Home Bred Broiler Update (IMAGE INTENSE)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by greyfields, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    As you recall, I hatched the following on Easter Sunday:




    These were all crosses using my Dark Cornish rooster on four different dames; two Black Sex Links and two Freedom Ranger (gourmet blacks). Here was the breeding pen:



    So as of today, the chicks are 30 days old. I also have 50 Gold Rangers which they are sharing a pen with. They were hatched April 2nd, so are 20 days old today.

    Here are my Greyfields Broilers along with one of the Gold Rangers. The Gold Ranger is the 2nd from the right:


    As you could probably tell from the chick photos, I have 10 broilers which have 10 diferent apperances. This is why you should never breed hybrids as the results are not predicatable like when you cross purebreeds. However, if you are just doing this in the backyard, and don't have to worry about mixing-up birds, then you can certainly breed hybrids.

    These are from left to right, yellow, golden ranger and barred. I assume that the left one is Dark Cornish X Freedom Ranger. The one on the right could be either (at least I think) since both the Black Sex Links and Freedom Rangers carry a gene for barring. The weights, from left to right are 0.8 lbs, 0.6 lbs and 0.8 lbs.


    This is mottled, black and Gold Ranger. I have no idea which cross the mottled came out of, but there are 3 like it. I'm assuming the black one is the Dark Crornish X Black Sex Link and it's a pullet (as a cockrel would get the barring gene, where a pullet wouldn't ? right?? any PhD's out there?). The weights form left to right are: 0.8 lbs, 0.8 lbs and 0.6 lbs.


    Closer look at the Black & White 'Barred' One:


    Closer look at the mottled one, aren't they gorgeous? Of course, this could be a giant screw-up and it's really a Golden Ranger; but I dont' think so based on the weight:


    I picked an average sized gold ranger for weighing and photos. There are some which probably exceed the 0.8 lbs already, even though they are 10 days younger.

    And of course, with all this said, I'm guessing these are the chicks which I hatched. Some of the Gold Rangers look awfully close to these.. and some have barring as well. I guess leg bands may have made sense. I had previously crossed Dark Cornish with Barred Rock and Speckled Sussex and similarly lost track of who was who. So this is standard around here.... disorganized, two weeks behind schedule and farming from one crisis to the next. [​IMG]

    So, I guess here is what we can learn from it:

    a) Yes, you can do backyard crosses for broilers and you will benefit from heterosis. A purebred of any breed at 30 days would probably be only around 0.4 lbs.

    b) My broilers are keeping up with the Freedom Rangers; but as you can see the Freedom Rangers have closed the gap being 10 days younger. I bet the gold will be heavier at the same age when I process. But, that will be another thread when it happens.

    c) Your backyard 'Cornish Crosses' will generally have a good upright stance, long and wide breast. From processing my own in the past the finished breast was slightly narrower and thinner than an industrial Cornish Cross.

    I do not offer my own meat birds to the public, yet, as I want them to be visually as similar to the Freedom Ranger chicken as I can (which I still proudly raise). But, we'll see how this group turns out in the end! At the very least, I saved myself at least $20 + shipping by hatching my own 10 broilers. Knowing the margins on pastured meat chickens, that's very significant.
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    One more thing, my next breeding plans (meaning I will probably get to it at some point in 2008):

    1) Breed my Cornish to more Cornish in hopes of producing a larger sire for use. I have only one cockrel left and 10-15 hens. I regret sending all my extra cockrels to auction now. I had kept two Dark Cornish but one had an accident so I feel really exposed and don't want to lose this guy.

    2) I have access to some Cornish Cross hens which are around 1 year old now and laying eggs. I'm very curious to rebreed to the Dark Cornish as they should be very unrelated genetically and I should get good heterosis.

    3) Rebreed my Dark Cornish to my Barred Rocks and Speckled Sussex and take photos like I did here.

    4) If these are good size/shape for processing, I will do a batch of my very own meat birds for the freezer. I can time these to finish after Farm Market season ends (whereas all crops of Freedom Rangers need to be processed and sold prior to October 31st). Nothing tastes as good as a chicken you grow yourself... and I've been out of chicken in my freezer since November. I'm dieing for a big roasting bird.
  3. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Wow, those look great. The barred one has a really nice wide spread on his feet. It would be interesting to ssee how he grows out. The Golden FR is a beauty.
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:Oh I know. They get that from their dad. You can judge a good Cornish by how far apart their legs are and he has a good wide stance. This puts the width into the breast.
  5. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    Quote:Oh I know. They get that from their dad. You can judge a good Cornish by how far apart their legs are and he has a good wide stance. This puts the width into the breast.

    I love the stance on the black and white barred too,depending on how they laid eggs you might get me to change my thinking on "dual purpose" birds. They look awesome,you can tell they come from cornish desent. Nice experiment. Will
  6. red-hen

    red-hen Songster

    Mar 4, 2008
    Just a suggestion on posting your photos - I do have a very fast DSL connection, but I'm still waiting for 2/3 of the photos to load almost 4 minutes into opening the page.

    If you resize your photos to all be approximately 500 pixels wide you'll be able to show us a nice sized picture, but the download time will be decreased ULTRA significantly.

    Hope you don't mind th suggestion. I think many more people would be able to view your page here - and I think it would be of interest to a great number of BYC visitors. [​IMG]
  7. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    grey, thank you so much for your update. i personally find it very very interesting and educational.

    but your pictures aren't showing up. [​IMG]
  8. chcknrs

    chcknrs Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA
    Do you plan to eventually sell meat bird chicks? Cuz I would be interested. Would be so much easier and better than ordering from the hatchery.
  9. RedStickLA

    RedStickLA Songster

    Feb 27, 2007
    South Louisiana
    Quote:[​IMG] Ok after reading this...Maybe I will keep two of the Dark Cornish Roo's. I know if I don't and something happens two the one I will be [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] at myself...after you warning me to keep two.

    Thank You for this update and the photos greyfields...I look forward to reading your future posts about your breeding program. Like blue90292 said, I find it very educational and interesting, especially for someone like me just starting out in meat birds.
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Both imageshack and freeimagehosting.net have been down since last night. [​IMG] So it's nothing to do with connections, their servers are either down or getting hammered. They will show up eventually. It has nothing to do with the image size.

    I can upload them to my webserver later is things don't improve.

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