Jumbo Cornish or Heavy Breed Roosters?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by saguaroskeleton, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. saguaroskeleton

    saguaroskeleton Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2017
    Marana, AZ
    Hello! I'm looking to get some meat birds, I was looking at Cackle Hatchery and saw they had heavy breed roosters for only $.75! Great deal right? Well I was thinking, it takes 4-5 months for them to reach 5-6lbs. While the Jumbo Cornish take 8 weeks to get 6lbs, but they're $2.55. Has anyone done the math on this? Which is really a better deal considering time, feed, carcass quality etc.?
     
  2. seanengler

    seanengler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't run the number myself but I would tend to think that cost and yield/time wise the cornish cross is the way to go for both reasons. After all, there's a reason it's the industry standard for meat. Large breasts, high yielding carcass, short amount of time. That being said, all of that is at industry pricing on things like the feed and birds themselves. Have you checked any other hatcheries for pricing? Strombergs is $2.68 a chick for their slower growing cornish cross, and that's including shipping. With Cackle, the price you listed means you're going under 15 birds, which is a small order, so there's $20 for a small order and $18.78 for shipping which puts you at $5.34 per bird for the total. Hope this helps. Meyer and McMurray I haven't checked but I'm sure they're competitive. The small order fee at Cackle would be a deal breaker for me.
     
  3. saguaroskeleton

    saguaroskeleton Out Of The Brooder

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    I've never heard of Strombergs, they seem to be pretty reasonable with prices, thank you for that and the rest of your input!
     
  4. seanengler

    seanengler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never actually ordered from there I just randomly checked their prices just now. The only online hatchery I've ordered from is Freedom Ranger. Perhaps someone who has ordered from Strombergs can share their experiences.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree the Cornish are going to be the most cost effective by far. The dual purpose birds would maybe work for someone who had access to a lot of free range with a good amount of nutrition available there, lots of space and the time to grow them out. If you're going to have to confine them and they're getting the bulk of their nutrition from commercial feed, CX simply can't be beat.
     
  6. saguaroskeleton

    saguaroskeleton Out Of The Brooder

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    I have lots of free range room, but sadly the desert doesn't offer much nutrition [​IMG]
    Maybe I'll experiment with the heavy breeds later on, but I agree, a good Cornish can't be beat
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  7. Hufflefluff

    Hufflefluff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there! I'm basically just going to agree with what's already been said, but because you asked and I was interested I went ahead and ran the numbers:
    Cornish Cross:
    • 2.55$/ chick
    • 8 wks/ 6 lb
    • 2 lb feed/ 1 lb meat
    • Conservative mortality rate 1/ 10 chicks
    • 3 sq feet/ bird

    Heavy Breed Rooster:
    • 0.75$/ chick
    • 18 wks/ 6 lb
    • 6 lb feed/ 1 lb meat
    • Conservative mortality rate 1/15 chicks
    • 6 sq feet/ bird

    Now, if complete accuracy is very important to you, I'd recheck these, but these are averages I've heard. I know for a fact that CX have a very nearly 2:1 weight ratio, although I just eyeballed the figure for the roosters based on past experience. Keep in mind that if the heavier breed roosters are dual purpose birds, they'll be much more inclined and able to forage for at least a portion of their own food, especially as they get older, whereas CX will be almost entirely reliant on what you purchase. Also, because the heavy breed roosters you're considering will live longer and be more active, I allotted them more space; and if you have a sizable enough pasture, I'd recommend even more than that. I mostly factored in mortality rates because they have been such a point of contention when it comes to CXs; if the roosters are really dual purpose breeds tbh I'd expect a much, much lower mortality rate than 1/15, but I thought I'd play it safe (for the record, the CX mortality rate is lower too, I'm just going with the highest figures for posterity). Now, this is already looking like it has a fairly apparent outcome, but I'll continue regardless
    (also, you mentioned carcass quality. I know that CX dress well, but I have heard from people who prefer the meat of dual purpose birds and foragers because it's less fatty and more flavorful. I don't know how much of a difference it actually makes, but if that would really matter to you it might be something to look into)
    Now, I don't know how many birds you'll be raising, but if it's on a smaller scale like mine then you might go with, say, Purina meat bird grower, which is 16$ for a 50 lb bag. Each CX chick will then theoretically eat 12 lb to dress out at 6 lb, but let's play it safe and go with each of your CX will eat 15 lbs of food before slaughter, or about 5 dollars worth of food. In contrast, to get to slaughter a heavy breed rooster will eat ~35 lb of food- even if we round this down to 30 each bird will still consume about 10 dollars worth of food- twice as much as a CX.
    You can manipulate these numbers to more specifically fit your situation, but no matter how you divide it, the extra 1.80$ is more than made up for in food cost alone, even if you factor in the higher mortality rates (then it ends up closer to 5.8:10.3)
    Anyway, I'm not sure if this is exactly what you were asking, but I thought it was interesting and it's at least something to consider :)

    {{also please feel free to tell me if I got anything wrong- I'm happy to correct it!}}
     
  8. miken56

    miken56 Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with Hufflefluff on this. I raise Cornish cross (I get 100 because my thinking is "Go big or go home", something my wife and I don't always see eye to eye on LOL) because I raise them in a small town and don't need crowing roosters. I used to get them in the spring (April 1st) to beat the heat of mid summer. One year it was a super cold April and I lost 23 the first 2 weeks. Finally the weather straightened out and I got them on pasture. Then 2 dogs killed another 67 at about 5-6 weeks.so I was left with about 12 to butcher. I decided to get 75 Cornish Cross straight run on August 1st thinking that the heat would be easier on the small chicks and by October 1st (or 8 weeks) the temperature is cooler for the heavy birds. This is working out now for the last three years for me in South Dakota anyway. As far as flavor, I don't know of how many of us BYC people can taste the small difference of the two breeds. I think the texture of the meat is what we notice more. Also they are raised so they can forage as much as they want and they are not confined in any way (except at night). One other thing the chicks basically stay indoors till about 4 weeks anyway so neighbors don't even know you have them. This last year I got just cockerels and had one go 8 3/4 pounds dressed with no giblets or neck with that weight (I use giblets etc. for stock they are not thrown away) I butchered 1/3 of the biggest ones @ 7 weeks and they still were4-5 lbs dressed. I am very pleased with Cornish cross for these reasons. Just my 2 cents worth
     

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