Making your own Broilers????

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Promiselandfarm, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Like some others on here I would like to breed our own broilers. What crosses would you use? I would like to hatch out our own for various reasons. Suggestions? If this subject has already been discussed please proved me the link. ..Thanks
  2. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    There are several people, including myself, wanting to experiment with various crosses to see what we get. I can't claim any expertise as yet, because I'm just beginning to get into this.

    What I've read is that using a purebred Cornish roo (NOT one of the meat breed crosses, they won't breed true, if you can keep them alive long enough to breed, they're bred to grow really really fast and be eaten.) over various breeds of dual-purpose or heavy-breed hens can sometimes produce a pretty good table bird. Some of the candidates for hens that I'm looking at are Dorking, Delaware, Buckeye, and Brahma. I've tried Cornish hen/Brahma roo, that didn't work out very well, they grow WAAAAY too slow, (but very pretty and healthy, the pullets can stay and be layers, the roos are just getting old enough to be a nuisance, they're going to freezer camp in about another week) but I still want to try the other way around, C roo/B hen.

    For those of us who would like to become more food independent, this seems like a reasonable course of action. The birds won't have the phenomenal growth of the hatchery meaties, but could very well prove to be healthier and more sustainable birds overall.

    For those who don't mind buying all their chicks from a hatchery for all of their meat birds, it wouldn't be worth the bother.
  3. My husband loves white chickens not sure why but he does. So last year we went to the Amish sale on his B-day and he bought a bunch of little white chicks. They turned out to be Cornish Crosses. We sold a few and lost the rest*( someone babysitting our chickens while we went on vacation forgot to water them enough). Anyway the few we sold a man wanted one sunday he brings back one Rooster. Still not sure why he just wanted us to have him back. He will be a year old this September. He seems just now to be slowing down. He did breed a few hens this year(*they have a problem mounting because of size) and we hatched out those eggs. The fertility rate was not really good on his matings. The little chicks grew fast but seemed to lack feathers and almost looked like turkens. Anyway the two of them have grown into big birds with no apparent health problem and now have full feathering. They just do not seem to be meaty but bones big bones. One turned into a pretty black hen(mom black star) and the other is a RIR cross and he looks like a big RIR but you can tell he is not because he has those massive feet. Dumplings the Dad weighs a good deal and is very heavy to pick up. I do not think that is a cross we will try again as it just produced big birds but not big meat birds. I would like to try something that will produce big meaty birds without having to order from a hatchery. I know the sexlinks pretty much tell you the crosses wish the broilers did as well. Okay would you do a White Cornish with a light Brahma? Why the Delaware? I understand the Brahma they are big. I have not owned a Delaware . WE are going to Caponize some of the many roos we ordered and see how big or how much bigger it makes them. I have killed chickens before and doctor our large and small animals so pretty sure I can do this easily. have you tried that to see if they indeed stay soft and tend to grow just a little bigger??? Or anyone else here???
  4. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I avoid white chickens because I free range all of my birds, and white ones make such nice targets for the local predators, they get picked off first, if there's a fox or anything around. Even Buff Orpingtons get picked off more easily, that bright gold just stands out. I tend to go for darker colors, for better camouflage. Multi-colored feathers let a bird "blend" better.

    Many people prefer white birds because they look cleaner when plucked, the dark feathers leave colored spots in the skin, in a gel-like substance from the base of the feathers. The same stuff is left behind in the skin of white birds, you just don't see it, because there's no pigment.

    The reason you got birds that didn't resemble the parent from your X roo, is what I said before, they don't breed true. They aren't a true breed, but a hybrid of specially developed strains.

    I've done some reading about various breeds, and what crosses were used in the past to produce good table birds. Cornish roo x Dorking hen was the preferred mix in England, for decades. So I thought that would be a good place to start. Delawares also sound like a good possibility, because they're fairly chunky birds too, at least that's what I hear. I don't have any yet, so I'll know for sure, later.

    These birds will NOT be as fast growing as the Cornish X's you had. That's not my goal. I want sustainability, not just super fast fat birds. If you want super fat tender birds, stick to the C.X's.

    If you're wanting to caponize C/ X's to see if you can get them even bigger and fatter, I don't think your goal is the same as what I'm trying to do. Those C X's already tend to die of getting too big, too fast, I think they may already be at their max to live to around 8 weeks to butcher. It's unusual to have one live much past 14 weeks, though it happens now and then. I had some C X hens make it to almost a year, and they may have been C roasters, rather than the faster growing C X. I bought them from a farmer, who'd gotten them from a hatchery, the first year I was keeping chickens. Many moons ago!

    I don't caponize, don't want to. The idea of subjecting a live, wide awake, fully aware bird or animal to surgery with no anesthesia, just makes me shudder. Especially now, when there are meat breeds that pretty much turn out the way caponized roos are supposed to turn out. If that's the body type you want, you may as well just go with that, instead of spending the time and money, and a lot of effort, in breeding. There are several really good meat strains available, the C x's, C roasters, red bros, broilers in white, red, or black. They aren't bad birds, they just aren't what I personally want.

    I wouldn't use a white Cornish roo at all, because I prefer dark, or at least multi color, birds. I'd be more inclined to use dark Cornish roo over a Brahma hen. Buff if I had one, but what I have right now is the light Brahma hens. But, I don't know if that cross will result in anything like I'm looking for. As I said, this is all experimentation to me, at this stage. In 2 or 3 years, I might be able to give better info.

    If your goal is an acceptable table bird that you can keep as a sustainable breed, so you don't have to buy hatchery chicks, you're probably not going to have huge, fat birds like the C X's. For me, that's ok, I'm willing to trade off the extra weight for sustainability.

    It sounds like you may want to do a bit more research on this subject before you jump in. I suggest reading everything you can find on the subject, before you invest in breeding stock for experiments. For breeding stock, I'm hunting for breeders of show quality stock, rather than production run hatchery stock. The difference in SQ and PR birds is amazing. I don't need SQ, as I'm not showing, but most breeders sell off the ones that don't quite meet color standards or the conformation may be a bit off. They're still much higher quality than hatchery stock, and I want good birds to start with. So this is a long, slow process. It can take a long time to just acquire the birds to breed in the first place. And, it's not likely you'll achieve your goal on the first try, either. I expect I'll have a number of misses before I get a hit.

    Good luck, I hope you are able to achieve what you want![​IMG]
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    One of the mods, kstaven, grew out some of his own breed of meat birds. He had little success. The birds grew fine. They were not edible. His threads read they would not even cook to tenderness. So, careful what you breed. You might end up with a 100 birds you have to feed the dogs.
  6. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    That's true, which is why I don't hatch out that many of the experimental ones at one time. I figure a dozen at a time will give me a good idea how they'll be. If I like those dozen, of any given cross, then I'll breed more.

    That way, if about half are roos, I can eat them, (or feed to the dogs, if they're really that bad) and keep the hens for layers. (NOT breeders)

    Kstaven actually had better luck with a previous cross, the inedible one was a further outcross from that. He said he had pretty good luck with a Cornish roo/Dorking cross, as well. So not all his results were bad.
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Look through some of my back posts. Ih ave photos of some of my broilers I've made.

    The best results, however, were from retaining broilers (like Freedom RAngers) and crossing them with other purebreds or hybrids.
  8. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    Rangers and hybrids? Sounds like you're talking about cars [​IMG]
  9. fullhouse

    fullhouse Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    I really like how fast and wide the Delaware boys have grown. They are much bigger than our biggest old hen, and have been since about 4 months. A Delaware and a colored broiler cross, hmm, that's an idea. Maybe I'll spare a broiler [​IMG]
  10. Danger you are too funny!! It does sound like cars....

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