have far better results with the Freedom Rangers (in my opinion). But, the same still applies as far as what birds you get when. They are roughly 1-2 weeks slower than the CornishX. You are exchanging time for vigor when comparing the two.
     

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