Good meat bird breed.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by billmac, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. billmac

    billmac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard horror stories of modern meat birds who grow so fast their legs collapse. I firmly believe that even animals destined for the table ought to have a decent quality of life until they are harvested. Can someone recommend a good meat bird breed that provides a decent carcase but doesn't outgrow its own body?

    Thanks
     
  2. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, it isn't technically a breed, I don't think, since it is a hybrid, but seems to me JM Hatchery's Freedom Rangers might fit the bill. They are bred to grow fast and get big, but not nearly as fast or big as the Cornish X you have heard horror stories about. I've heard very good things about them.

    If you are looking for heritage breeds, I like the Dark Cornish for meat.
     
  3. tragic59

    tragic59 Out Of The Brooder

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    What hatcheries sell the Dark Cornish? I've been interested in them as a meat bird, but haven't seen them for sale.
     
  4. Spore

    Spore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any of the bigger breeds such as Barred Rocks, Austrolorps, or RIR.
     
  5. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can't beat the Commercial Broiler in terms of lean meat yield, feed conversion, and growth rate.

    Provide them an appropriate diet, good facilities, and you should not have problems.

    Typically issues arise when the birds are housed in facilities without adequate ventilation so the birds get either too hot or too cold which contributes significantly to helth problems.

    Jim
     
  6. randomchick

    randomchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am firm on this belief too. Currently I am trying many different dual purpose chickens for the purpose of meat. I found the larger breeds that got over 7-8 lbs took too long to get the meat on them and if you butcher too late then it could get a little chewy. I found the welsummer rooster I have, mixed with barred rock females gives a very tender meat by 15 weeks. They dress at 4-5 lbs which is ideal for my family of 3 and a half.
    I also think that the barred rocks do well as a meat bird, and crossing them works well in most cases.
    Note: don't cross barred rock with silkie, the meat is very stringy.

    My favorite: welsummer male crossed with barred rock female.
    Second favorite: barred rock
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  7. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:There are ways to give Cornish X's a good life. Items like taking the food away for 12 hrs a day almost eliminates any leg problems. If you give them alot of room they run around almost as much as a normal chicken does. Water additives (broiler booster is one that comes to mind) work as does a high protein feed.

    You simply can't beat raising a bird in 8 weeks that out sizes a heavy chicken raised up to 20 weeks with 1/3 of the feed.
     
  8. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sure you can, depending on what your goals are. I don't judge people who want to raise the Cornish X, but I understand completely why someone wouldn't, since I don't.

    Personally, I believe in answering the question that was asked, rather than the one that wasn't. [​IMG]
     
  9. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Sure you can, depending on what your goals are. I don't judge people who want to raise the Cornish X, but I understand completely why someone wouldn't, since I don't.

    Personally, I believe in answering the question that was asked, rather than the one that wasn't. [​IMG]

    But I was answering his concerns. If raised humanely, Cornish is a great bird. They are fast to grow and inexpensive to buy, feed, process, etc.

    I know of 3 processing plants within 100 miles. None of them will do a colored bird anymore. You need to take things like that into consideration too.
     
  10. MelissaR

    MelissaR Out Of The Brooder

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    Minneapolis, MN

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