There's also a thread on Freedom Rangers that discusses other breeds, page three or four, my computer is acting up or I'd find it.
Short form is that YOU in a small venue cannot possibly create a breed that produces as much meat as quickly as a cornish cross. It's a highly technical hybrid that can't exist in nature.
That said the trades in trying to breed your own sustainable flock is that you will have smaller yield and it will take longer - more feed costs. However, not having to BUY chicks to grow out has it's advantages, having additional eggs also has value.
I'm setting up to work on a pen of barred rocks to delawares right now.
A pen of regular black freedom rangers later.
And probably next fall dark cornish to anything that survived the culls of BOTH of those pens.
My primary project is partridge rocks but they are in no way at this point a true dual bird.
This is a common question, follow the pages, we beat the sucker to death ever couple of weeks.
Hey Friends thanks for you advise and threads. These poultry farms are some how making the cornish crosses we are buying to make our meat birds. I guess more to the point is what is the dad bird and the mom bird that makes these? Is it practical to set this cross up in my chicken yard and hatch my own every year? Who knows all the big banks in the us could screw up and our economy could fail; I might have to live off the land some day.
The poultry farms are MANY MANY generations down a line of hybrid birds, at least fifty generations probably of work on the CornishX they offer. The backyard chicken person has no way of doing that. The hatchery thing is a thing done over a huge period in huge numbers, we cannot reproduce it.
Which is why most of us trying in our own yards are working from the colored freedom rangers - also a head start but never going to be as fast as the CornishX - that just aren't even normal any more. AKA dead before a year even if you tried to let them live...
Colored Rangers offer an interim measure to work from if you're interested in both speed and sustainability. It means about 10 generations of adding birds like delawares and culling heavily for speed and meat production but after about five years and ten generations you can theoretically produce a ten week bird.
I'm comfortable in the 10- 12 week range and the colored rangers generally fit the bill, but then you've got to cull and sort if you want sustainability.
Answer - no simple answer. You can't replicate in your yard what the poultry industry has done in 30 years.
Frankly, I don't want to. If it can't live beyond a year, (most six months) reproduce normally, forage and be healthy, not interested in eating it.
Sweet! thank you all so much! Now I know I need a standard cornish rooster for my girls. I also think I should then have some diversity in the hens. With a little luck and keeping an eye on which hens I am hatching from I can sooner or later produce some meater birds. I am good with a little slower growth and a much hartier bird. My goal is some fresh eggs and some meat for my table. But also reducing the cost I of these products. So in short thank you for your help.