I raised my first batch of heritage breed cockerels last year and after butchering a few of them starting at 14 weeks, I all but gave up on cleaning the rest because they tasted horrible (in my family's opinion) and were tough (fact not opinion). I baked them for about 45 minutes at 350F. They ran from 1.5 to 3 lbs dressed. This year we raised Cornish X birds butchered at 6 weeks and 3-4 lbs dressed and they were much more to our liking (tender and light flavor like the store/restaurant). My predicament is that I really enjoy raising heritage birds... so much more fun to watch, good free rangers, eat our ticks, we can hatch the eggs ourselves, but we don't like eating them. I looked into caponizing as a solution but I can't do it. I've tried it on 2 live birds today (after trying it on a dead bird first) and ended up dispatching them about half way through because I couldn't continue exploratory surgery with a good conscience. I will say the bird was a 10 week old cornish cross if that makes any difference. But it was beyond me to do a good job at it without a personal lesson on how to do the work. I was bummed out. Any suggestions? Maybe I could find someone locally who could do the caponization. I hate to pursue something this difficult without knowing if I'd even like the meat. I guess what bothers me most is that I can raise heritage breeds from hatch to butcher and almost for free (free fertile eggs) but I don't like the meat... such a bummer. Public rant... sorry! I'm publicizing it in hopes that maybe there could be something I'm overlooking before I give up the hobby.