Home Bred Broilers - Pics

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by greyfields, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Here is another update to my ongoing saga of breeding 'Cornish Crosses' from my own flock. In the past, I had crossed my Dark Cornish on Barred Rocks and Speckled Sussex. I like the taste, they grew faster than any purebred, but they were still 'skinny' compared with a custom bred broiler. The keel sticks out and they aren't as plump and body conformation isn't perfect. So for now, I raise these only for myself and sell the Freedom Rangers to customers (by the way, I'm using the Red Bro's now and they are hungry little buggers aren't they?).

    So this last round, I crossed my Dark Cornish rooster onto Black Sex Links and Freedom Rangers (black). They've been living with my last crop of 50 Golden Freedom Rangers, so they have been managed identically. They were just 1 week older is all.

    So, yesterday, at 9.5 weeks of age I took in my Gold Rangers for processing along with my home crosses, which were 10.5 weeks old.

    Let bands are visible in the photo, which we recorded, and the processor is going to leave the legs on them. We will then have a blind tasting amongst our friends here on the island amongst:

    a) Golden Ranger
    b) MM Jumbo Cornish Cross
    c) Cornish X Black Sex Link
    d) Cornish X Freed Ranger

    Here are some photos:

    Dark Cornish X Black Sex Link


    Gold Freedom Ranger


    Probably a Cornish X Freedom Ranger (gourmet black)


    Cornish X Freedom Ranger


    This picture demonstrates that my home Cornish Crosses have a LOT of Cornish in them. They are very erect and tall compared with other broilers. The two on the left at the netting are the Cornish X BSL and they stand much higher:


    Looking at the photos from the Hubbard catalog, I made the realization that the 'Cornish' and 'Rock' in a Cornish Cross look very little like their respective breeds. So it makes me wonder if I ought be using hybrid sires and dames as well??

    So, next steps and summary:

    1) You can breed your own broilers. They just won't be as explosive in growth as your custom bred hybrid broiler. BUT, they will grow faster than any purebred out there.

    2) I will report on how the carcasses look when we get our birds back on Wednesday.

    3) I can tell you right now, of all the backyard crosses I have done, the Cornish X Freedom Ranger was heavier by at least a pound than anything else I ever made. So that will be a route to go forward with as I'm holding back some Golden Rangers for breeding.

    4) At this time, my crosses don't have the correct body conformation to sell to customers, but I certainly enjoy making them myself. Hey, why ship them half way cross the country if you can just make your own, hatch them and eat them?

    I'm not sure when the blind tasting will be, but it should be interesting which is the most popular.
  2. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Oh the blind testing sounds like fun-lucky tasters! Where did you get the golden rangers, or did you say? What do the Red Bros look like when finished out?
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    The Red Bro's are the "Bronze" ranger which the FR people marketed.
  4. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Songster

    Mar 16, 2008
    Good looking birds Grey!

    Hey, thanks so much for taking the time to post your pictures and explain what you are doing. I really appreciate it. What you are doing is what I hope to do in the next year or so. I'm not selling, so not as concerned with conformation. I just want a nice, edible bird!

    I can't wait to hear your update on the blind taste test. Sure wish I could be there to give you my expert opinion (hey, I've eaten a lot of chicken in my 30+ years, makes me an expert. Right!?).

    How much do you anticipate your birds weighing dressed? It's so hard to tell in pictures, but they don't look a whole lot bigger than mine do right now (mine were marked golden rangers on the box... but they are not all golden. Have NO idea what I got!). I sure wish I had someone in the know who could look at my birds and give me a body condition score!!

    I'll take some pictures tomorrow and get them on the web. I'd really like to know what you think of my Rangers!

    Again, great job and nice looking birds.

  5. Riparian

    Riparian Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    What kind of fencing is that Greyfields? I need to construct some kind of run for my meatbirds.
  6. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    I love how every bird looks so p*ssed off in their picture [​IMG]

    It's cool that you are trying to "engineer" your own meat bird. That Cornish X Freedom Ranger almost looks Cuckoo Maranish. Sure one didn't hop the fence? [​IMG]

    I would love to blind taste test some meat birds [​IMG]
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:A Marans hen actually lived with them as soon as they were let out of the tractor. So did a Speckled Sussex rooster. The roosters are always very excited when the next batch of broilers hit the grass. They fly over the netting and claim it as their harem. If only they know what a bad career choice it was to fly over the netting....

    The poor rooster looked very confused yesterday... as did the 3 Golden Ranger hens I granted clemency to.

    BTW, Marans have white legs. I also found it interesting they all got the pea comb from the sire. It must be dominant.
  8. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    Quote:i'm going to rephrase that for you, no offense, but "cuckoo" marans have white legs. [​IMG]
  9. chcknrs

    chcknrs Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA

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