Help with meat birds please!!!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by canadianmedic, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. canadianmedic

    canadianmedic Out Of The Brooder

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    I ordered white rock Cornish x from Freys hatchery and should get them on May 13. However I've now done quite a bit of reading and it seems there's a lot of stuff out there about them being GMO birds and "Frankenstein birds"

    We are new to this, wanted chickens we could raise and feed them organic and grass and enjoy knowing we weren't eating a bunch of crap.

    You all are super smart and experienced. DID I ORDER THE WRONG MEAT BIRDS?!?!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You can read a lot on the internet. A lot of it is just plain wrong. There is nothing GMO about the broilers. They have achieved what they are purely by selective breeding. It’s the same basic process used to develop every breed of chicken that has ever been developed. That selective breeding has been used to develop a very efficient meat bird instead of a pretty bird.

    The commercial chicken meat industry has spent millions of dollars to develop a bird that packs on meat very fast and has a great feed to meat conversion ratio. Most of this research and development was done long before anyone knew what GMO was. They have developed a bird that grows so fast you have to butcher it somewhere around 6 to 8 weeks before the meat outgrows the skeleton so much that the bird breaks down or the heart just can’t keep up with the massive body, but all that was achieved without GMO.

    If GMO is your concern you did not get the wrong chickens.
     
  3. canadianmedic

    canadianmedic Out Of The Brooder

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    Pfew!! I was worried. I can see how that would occur with selective breeding.
    Would you consider the broiler a good bird to eat as opposed to maybe a heritage bird?
    Actually I thought heritage birds like the barred Plymouth and Rhode island were strictly for eggs....
    Thanks so much for your input Ridgerunner!!!
     
  4. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Broilers and "heritage breeds" both taste like chicken. If you want the maximum amount of meat for the least amount of feed in the shortest amount of time, nothing can beat the Cornish X. "Heritage breeds" take much longer to mature, 16 to 20 weeks, will have less meat and will need to be cooked slowly to avoid being tough. They will have more flavor though, which is great for soups, stews and stocks.
     
  5. canadianmedic

    canadianmedic Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome! That's good to know. I was worried the broiler was some awful genetic experiment!!
    I'll try a heritage maybe next year.
     
  6. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Cornish X are a result of intense genetic selection. But then so are most other chicken breeds.

    In the US we have Freedom Rangers. Not sure if you can get them in Canada or something equivalent. They are slower growing broilers that can actually have a normal chicken life if you do not decide to butcher them. They can be harvested at 12 weeks of age give or take.
     
  7. canadianmedic

    canadianmedic Out Of The Brooder

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    Ya, I've seen some stuff on the huge extent of genetic selection and not genetic engineering where they swap DNA and stuff. So that's good I guess.
    I've never heard of freedom Rangers. I'll look into it!!
    Thanks so much for the help both of you!!
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    If you limit the feed a bit with your Cornish X, they will be much healthier, they will go out and range just like your other chickens. You'll still end up with a good meaty bird in record time. Bee Kissed has an excellent video and documentation of her Cornish X birds charging out of the gate, and spending the day free ranging right along with her DP birds. If you over feed them, and keep them in crowded conditions, they will lay around in poop and do nothing but eat. If you limit their feed a bit, they will be motivated to go scrounging for some on their own. Talk to her.
     

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