Has anyone had success selling BO's as broilers?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by anniemary, May 11, 2010.

  1. anniemary

    anniemary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm devouring Joel Salatin's books on PPP and farming.

    I currently have 20 BOs that we've been enjoying as egg producers for our family. Now, I'm very interested in producing pastured-fed broilers for profit but I am not interested in raising Cornish X's. I thought about it, but I don't like the idea of their getting so big, so fast that health is compromised. Yet, I want a good, heavy bird that looks nice on the rack.

    Would my BO's work? I'm overwhelmed with everyone's opinion about the best meat birds. I'm wondering if opinions would change if the birds were for customer consumption vs. family consumption?

    Would anyone care to share their experience selling meat birds other than Cornish Xs?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    The biggest selling point on Cornish X's for people, (at least the people I sell to,) is that they are HUGE birds, with much more meat than they could get on a store bird, in addition to the fact that they are naturally raised, as opposed to factory farmed birds. I've raised BO's, and I think they'd be a tough sell. They look huge alive, but it's mostly feathers. While they are definitely considered "dual purpose," that is compared to a leghorn with almost no meat. I would think, if your issue is the difficulty in raising Cornish X's, you may want to try some of the slower growing broilers, like the Freedom Rangers?? My suggestion, (and maybe you've already done it,) would be to butcher a couple of your BO's and see what you get for meat. If it's something YOU would pay for, maybe others would too. It would be worth a try, especially considering you already have the birds.
     
  3. anniemary

    anniemary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, we just hatched about 15 baby chicks that I thought we could butcher and check out for ourselves. I did see a picture of a BO carcass and you're right, it wasn't pretty.

    I'll check into Freedom Rangers.

    Do Cornish Xs have to be yucky? Do they always have leg problems? Or is it the way they are raised? Maybe I've just heard horror stories...
     
  4. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    I agree that you better take a look at some BO carcass before you decide to go that route. I am raising the meaties under ideal conditions and they are still pretty yucky. No broken legs or heart attacks, but they stink and they're not fun to look at; and sure they grow fast, but they eat and POOP 5 times as much. I think a rock, a buckeye or a freedom ranger is a nicer middle ground if you are someone (like me) who is concerned with the gross factor.
     
  5. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

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    I'm 10 weeks into raising CX, and I had two with leg issues out of a total of 35 birds in three successive batches of 4, 6, and 25. They are dusty and smelly in the brooder, and that is where the problems with their legs started, both in my second set of birds. Those two with leg issues were the only culls I made and I had no other losses. Once the birds moved from brooder to run, they thrived. Mine are fairly active, but I have them in with my 10 week old layers. The next 4 head off to Freezer Camp this weekend, and they even free range with the other birds when I let them out, but more out of curiousity than a need for food.

    Comparing my 10 week old Barred Rock lead hen to one of the 7.5 week old CX, there is no contest. The BR is skinny.

    Give it a try. They are not as bad as you think, but they are a little different.
     
  6. aclee

    aclee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check out the Cornish roasters from mcmurray. We bought both types to compare them and the only problems I've had with the roasters are the Cornish X knocking them down. We are at 10 weeks now, and some of the girls I'm going to hold back to either breed or process later because they are still on the small side. I would say they are the size of the Cornish X at maybe 6 or 7 weeks. Much more nicely feathered too.
     
  7. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Well, they are grosser than regular birds because they poo so much, but it can be easily managed by keeping them on fresh ground as much as possible. Leg problems are RARE, and are just mostly rumors and horror stories, often spread by people who've never raised them. They are well worth raising- there are just a couple of minor differences in the methods of raising them.
     

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