Heritage Breed Vs. Cornish Rock X

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by BarredBuff, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster 8 Years

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    What are the pros and cons of both? Which do you prefer? How long does heritage breed take to become a nice size fryer? I am leaning to a heritage breed (White Rock Cockerel, probably).
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  2. ben&momschicks

    ben&momschicks In the Brooder

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    I raise my barred rocks to 16 wks and they are still tender enough for frying. Excellent flavor. The size (about 3 pounds) is the only drawback. Well, keeping them 16 weeks is too, I guess. They don't give me as many problems as cornish x, but I like to raise the X's because of the short amount of time to keep them and they make a lot of chicken.
    Karen
     
  3. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster 8 Years

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    What be a good meatie heritage breed?
     
  4. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Songster

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    So far between my Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshire Reds, the hampshire rooster weighed the most at 13 weeks (5 pounds). Still havn't culled him yet, he's 15 weeks now and probably still around 5 pounds... but it may just be he ate alot? I'm in the process of raising CornishX and Barred Rocks to see how they go...
     
  5. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster 8 Years

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    I am anxoius to hear how they compare
     
  6. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Songster

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    Well today I just set my coop up to let only the roosters to free range outside of the pen, I'm soo nervous but I'm here all day so if anything tries to go after them I have a .22, but I'm hoping with the extra shade options they'll eat more instead of sitting under the coop panting... I don't have alot of trees [​IMG] I guess they'll be ready around the same time as the CornishX, and I'm trying to sell them but noones interested in chickens right now [​IMG] and I doubt I'd sale them all anyway. But I've heard Barred Rocks are great dual purpose and I didn't get them from a hatchery stock, I got them from my neighbor who's chickens are huge so I'm hoping they'll be fatter quicker.
     
  7. pontoosuc

    pontoosuc Songster

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    Don't know what heritage breeds you have considered, but generally, heritage breeds were kept for their versatility. They could do a number of
    things around the homestead, not just used for one particular purpose. Lay eggs, provide meat, feathers, (and milk if your not a chicken) etc. The family
    horse plowed the fields then drove the family to church in their carriage.
    Of course they should be hearty, handsome, and forgiving.
     
  8. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

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    Quote:I think you must've deleted part of your post by accident. I don't think anybody's gonna get any milk from a chicken!

    BarredBuff, this is usually a pretty hot topic in this section. Here's my 2 cents worth.

    The broiler types, Cornish X being the most common, grow bigger, faster. You can butcher them younger, so they're more tender. They don't have the flavor of the heritage birds, but they still taste like chicken, and are better than what you'll get at the store. Cornish X, depending on what type you get, are ready to butcher from 6-12 weeks. That range includes small Cornish game hen size, regular size about like you'd get at the store or bigger, and even bigger roasters. They are prone to some problems, such as leg problems, CHF, and heart attacks. They do not deal well with hot weather. Those who love them often point out that these problems can be dealt with using proper management techniques. Some people have CX's that free range well, many do not. There's a learning curve to raising these. Some beginners do just fine, some have trouble. There are TONS of threads dealing with problems raising these. But they are fastest growing birds you'll find.

    There are broilers other than the Cornish X's, that grow a little slower, first butchering age being 10-12 weeks instead of 6-8, so not a lot slower, but it makes a big difference in the health and vigor of the birds. Colored Rangers, red broilers, black broilers, are all in this group. I'm sure there are others I don't know the names of. They're more flavorful than the CX's, because they're a little older, but still tender. There may be a few folks who've had problems raising these, but i don't remember seeing any posts about trouble with them. A few people have complained they didn't get quite as big as they expected, but overall, most people are happy with them.

    Heritage/dual purpose birds grow more slowly, most people don't butcher them until they're 16 weeks or older. They are not as tender, but are wonderful slow roasted, cooked in the crock pot, etc. The younger ones, 16-20 weeks, can be fried, but the older they are, the chewier they'll be. There are ways to fry older birds and still have them come out tender, it takes a little longer and there are tricks to it. They are very easy to raise, don't require any special management, are not prone to leg trouble, CH, or heart attacks. They seldom have trouble from hot weather, unless it's really extreme, or they don't have enough ventilation, shade or water, but that applies pretty much to anything alive. They forage well, and can be easily free-ranged. They breed naturally, and you can keep some to breed more, if you like. There's a learning curve to cooking these properly, so that they are not tough or rubbery. The biggest complaints are that they are not as meaty as CX's or the mid-range chickens, and they take a long time to grow out, and there are folks who either don't follow directions well, or don't believe them, who try to cook a 25 week old DP just like a 6 week old broiler, and are upset when they don't turn out well. When cooked properly, it's hard to beat the flavor of these birds. I love them, myself, and my DH, who used to complain about how long they take to grow out, have become a convert, and prefers DP/heritage birds.

    That's my point of view, on the different options. Any bird you raise will be better than a supermarket bird, and there are pros and cons to any of them. It's entirely up to you, which you want to raise, what will suit your own circumstances and needs. Whichever you decide, have fun, enjoy your birds!
     
  9. aggieterpkatie

    aggieterpkatie Songster

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    I raise Cornish X and prefer them to other breeds. I free range mine, and they do extremely well. My birds run all over, dust bathe, etc. just like "regular" chickens. They grow superbly well and taste wonderful. You can't beat their feed conversion and their meat to bone ratio. I wouldn't grow anything else. It's was 105* here yesterday and they all did fine. When I had them in the tractor, before free-ranging them, I almost lost 2 to the heat but brought them back around with cool water baths. I hate losing birds, but even losing 1 or 2 Cornish beats raising other breeds for weeks longer.
     
  10. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster 8 Years

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    Dec 6, 2009
    Quote:I think you must've deleted part of your post by accident. I don't think anybody's gonna get any milk from a chicken!

    BarredBuff, this is usually a pretty hot topic in this section. Here's my 2 cents worth.

    The broiler types, Cornish X being the most common, grow bigger, faster. You can butcher them younger, so they're more tender. They don't have the flavor of the heritage birds, but they still taste like chicken, and are better than what you'll get at the store. Cornish X, depending on what type you get, are ready to butcher from 6-12 weeks. That range includes small Cornish game hen size, regular size about like you'd get at the store or bigger, and even bigger roasters. They are prone to some problems, such as leg problems, CHF, and heart attacks. They do not deal well with hot weather. Those who love them often point out that these problems can be dealt with using proper management techniques. Some people have CX's that free range well, many do not. There's a learning curve to raising these. Some beginners do just fine, some have trouble. There are TONS of threads dealing with problems raising these. But they are fastest growing birds you'll find.

    There are broilers other than the Cornish X's, that grow a little slower, first butchering age being 10-12 weeks instead of 6-8, so not a lot slower, but it makes a big difference in the health and vigor of the birds. Colored Rangers, red broilers, black broilers, are all in this group. I'm sure there are others I don't know the names of. They're more flavorful than the CX's, because they're a little older, but still tender. There may be a few folks who've had problems raising these, but i don't remember seeing any posts about trouble with them. A few people have complained they didn't get quite as big as they expected, but overall, most people are happy with them.

    Heritage/dual purpose birds grow more slowly, most people don't butcher them until they're 16 weeks or older. They are not as tender, but are wonderful slow roasted, cooked in the crock pot, etc. The younger ones, 16-20 weeks, can be fried, but the older they are, the chewier they'll be. There are ways to fry older birds and still have them come out tender, it takes a little longer and there are tricks to it. They are very easy to raise, don't require any special management, are not prone to leg trouble, CH, or heart attacks. They seldom have trouble from hot weather, unless it's really extreme, or they don't have enough ventilation, shade or water, but that applies pretty much to anything alive. They forage well, and can be easily free-ranged. They breed naturally, and you can keep some to breed more, if you like. There's a learning curve to cooking these properly, so that they are not tough or rubbery. The biggest complaints are that they are not as meaty as CX's or the mid-range chickens, and they take a long time to grow out, and there are folks who either don't follow directions well, or don't believe them, who try to cook a 25 week old DP just like a 6 week old broiler, and are upset when they don't turn out well. When cooked properly, it's hard to beat the flavor of these birds. I love them, myself, and my DH, who used to complain about how long they take to grow out, have become a convert, and prefers DP/heritage birds.

    That's my point of view, on the different options. Any bird you raise will be better than a supermarket bird, and there are pros and cons to any of them. It's entirely up to you, which you want to raise, what will suit your own circumstances and needs. Whichever you decide, have fun, enjoy your birds!

    Thank you SOO much!!!
     

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